We’ve entered a period where the work place seems to be shifting faster than ever. Remote work is no longer a novelty but many people’s lived reality. According to a recent Gallop poll, two-thirds of white-collar employees work from home either some or all of the time. The vast majority of those workers—91%—would like to continue working from home at least some of the time. Working from home has become the new normal in many workplace cultures, as the pandemic forced companies to see it could be done effectively. Flexibility is now key, in terms of hours, workspace, and childcare arrangements.
We’re long past the early days of the pandemic, when workplaces shut down and employees scrambled to work from kitchen tables or bedroom closets. People have gone from cobbled-together solutions to seeking more sustainable work spaces in their homes. So how do you go about setting up your own permanent home office solution? Here at Bella Domicile, we have some ideas on how to set up and streamline your own home work environment.
Survey Your Existing Space
The most crucial step is deciding where to set up your permanent office space. Does your home already have a dedicated office? Is there a guest bedroom or other space that can serve multiple functions? Or will you be carving out space in the kitchen, basement, or a closet? Determining what space you have to work with sets up your next steps. A larger, dedicated office space has more room for built in shelving, drawers, and desk space. Other spaces, like an existing kitchen, might be better suited to adding an additional countertop and floating shelves for more flexible desk space and storage.
What are you looking for in an office space? There are non-negotiable needs, like space for a laptop, monitor, keyboard, printer, wiring solutions, etc. But there are also wants, such as natural lighting, a decorative wall for virtual meeting backgrounds, and space for artwork. Would you like to look out a window or is that a distraction? Do you place a premium on storage or is a desk with a single drawer sufficient? Survey the way you work in your existing space for a few days and take notes on things you particularly like or get frustrated with. Everyone’s perfect office space is different; create a list of your own wants and needs to best lay out a work space for you.
The amount of physical desk space will primarily depend on the size of your work environment. At a minimum, you should plan on a desk area that is 48-inches wide and 24-inches deep. If you’re exclusively working from home and have the space, a larger desk area could be helpful. Also take your actual work into consideration. Maybe you’re in a creative field and are always looking for open desk space to sketch or layout ideas. Maybe your desk is more of a landing space and a smaller surface area is sufficient.
The amount of needed storage will also vary from person to person. Consider the type of storage you may need: file storage, drawers, bookshelves. File drawers full of papers can be digitized, freeing up floor space. Maybe you reference books often and need plenty of open shelving. If you frequently use a printer, dedicated storage for copy paper, ink, and the printer itself could make sense.
For many people, a home office is a flexible space. Both partners might work from home and the space needs to work for both of them. Maybe the office space also functions as a children’s playroom, and needs storage that is flexible for both work and children’s play. The “office” might be a single counter in a kitchen, which also needs to function as a homework area for school-aged children.
If we’ve learned anything during the past couple of years, it’s to be adaptable. But kitchen counters and dark closets were never meant to be long-term solutions. As we collectively settle in to this new era of workplace culture, a permanent home office space should function for you.
At Bella Domicile, we can help you set up your own permanent office space, whether it’s adapting an existing kitchen or configuring an entire room. Let’s make your remote workspace functional, flexible, and beautiful.
If you would like help setting up your permanent home office solution, call Bella Domicile at (608) 271-8241 or visit us at belladomicile.com to set up a design consultation.