We’re looking at a future where remote working is the new normal. The number of people given this privilege is increasing—entrepreneurs, freelancers, and maybe you, or someone you know is working out of the office.
When you have this flexible working opportunity, you’re going to need a personal office. An ideal home office is complete— it must accommodate you and your job demands. Let’s begin with placing all your work essentials within your reach. Of course, the computer is already on top of your list. Here are the others:
As a general rule of design, you have to place the priority items in a space before anything else. In the case of the home office, it’s the desk. This is where all the action happens so give it some love.
Your desk depends on the size of your space, budget, and style you want to achieve. Whether you’re buying or building your own desk, follow the standard height which is 29-30 inches (74-76 centimetres).
These are the kinds of desks you may want to explore on:
These desks have no legs and are screwed to a wall for support. Freestanding desks have a wide range of sizes. The most common dimensions are 122 x 61 cm (48 x 24 inches), 152 x 76 cm (60 x 30 inches), and 183 x 91 cm (72 x 36 inches). When it comes to floating desks, you have to get the largest desk that can fit your home office space.
You can have more flexible work surface when you customise the desk in your home office space. This office table has multiple work stations—one side for the computer, another for drawing or sketching. The L-shape of the table allows maximum movement while working.
Desks adjacent to the wall
This is the most common desk layout because it gives you a work area with limited distractions. You can either face a wall or a window with a good view.
Computer and its accessories
Computers are getting slimmer and more portable, which is why we have to make the table tops flexible. If you’re going to station a desktop computer, you need to leave space for the keyboard. Some tables have a pullable keyboard tray. Make sure that there is a nearby plug to avoid long and disorganised wiring.
Going paperless in your office means a lot for the business and the planet. But, you never know when you need a printer. Save yourself from the stress and make room for one in your home office. Place it in an area where you can add paper or change cartridge in a hassle-free way. I suggest using compact inkjet printers. You won’t need tall, industry grade ones in your home office.
Most of the paper shredders available in the market are as big as an ordinary trash can so you can fit them under the table. Just pull them out whenever you need to get rid of scratch papers. Be sure that this piece of equipment won’t block your knee space.
Office chairs come in different shapes, styles, and sizes. Always choose an ergonomic chair. If you’re working from home, you’ll be staying in the office for roughly eight to nine hours a day. You don’t want to experience back pain after a hard day’s work.
Another thing you have to think about is the chair’s movement in the space. Think of the clearance for back and side sliding which allows you to reach for items on the drawers, desk, shelves, or from a farther furniture. The knee space under the table is important too. Without it, you won’t be able to sit properly while working.
If your work gives you tonnes of paperwork at the end of the day, you will need filing cabinets to store them properly. Before buying one, determine the kind of cabinet you will need. There are standard two-drawer letter-size file cabinets that are 15 x 30 x 29 inches, legal-size file cabinets in 18 x 30 x 29 inches, and lateral file cabinets in 30 x 18 x 32 inches. If you don’t have space for these stand alone cabinets, you may use tables with built-in drawers. Drawers with different sizes are highly recommended.
Drawers need enough room so you can open the drawers or cabinet doors fully. Filing cabinets do take up a considerable space in a home office which is why we convince you to go paperless and sustainable.
Shelving is a must in a home office. This is where you store valuable items that you don’t want hanging around on your table.
Admittedly, built-in shelves make your home office intimate. It’s as if that room was made to be a money maker for the years to come. If you don’t have the budget for customised shelves, you can turn to freestanding bookshelves. There are more affordable and flexible in the design. You can move it anytime you feel like tweaking your home office.
If you welcome clients in your home office, then you’re going to need additional seating. Comfy chairs require about 40 x 40 inches of space while a loveseat needs 40 x 62 inches (102 x 157 cm). Just make sure that you have space in front of the chair so your guests can pass without obstruction and sit without feeling claustrophobic. You can try positioning your table and chairs in angle to the room to maximise the space.
At the end of the day, you have to leave clearance space for everything from the floor space to the table tops. Always measure things! You’ll make everything fit when you have numbers to help you plan the space. Then, think about how you’re going to move in your home office. This is a busy place hence you don’t want something that blocks any of your movement.
Charlene Ara Gonzales is a design writer from Superdraft Pty. Ltd. in Australia. For expert home office design and construction, you may seek help from their awesome team of Gold Coast architects and Sydney architects.