Your home office isn’t just a place for you to chill out and expect to work. It has to be functional and efficient in very way and leave no room for error.
Remember, this is where you’ll be working, not playing but it doesn’t have to be some Doric setting that is so boring that working becomes a tedious endeavor. You have to make a balance of professionalism and aesthetics so that you can have the best of both worlds and get the job done and appreciate the lifestyle.
This can be done by assessing the room where your home office is and thinking logically. You need the right position and placement of your desk, cabinets, files, equipment. If you entertain clients there you’ll need a comfy set of chairs, coffee table, maybe a sofa. A television or flat screen that you can show computer displays on. Perhaps even a counter for coffee and a microwave for quick snacks. If you’re lucky to have a sink that’s extra good. If not, see if you can get one installed. This will allow you to clean things on the spot instead of having to go to another part of the house and waste time or get distracted by house problems.
As for the materials of your office furniture, get the things that are easy to clean and maintain. A rug that is easy to clean as well. You don’t want a home office that looks unkempt as it would reflect on you.
Adding plants is a great idea. Don’t go overboard though. You don’t want your home office to look like a jungle and you don’t want to have to spend an unnecessary amount of time watering and caring for them. Get plants that smell nice and look nice but are easy to care for. Make sure there’s enough light in the room and good ventilation so things don’t smell moldy. Occasionally, a bouquet of flowers should be had as they brighten things up and makes it look like someone cares and that you’re not such a hardball to deal with.
Paintings are another option but don’t get absurd. No paintings of barbarian warriors slaying hordes of zombies or cute puppies eating ice cream. Something that is professional like a litho of a famous work from one of the masters will do just fine. Don’t get too personal though with paintings and posters with your favorite actors, sports teams, or historical figures because a client might not agree and prejudge you. You don’t want a client who is a die hard Jets fan trying to work out a deal with you and you have pictures and memorabilia of the one football team they hate.
Overall, the best strategy for decorating your home office is to be professional minded across the board. If your office is too comfortable, you’ll not get work done as efficiently. If it’s too stark you’ll get bored and not want to work. You need to make a marriage between the two and make it work. In the long and short term you’ll be able to see what is effective and not. You may need to add a throw rug here, a new lamp there, maybe even an aquarium or terrarium. Your home office will be a work in progress, no pun intended.
Image credit: Kasia Bialasiewicz