Home Office Furnishing Guide: Layout and Design Manual for Your Home Office
As communication technology and the internet continue to improve our ability to work from home, the home office is becoming an important part of modern living. Creating a home office that offers both the comfort of home and the efficiency of an office is a fun challenge, and one that can be accomplished easily thanks to a wonderful selection of office furniture designed for home use.
One of the first steps in planning a home office is locating a space for it. If you have an entire room that can be devoted to office space, you're lucky! However, even if the available space you have is small, we still have some great space-saving layout ideas for you.
Here are some important things to consider before you choose a location for your home office.
It is important to prepare for all of the office equipment you will be using at home. Include computers, printers, fax machines, phones and copiers in your checklist, and make sure that the space you choose can accommodate their wiring needs. In addition, you will also need to provide an adequate number of telephone and data lines for your office equipment.
: Lighting is another critical home office provision. A combination of both natural, ambient light and task lighting is important in home offices. Putting your screen directly in front of a window may cause a glare, but having the natural light from a window and a view can make you happier and more comfortable while you work. Task lighting directed onto work surfaces prevents eye strain while you read and write. These lighting recommendations should be taken into consideration before choosing the location of your office or desk.
Who Will be Using It:
Shared Space: If more than one person will be using your home office, consider both person's needs. There are a lot of desk setups that are designed to maximize space for two people and two computers. Having a custom setup for each person is ideal, but if you're limited to one desk or one computer, make sure that you choose an easily adjustable office chair, keyboard/mouse tray and desk.
If you will be sharing your office space with children you may also want to choose a desk with locking drawers for sharp objects or important documents that may need protection from sticky fingers. Cable management in home offices where children will be playing is also important. Many of our desks include both locking drawers and cable management systems that can protect your equipment and your kids.
Right or Left? Don't take your handedness for granted when planning your office. Arranging your phone, printer, fax machine and file cabinets so they can be easily accessed by your dominant hand is an important step in creating an ergonomic home office environment. If you will be sharing your office with someone with an opposite hand orientation, you may need to compromise and position your office equipment for the person who will be using it most.
Once you've established a location for your home office and whose needs will need to be met in the office design, the next step is to decide which of the following layouts will be best at maximizing your office space.
U-Shaped Layout: This is a great layout for two people, but it does require a significant amount of space. It can be used in large or small rooms, though larger rooms work better if two people will be sharing the space. You can create a U-shaped layout with two desks and a joining table or credenza, or you can buy a U-shaped desk unit.
T-Shaped Layout: The T-shaped layout is ideal for shared office space where more than one computer will be in use. The T shape conserves space by providing individual desk areas for each person, plus shared workspace in the middle. The middle leg of the T is a great place for a printer, fax machine or other shared equipment.
L-Shaped Layout: The L-shaped layout optimizes floor space and workspace, by fitting conveniently into a corner of your room. L-shaped and corner desks are also ergonomically beneficial when the computer is place in the corner of the L. From this position supplies can easily be reached on either side of the computer without strain or need to move your chair. L shaped desks can be used for more than one person if need be.
Follow our tips for creating your ideal home office.
For Small Rooms and Nooks:
A standard desk may be the best choice if your space is limited. Hutches are available to maximize overhead storage space. In addition, if at some point you would like to add onto a standard desk, many are offered with matching return tables and credenzas to expand your workspace. These additional modular pieces are sold separately, and can be purchased in the future if you desire.
A small corner desk can be a great space-saver, nestling right into a corner that may otherwise be unusable space. Corner desks are also very effective ergonomically, since all of your office equipment can be stored easily within an arm's reach.
Other space-conserving options include mobile workstations, which can be moved out of the way when not in use. In a small room or apartment a mobile desk is very practical.
We also carry a selection of beautiful and sensible office armoires that can house a computer, printer, files, books, CDs and other resources, in addition to their retractable writing surfaces. The contents of office armoires can be conveniently concealed behind their attractive cabinet doors.
The Look: One of the benefits of working at home is that your office space is designed for you. You can add personality to your office space with your own artwork, colors, drapes, shades and carpets. Not only do drapes and carpets add color and style, they also help to absorb unwanted background noise.
Home Office/Guest Room: Even if you have an entire room that can be devoted to your office, you may still want to use the space for guests on occasion. If so, a futon or daybed may be a practical addition to your home office room. Browse our sister store, Bedroom-Furniture-Direct, for a great selection of daybeds and futons!