Remote work has suddenly become the new normal for many of us. Although a make-shift home office may only be a temporary solution for some, many industries are shifting towards a more permanent remote work model for the future.
While working from home can certainly have its benefits, setting up a home office for remote work is not always easy. A well-thought-out home office remodel will promote:
- Organized and productive workdays
- Ergonomic and overall health
- A better work-life balance
- A more professional backdrop for your virtual meetings
Let’s talk about setting a home office budget and then look at some exciting home office remodel ideas.
How much does it cost to build a home office?
When it comes to budgeting, home office remodels are some of the most flexible projects. It’s easy to get a great result with a lower budget, and it’s also possible to invest more money on bigger changes that produce significant long-term benefits for your career and work life. It all depends on the scale of your remodel.
If you are a small business owner or are self-employed, you may be eligible for the home office deduction, which allows you to deduct expenses for the business use of part of your home.
Whatever your budget, your office design should reflect your home, your work style, and your remodeling wish list. Here are some tips and ideas:
1. Colors and Pieces That Help You Do Your Best Work
Whether you’re a graphic designer, an accountant, or a musician, you want your home office to be a place where you can do the absolute best work you are capable of. Choose designs, colors, and furniture that’s conducive to your work.
What should your home office be designed for?
Creativity: Nature stimulates creative thinking, so place your desk near windows, bring in some potted plants, or simply paint your walls green!
Focus: Separate your office from the rest of the house and remove unnecessary distractions. According to Feng Shui principles, metal objects (and metallic colors) promote strength, clarity, and focus.
Calm: If your job is stressful, bold, and energetic elements may not be ideal. Natural materials, like wood, and calming colors, like soft blues and grays, can help.
Motivation: Make sure your office reflects the “why” of your work. Art, photos, mementos from mentors, and reminders of your past achievements are great items to display.
2. Optimal Light and Noise Levels
Light: Good lighting can reduce headaches and eye fatigue. Natural light has been shown to trigger the release of endorphins. A combination of overhead lighting, lamps, and natural light creates an environment where you can adjust the amount and type of light you’re exposed to throughout the day. If you really love natural light, consider a sunroom office as a home addition!
Noise: Most people work best in a quiet environment, so if you live with other people, consider a solid core door. If you simply can’t get away from household noise, you might even invest in a pair of noise-canceling headphones.
3. Ideas for People Short on Space
If you don’t have a spare room for a dedicated home office, you’ll need to find more creative ways to establish a workspace. You could turn a closet or wardrobe into a mini-workspace by adding or removing shelves. Or how about a desk that slides or folds into the wall? Don’t rule out spaces like:
- An attic or loft area
- The basement
- Your shed or garage
- The space under the stairs
These spaces might seem dark and uncomfortable now, but with the help of a good designer and remodeler, you could soon have a beautiful and productive workspace in an area of your home that was previously underused.
4. Storage and Organization Options
Clutter can accumulate fast without adequate drawers, cabinets, or shelving. Bins, baskets, and other portable organizers are also effective and pretty. Cable organizing clips and boxes will help you keep your power cords in check.
A good home office should also be optimized to organize your time in addition to your belongings. Think about how your office remodel could help you better manage your time. If you’re a person who likes to visualize your schedule, consider a giant wall calendar or even a chalkboard wall. You can do this by installing an actual chalkboard or using chalkboard paint.
As many of us have recently discovered, hunching over a laptop in a dining chair isn’t comfortable for long! A home office that adheres to basic principles of office ergonomics can help prevent chronic injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome and back pain.
- Top of your monitor’s screen at eye level and arm’s length away
- Your wrists straight with hands at or below elbow level
- Your knees level with your hips
Even if you do nothing else, invest in a chair that supports a comfortable sitting position. Most traditional office chairs let you adjust the back and seat height. An adjustable standing desk is a good option for people who like to move around.
6. A Coffee or Tea Station
Skip those trips to the kitchen by setting up a small coffee or tea station in your home office. You’ll save time and avoid being pulled away from your work by distractions elsewhere in the house.
Whether your home office remodel involves a built-in coffee bar or just a small table in the corner, coordinate its location with outlets for your coffeemaker or electric kettle.
7. A Double Office
Do you live with a partner or roommate who also works from home? If you’re short on space (or just like spending time together) consider a shared home office, where you can both work in the same room.
The right interior designer will be able to help you plan a space you both love that meets all your work needs.
Are you ready to create the perfect office space in your home?
With L. Evans Design Group, you have access to both an award-winning designer and a knowledgeable contractor. We know how to incorporate all your ideas into a beautiful and cohesive space, and we’ll even suggest improvements you may not have considered!