by Blake Herzog
2023 has been the year of “return-to-work” battle cries, but if you’re still using your home office at all during the week you can be pretty sure it’s going to remain a fixture of your household.
There’s no better time than now to rethink that space with an eye to your own comfort and tastes.
Choose a theme and color scheme you’ll want to spend some time with. You’ll probably want to keep the dominant colors neutral for a soothing environment, but add as many pops of color as you want through wall art, rugs, pillows and/or office accessories.
If you’re remodeling, bring as much natural light in as you can, and try to incorporate some access to the yard so you can take outdoor breaks as often as possible.
Unless you are working collaboratively with others, you may want to keep it small to avoid it becoming a family hangout.
Natural light is the best light you can have, but you still need to be able to control how much there is, especially for Zoom or other webcam meetings.
“You obviously want the background to look professional, regardless of whether it’s in your home office or your ‘real’ office,” says Danielle Collazo, president of Adobe Blinds and More in Maricopa.
She adds, “Sometimes with the glare, you might want something that controls the glare a lot better than just blinds, so you want something a little thicker like a shutter, because with a shutter you can really angle the light up or down, and you could even close half on the bottom and leave half open on the top, so it really optimizes the light as far as the glare being on your computer screen.
“That, and it’s probably a much better look than just blinds with some strings hanging.”
Desk and chair
Consider how large a work surface you have — a little extra adds to a spacious feel, but too much of it just invites clutter. The classic executive desk makes it easy to keep everything at your fingertips.
But movement throughout the day also is important, so you might try to spread the printer and other devices across the room or house.
Be picky when shopping for a new and/or better chair; consider how long you’re using one during the day and what suits your body size and type.
We’re all aspiring, or should be, to the paperless office without huge file cabinets, but there will always be some paper we need or want to hold onto. Select a couple of storage options that blend with your décor, and don’t just keep buying more of them — set a cap on the space you’ll hand over to paperwork.
Space can be tight, especially if you can only devote part of a room to your office. If necessary, use shelves to take advantage of any vertical planes surrounding your desk.