Now that you know where your home office will be located and what you’ll need (Part 1) you can get to the fun stuff.
Select your style
Which type of home-office influences the furniture style – is it furniture with multi-purposes (office and entertaining), or distinct home-office furniture with a different feel to the rest of the home? This depends on the person and how far there is a desire to separate living and work space, or whether the aim is for the two spaces to be ‘seamless’. This may also depend on how often the space is used. Successful designs have a solid sense of the style they are aiming for. Home offices can be very diverse in style and you certainly don’t need to replicate a modern corporate office style. We’ve seen offices in all styles – seaside rustic, ultra modern minimalism, Victoriana …. Whatever you choose remember practicality and comfort is key so a period style may be possible but it will take a considerable amount more planning. Specialist furniture suppliers like Brights of Nettlebed in Henley-on-Thames supply classic office furniture if you’re trying to decide which wing to build your home office in.
Choosing furniture and equipment
A wise man, or indeed woman, once suggested one should “Invest in your shoes and your sheets because if you’re not in one, you’re in the other.” I would extend that to office chair. If you’re going to blow your home office budget this should be where you do it. Check out our tips on creating an office with health in mind for more detail. Don’t compromise on comfort, even if you are occupying a corner of the living room.
Be wary of size of furniture. Office furniture is often quite misleading when you view it in a showroom and what may seem a modest desk may appear gargantuan in your study. Good ergonomic chairs tend to take up a lot of room too. Always measure your space carefully and err on the side of caution. Whilst desks and chairs need to be designed for working, storage and other furniture sometimes holds a premium when it’s listed as ‘office’. Think outside the box to get some bargains that suit your needs just as well.
Security considerations for your home office
We would always recommend having some secure storage in your home office. Legislation surrounding home working is not very well-defined but you don’t want your office to be responsible for a security breach for your employer or your clients. Demonstrating that you have taken precautions may be useful if, heavens forbid, you have a break in or a data security enquiry is instigated. Depending on the work that you do, you may require a lockable cupboard or a state-of-the-art safe. You may want to upgrade your home security and try to avoid your home office being an easy target – outbuildings for example tend to be very easy to break into. Unfortunately criminals are always on the look out for recent occupation, knowing that you may well not have fitted an alarm yet. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.