Choosing the best location for your home office doesn’t have to be stressful, require extensive remodeling, or a massive budget. By taking some time to think about your personal preferences, your work style, and answer a few questions beforehand, you can choose the best location for your home office!
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How to Choose the Best Location for Your Home Office
It’s important to take a little time before you jump into moving into your home office to make sure you’ve chosen the absolute best location (even if you’re short on space).
Let’s start by talking about characteristics that are typically more difficult to control. Things like: light, sound, and temperature.
Beautiful natural light near a home office. Via Young House Love.
Too much light (or too little) can affect not only our sleep patterns and moods, but also our energy levels.
Natural light increases focus and performance. Try to choose an office space that includes at least one window so that you can soak up that natural light.
If a window isn’t available, try using a full spectrum light bulb. The light from these bulbs closely resembles natural daylight.
I originally had my home office set up in our unfinished basement. Not only was it cold, dusty, and adjacent to a few too many eight-legged neighbors, there just wasn’t enough natural light. It was uncomfortable, and I didn’t like it, so I just stopped going down there. Not a good situation for productive work.
We all have our personal preferences when it comes to a little noise or none at all, but too much noise and its resulting interruptions can have a negative impact on our productivity.
This beautiful home office from A House Full of Sunshine is right off the kitchen.
Ideally, our chosen home office location will allow us to control the sounds around us by opening or closing windows, opening or closing doors, turning music on or off, etc. But that’s not always possible.
Try to find a location that has minimal noise and ways to alter the environment.
No window or door to open or close? A good pair of noise reducing headphones are must-haves. These are my favorites.
Nature sounds, especially flowing water, can help to increase your productivity and relieve stress!
Don’t have a flowing river, creek, or water feature right outside your office window?
Remember those noise reducing headphones I mentioned earlier? Grab them and pair them with a nature sounds playlist. I like to use 8tracks Internet Radio and listen to one of the many “nature sounds” playlists available.
A mobile office can help solve temperature, light, and sound issues. Via In My Own Style.
After deciding that the basement home office just wasn’t going to work, I set up my home office in an extra bedroom on the upper level of our house.
Sounds great, huh? My own room, a door to close, a ton of space….
The one thing I didn’t consider?
The fact that this bedroom is located directly over our garage. It was freezing in the winter and sweltering in the summer!
My office is now on the main level of our home. It has a southern exposure window, so it gets warm in the afternoons, which is great in the winter and not so great in the summer. But the temperature extremes aren’t as huge as the bedroom upstairs or the unfinished basement. We also added a ceiling fan and space heater to help with those occasional extremes.
Consider the temperature and how you can gain some control over it when choosing the best location for your home office.
Now, let’s talk about those characteristics that you have more control over: your personal preferences, color, layout, clutter.
Your personality might seem like an odd topic to consider, but it’s actually one of the most important things to ponder when choosing the best location for your home office!
Lots of lovely personality expressed in this home office! Via Mountain Modern Life.
Here’s why it matters:
Filling a space with touches the evoke our personality make it feel special, something of our very own. We can choose colors that will enhance our productivity and focus, and having our personality visible throughout the room makes it a joy to go to work.
To get started ask yourself a few questions:
- Do you like a little noise while you’re working or complete silence?
- Are you right or left brained? This is called your productivity style. Typically, right brained people are very creative. They like casual furniture, lots of color, and having their office full of inspirational artwork, memorabilia, etc. Left brained people are typically more analytical and prefer clean lines and a more minimalist approach to their home office.
- Are you easily distracted? Or do you prefer some background noise?
- What inspires you?
- What kind of work do you do, and what special needs does that work require?
- Which colors energize you?
I recommend writing down your answers to the questions above, so that you can continue to tweak your preferences. Also write down any other thoughts that pop up while answering the questions.
Now, you’re armed with some excellent personal preference information that will help you determine the best location for your home office!
Great ergonomics, clutter-free walking space, and comfortable seating. Via Cleverly Inspired.
Don’t ignore the ergonomics of your home office! You need to be comfortable and to position yourself in a way that protects your body, especially when doing repetitive motion tasks like typing or using a mouse.
Comfortable seating, clutter-free walking paths, ideal positioning when looking at your monitor, and a little open space are optimal layout components of a home office.
If Your Options Are Limited
This office located under the stairs makes great use of often wasted space. Via Thistlewood Farms.
When working at home, we often have to make the best of what’s available.
Before we moved to our current home, my home office shared space with my two small children’s bedroom. Definitely not ideal, but we made it work until something better became available. That didn’t happen until we moved to a different home.
But in any situation, there are things you can do to adapt.
If you have the choice of wall space near a window or far from one, choose the one near the window. If there’s a closet or a tiny bedroom with a door available, choose that, and declutter like a rock star to give yourself a little elbow and breathing room.
Maybe the only spot available is the kitchen desk. Take steps to reduce noise or adjust your work schedule, i.e. work after the kids are in bed or before they get up in the mornings.
Get creative, think outside the box, and weigh all of the options and characteristics until you find the best location for your home office.
The good thing is that situations at home change quickly, so you won’t have to wedge yourself into that tiny closet office forever.
I’m now using my oldest daughter’s bedroom as my home office. When she moved out to go to college, and ultimately take her first job out of state, we moved her into a much smaller bedroom, and I took over her larger room for my home office.
Don’t be afraid to try many different options until you find the one that works for you.
And if all else fails? Invest in a really good pair of noise-reducing headphones and some blinders! 🙂
Keep these characteristics in mind, consider your personality, get creative, make use of available space, and you’ll be productive and happy in your home office!
Thanks for being here today,