Working from home is not the walk in the park that some people make it out to be. If anything, there are more distractions and less structure to help you focus on the task at hand. A lot of people are procrastinating as it is, but once they start working from home, chances are that this problem will be elevated to a whole new level. One way of reducing the impact is to make a home office.
One of the best areas to turn into a home office is a loft. Usually, it’s unoccupied space and, since a modern office doesn’t take up that much space, it may provide you with all you need. Most importantly, it’s out of the way and at the very top of the home (which means that there’s no foot traffic noise from above to distract you). Here are a couple of tips on how you can do this.
It Needs to Be a Single-Purpose Room
If you’re having a home office and plan to get some deductions based on this, this must be the only function of the room. What do we mean by that? Well, there are a lot of those who prefer to make a closet office or a bedroom office, and this is bad for several reasons. First of all, you won’t be able to get deductions this way. For deductions, you need to have a single-purpose room, calculate how big of a space (in percentage) of your home it takes and claim this deduction.
Second, it’s a bad idea for the reasons of productivity. A bedroom is a place of rest. A closet is a place of leisure and self-care. An office is a place of work. While this may seem as trivial, the truth is that your subconsciousness may work against you if you try to ignore assigning each room a theme.
Now, the biggest problem with this idea comes from the fact that you may not need an entire room for a home office. If that’s the case, it’s far better to split the room into halves with architectural walls. Remember, this is there only to act as a physical barrier, not support any weight.
Ensure You Have Enough Light
The next question is the matter of light. First of all, natural light is important for both your productivity and motivation. However, you need to have the option to dim it at your behest. So, start with some heavy curtains and blinders. The best thing about these is that they’ll also help with the acoustics of the room if you’re doing podcasts, recording, or having regular meetings.
Keep in mind that the glare of the screen may also be a bit problematic, especially if you work late in the evening or prefer to work in complete darkness. Fortunately, some apps can adjust the brightness of the screen to the time of the day, which should provide you with a safer working environment.
As far as the artificial lighting of the area goes, while it’s generally a good idea to focus more heavily on this, you might not want to overinvest. Ideally (in a world where budget is not an issue), you would do an accent or layered lighting. More realistically, you might want to go with a decent task light.
Colors and the Layout
Picking the color that encourages productivity is incredibly important when it comes to turning your loft into an office. The best color depends on your primary task. A creative may benefit from colors such as yellow or blue, while a fierce negotiator (a salesperson or an executive) can find red to be more to their liking. It’s all situational, and it might be for the best that you study the psychology of colors in advance.
Painting an accent wall behind a focal point (which is, in this particular scenario, behind your desk, facing your chair) is probably the most effective way to approach this issue. This is what being economic is all about, seeing as how it focuses on your field of vision, rather than the absolute color scheme of the room.
As far as the layout is concerned, you don’t have too much to go on about. After all, the majority of home offices are based around a workstation and a couple of motivational posters. So, the main concern is where the desk is positioned and which way your chair is facing. Ideally, you want to be facing the window to benefit from the natural light (that we’ve mentioned earlier).
Careful Furniture Choice
Ergonomics is the name of the game when it comes to turning your loft into an office. The key thing you need to understand is that you’re spending hours upon hours in that chair, which means that the impact on your posture is going to be quite serious. In other words, this is a one-time investment that will make a serious impact on your health and quality of life in general.
Another thing you need to consider is the importance of the right desk. With the majority of work taking place in the digital environment, you don’t need that much desk space. Instead, you can pick something more compact. If you want to maximize productivity, you should get a desk with adjustable height. That way, you can explore the concept of working behind a standing desk, even without having to fully commit to it. If you don’t find it to be to your liking, you just set it back and return it to the regular sitting desk form.
Lastly, furnishing the place is about more than just functionality. You want some artwork, a couple of personal mementos (to put your stamp on the area), and more.
In the end, if you have a loft and lack a proper home office, this is something worth taking into consideration. Even if you are working in an office, chances are that your work doesn’t end when you get home (at least this is a common practice in 2022). Therefore, you’ll more than benefit from making a real home office.