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5 Home Office Ideas You'll Love

Try these five simple ideas in your home office to maximize productivity and enjoyment when working from home.

5 ways to design a home office

It's tax time! Pouring over old receipts and tax forms may seem dull at first. However, the experience can be made much more enjoyable by a bright and cheerful workspace with a well-designed home office system.

Whether you work from home professionally, or just need a place to pay bills, some sort of desk with dedicated storage for papers, printers, ink, etc., could benefit the majority of homeowners. Especially during these next few months, with tax season upon us, many will find themselves spending additional time in front of our computers and sorting through old receipts and documents.

    Ideas for Designing a Home Office

  1. Put Your Desk Next to a Window

    Custom home office desk near window
    Custom home office desk near window.

    Position your desk so that you have a good view out of the window. Ideally, you should try and have your desk face a window so that you can look up from your work every so often and rest your eyes on something else. Ideally, you will also have a nice view, but that is not essential. The import part is to be able to periodically rest your eyes on something far away when concentrating on close work on a computer screen. You will have less computer eye strain. This in turn, leads to fewer headaches, blurred vision, dry eye, neck and shoulder pain according to the American Optometric Association. If you can choose a window with a nice view of nature and trees, even better. Nature exposure seems to help decrease our stress, rumination, and anxiety. according to recent studies from Berkeley University. Who couldn't use some of that — especially when it comes to taxes?

    If you can't find any trees, the next best thing is a view of water. Studies show that being around water makes us calmer and more creative. Even a short break to rest your eyes can have benefits.

    Custom home office desk near window with view of Lake Michigan
    Custom home office desk near window with view of Lake Michigan.

  2. Make Sure You have Enough Lighting

    Custom built-in desk with LED task lighting and upper cabinets
    Custom built-in desk with LED task lighting and upper cabinets.

    Eye strain causes headaches. Make sure you have enough lighting at your desk to avoid eye strain from inadequate light. This means good artificial light in addition to positioning your desk by a window. Windows are wonderful for many reasons stated above. However, there are bound to be times when you won't have enough natural light. If you want to be able to use your desk in the evening or on overcast days, include good task lighting. This can be as simple as a desk lamp, but our favorite solution is to build some sort of overhead cabinets or shelves with LED puck lights that shine down on your desktop. Good light at your desk will keep your eyes from tiring prematurely and simply make things more pleasant while you are working.

  3. Get Rid of the Wires and the Mess

    Good home office ideas include eliminating the wires under your desk
    Custom home office desk with special compartment to hide the wires.

    Wire management is important. A clean and tidy desk with minimal clutter will also minimize stress. A desk with a messy pile of wires and cords running every which way is both unsightly and guaranteed source of stress. Although wires are par for the course when it comes to computers and office equipment, why not tidy up your workspace by hiding all the wires? There are numerous wire management solutions on the market, but one of the best is to build a custom shallow cabinet user the desk to conceal the wires and electrical connections. It keeps the wires out-of-sight and easy-to-access at the same time.

  4. Dedicate your Desk to Work and Work Only

    Fold away desk into cabinet
    This fold away desk hides inside a cabinet when not in use. It's also right in front of a big window.

    Many of us live in tight quarters and don't have space for a separate home office. Even though it may seem more convenient to work at the kitchen or dining room table, don't do it. Reserve your table for meals only. Keeping your work off the dining table will help you enjoy a better relationship with food leading to a healthier weight, and a stronger family life.

    There are several ways you can hide a dedicated work desk in another piece of furniture so that it only takes up space while you are actually on-the-job. Our favorite is to hide your pull-out desk in a cabinet or wall unit so that it's only out when you're working. To accomplish this, put your desk on hinges so that it can completely disappear when you are off duty. Alternately, attach your desktop to a wall unit using drawer slides so that it can be closed up like a drawer when you don't need it'.

    Slide away desk into entertainment unit like a drawer
    Two slide-away desks hide inside this entertainment center when they are not in use. These hidden desks provide dedicated desk space for two people to work independently in a small apartment. The cabinet above the desk and the drawers below provide storage for files, office equipment, and other supplies.

  5. Use Bookcases

    Home office idea with desk and bookshelves
    This desk has plenty of shelves. There are enough bookshelves for all the owner's books and folders on the right. The extra set of bookshelves on the left are used to organize the owners bobble head collection.

    Make sure you have a place to store all the papers, folders and books that inevitably accumulate in every home office. Shelves are an inexpensive organization solution. You can never have too many. If you happen to build more shelves than you need for office storage, you can always use them for something else.

Whether you use your desk every day or just on certain weekends, you will be rewarded by implementing some of these home office ideas. Putting your desk by a window, getting rid of the wires and mess, and making sure there is adequate light for both day and evening use is important to stress reduction and overall health and happiness. Dedicate your desk to work only. Don't mix it's use with eating, crafts, or pleasure. This will help you be more productive when working and keep your personal life separate from the work. Lastly, stay organized at your desk. No one can be happy working in a state of chaos. Take advantage of the storage potential and organization possibilities offered by shelves. Every part of life, especially the home office, is easier when you're organized.