Working from home has become a very common aspect of daily life. Many people work from home full time while some others work between home and the office. One common problem with working from home is the constant distraction coming from the home infiltrating into the workspace. Separating the home office from the rest of the home is a great way to achieve a more balanced work and home life while working from home.
Having a home office set up as a separate workspace (isolated from the home) provides the advantage of privacy, quiet, and draws a clear line between work life and home life. This helps the individual working from home to focus on work with fewer distractions and personal concerns getting in the way.
I am Jorge Fontan an architect and owner of New York based architecture firm Fontan Architecture. In this post we will be discussing some ideas for home office design focused on productivity and maintaining a proper balance for those struggling with the many challenges of working from home. The ideas discussed here stem from concerns I have had from my clients when integrating work spaces into their homes.
Have a Designated Home Office Space
There are a few very common concerns I have heard from my clients with regards to building a home office. The first and probably most critical concern is designating a specific space for working.
Taking your laptop and plopping it down on the kitchen table is not an ideal way to work from home. Having a designated space allows you to mentally enter a work zone and mentally leave the work zone when you are done for the day. Gearing up for work mode can be easier when you have a specific space that is meant only for work. This creates less blurring between the lines of home and work.
Make a Separate Room for Your Home Office
I personally think the best way to separate your work space from your residential space is to have a separate room for your home office.
As an architect working on many home renovations over the years, I find that people really like having a home office, this adds benefits to their ability to work and improves the home and work balance overall. Separating the office from the home reduces distractions, noise, and provides a clear demarcation between work and home.
If you have children you can make a rule that they are not allowed into your home office or make sure they understand your work hours. A home office is a great addition for anyone who works at home either full time or part time.
Soundproofing Your Home Office
Having a home office that is exposed to the commotion and various noises of home life is not beneficial. Soundproofing your home office will increase your productivity by decreasing distractions.
One of my clients, an attorney who occasionally works from home with three children, has many confidential work calls with clients. Having noisy, and sometimes screaming, children in the background of these important meetings is impractical. Therefore, soundproofing the home office was an essential choice due to the nature of HIS work. Soundproofing his home office was very important to him and a critical choice considering the nature of his work.
If you really want privacy, I recommend making the home office the most remote room in the home. This will make it easier to keep the noise of children away, creating the ever so important mental barrier between home and work space.
Planning a Home Office
When planning how you are going to manage working from home, I would suggest prioritizing a strong delineation between these two aspects of your life. Make sure you focus on setting physical boundaries with both your family and physical boundaries with your layout.
Thank You for Reading Our Blog Post on Having a Separate Home Office.
I hope this was helpful. If you would like to speak with an architect about a potential project you can contact us at Fontan Architecture directly.
This post was written by Jorge Fontan AIA a Registered Architect and owner of New York City architecture firm Fontan Architecture. Jorge Fontan has earned 3 degrees in the study of architecture including two degrees from the City University of New York and a Masters Degree in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University. Jorge has a background in construction and has been practicing architecture for 15 years where he has designed renovations and new developments of various building types.