With the increasing frequency of internet businesses and rising rental costs, home offices have been gaining popularity over the years.
If you have a job that requires or allows you to work from home, you will need to have a space that will enable you to work productively no matter the amount of space you occupy. This is especially so in light of the Covid-19 situation, where working from home has become the norm for many.
Working from home can be challenging without a proper home office. The environment may not be conducive because of many distractions lying around, or it may be difficult to draw a line between your personal space and workspace.
Hence, you could choose to renovate a designated room to give yourself some privacy during working hours. Alternatively, you can always set up a home office within your kitchen, living room or bedroom with some simple furniture, like a desk and a comfortable chair.
Helpful read: Top Interior Design Trends In Singapore
What Should a Home Office include?
When it comes to working from home, oftentimes, you will need to be seated at your desk, typing away at your computer for long periods of time.
Sitting for too long can lead to several health problems. If your chair is uncomfortable, it may lead to aches and pains that can affect your work efficiency. In addition, if your desk is too short for you, it may cause some strain to your neck and back if you have to hunch over constantly.
Hence, given the amount of time you spend in your home office, it is important to invest in comfortable furniture. This includes things like a padded chair that can support your weight, or a height-adjustable standing desk to ensure that the desk if just the right height for you.
Your home office should be well-lit to ensure that your eyes do not have to face additional strain when working in a dark home office. Due to our excessive screentime when working, it is recommended that one invest in good lighting to reduce the strain of the eyes.
Besides having a home office that is bright, the temperature and colour of the home office lighting matter as well. In general, warm yellow lights are better for relaxing environments, like your bedroom or living room. On the other hand, cool white or blue lights can help one concentrate and focus better.
While the divider in question does not necessarily constitute a physical one, when working in a home office, it is vital that you draw boundaries between your personal space and your work space. Oftentimes, some people will work from home in their bedroom, only to end up procrastinating.
Without a clear divide, many people may struggle to concentrate on work in their home office when there are many distractions lying about. Otherwise, as many of us are used to relaxing at home, it may be hard to concentrate when working from home.
Hence, to increase our efficiency and productivity, it is important to create a separate space for our home office versus the rest of our home. This can be as simple as switching rooms and going to another part of your home to work. If you have limited space, having something like a curtain to mark a divide between your home office and your bedroom can help.
Points to Consider When Adding a Home Office
A home office has to be connected to the internet, electricity and other wireless devices. When planning your project, you should consider these few essential variables.
Connecting your devices – in the modern-day setting, the success of a home office depends on your electronic devices. Having connectivity to the internet and other communication is everything.
It is important to have a network that connects your computer with a scanner, printer, TV for easier teleconferencing, or perhaps your phone for VoIP calls.
The more direct your devices connect to a common network, the more you can concentrate on your work. Be it a smart home system, security or computer network system, you need it to be integrated to be effective.
Convenient Wall Outlets – Your electronics require constant connections to the wall outlets that are convenient to reach out to your printer and computer alike. Installing wall outlets can be simple. However, some additional work will require an electrician to help.
Internet/Phone Jacks – Wireless internet is replacing most communication channels, and smartphones are replacing landlines. However, you may want to go for their wired counterparts in a home office setting especially if your work requires a reliable, stable connection. Talk to a telephone jack and wiring pros in Singapore today to ask for advice on how this can be done.
Extra Electricity – Depending on how much you consume power at your home, you may require an additional electrical power source for your home. This is especially true when you need to support a computer, printer, scanner, TV and/or monitor and all your other electronics. Do consult with an electrician who may recommend you upgrade your current electrical panel.
The furnishing that you choose will depend mostly on these four variables: Available space, preferred style, budget and the intended function of your home office.
Available space – A dedicated room for your home office will allow you to have more furnishing possibilities than a simple desk in your living room. You should prioritise which furniture you need most, followed by seeing how you can fit them in. You can talk to interior designers for more ideas.
Preferred Style – Your home office should have an interior design that you are comfortable with, and one that reflects your character (or suit your style) the most. You have a wide range of furniture choices from classic to modern to Scandinavian. There are many internet furniture companies available you can shop in for your furniture choices.
Budget – This variable will typically play the most significant role in determining your furniture. For example, a desk could cost anywhere between 100 SGD and 5000 SGD. Ideally, you should choose furniture that both suits your budget and have the necessary quality to withstand long hours.
Your office function – Do not overlook the importance of function when choosing your furniture. If you do plan to invite clients over, you will require an area for them to sit, perhaps a couch or a small table. If you foresee storing physical files, you will need the cabinet space. Finally, bookshelves can hold document binders, and publications while at the same time giving your home office a sophisticated look.
There are a few pieces of furniture that are a must for a successful home office, however. An example would be a desk area that is large enough to accommodate both your computer and additional space for you to complete your work.
When working from home, just like in a regular office, you have to make sure that your home hardware is up to date. Plan regular updates in your budget to ensure your technology’s reliability and optimise your functionality.
If you are just moving into your home office, your existing hardware may not be enough to support your work. Network upgrades to your smartphone, computer, printer and scanner may be necessary.
Having additional monitors will allow to you work on large spreadsheets while having something else open for reference. You may even require a TV for video teleconferences and presentations.
The cost of these upgrades depends largely on your needs. A new desktop or laptop can cost anywhere between 650 SGD to 5500 SGD. A printer/ scanner, especially if you need to scan/ printer in high volume can cost more than 8000 SGD.
You may need to engage a handyman for additional help with additional electrical points or hardware installation.
Ideas and Inspiration for your Home Office
Home offices come in different shapes and sizes. A corner in your bedroom could be all you need and small houses especially usually need to have a creative solution for their work area.
If you are working primarily from home, you may require a permanent solution. Talking to professionals like interior designers and renovation contractors will be very crucial if you fall under that category.
Do your research on furniture, options and costs available for you. And make the decisions based on your budget, available space, preferred style and professional needs.
An example will be if you need your home office to become a showcase for your clients, consider going with classic, dark wood furniture.
On the other hand, the modern look with clean lines and bright looks can benefit the technically inclined and creative professions.
Make sure that plenty of natural light can enter your home office regardless of your home office look. Do sufficient research and avoid spending over your budget.
If you currently do not have the budget to renovate the entire room, consider starting with a quiet corner of your bedroom/living room.
Maintenance of Your Home Office
Running a business at home is time-consuming and stressful enough. You may want to consider hiring a part-time maid or get niche cleaning services for different parts of your home.
Over time, you may require more specialised cleaning, sometimes even disinfection of your home. If you have a significant area of our home office covered with carpeted floors, you may consider getting carpeted floor cleaning or carpet cleaning. You can find out more about how to DIY clean your own carpet, as well as the cost of hiring a cleaning service in Singapore.
Cost of Other Areas of Your Home Office
You can check out the cost of hiring professionals when building your home office. Some of the general cost guides can be found below:
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