Professional Bliss: How to Design the Perfect Home Office

Friday, November 28, 2014

The number of us working from home is growing by the year. According to the latest figures, almost 14% of UK workers have given up rainy mornings and crowded commutes for the comfort of a home office.

We can expect that number to grow as technology continues to ease business communication and customer reach, making efficient and comfortable work spaces an increasingly integral aspect to domestic design.

Office rooms have been a common home feature for as long as I’ve been creating them but much of the time they were something of an afterthought and eventually relegated to a storage space or spare bedroom.

Now a well equipped and comfortable home office is a common key feature. Even for people who aren’t currently working from home, many expect to later in life, especially when children or old age make remote work more attractive. It’s better to have a dedicated space just in case your lifestyle changes than attempt to squeeze in a hasty conversion.

The implications of this shift extend beyond the office room. Achieving the ideal work/life balance means designing the entire home to provide professional and comfortable spaces without compromising either.

Here are some key design points to consider if you’re working from home or expect to in the future:

  • Try to dedicate certain floors to work and others to relaxation to keep professional and home life separate. A ground floor for office space is ideal if you’re often meeting or entertaining clients – you could even have separate entrances.
  • If you don’t have enough space for dedicated floors or you need to stay close to the rest of the house, pocket doors that disappear into the walls allows you to adapt open plan spaces into intimate corners for work and easily hide away your domestic life if clients visit.
  • A good view and plenty of natural light will help you feel motivated and focused – few people want to work in a dark little hole. Try to position your office so it’s overlooking the garden or with direct access to it.
  • Don’t neglect storage. While some degree of “creative mess” isn’t unwelcome, filling half your office with filing cabinets will end up with you feeling crowded and cramped. Plan ahead with built in storage with plenty of room to accommodate your growing business.

Overall, the important thing is that you can enjoy work, relaxation and play in equal measure. As the lines between them blur, it can be hard to know when to switch off. Creating the right physical spaces is essential to creating the right mental spaces.

If you feel that your house is compromising your lifestyle, get in touch at [email protected] to discuss how we can help you design your home around your lifestyle.

By John Dyer-Grimes