As a digital or media freelancer you may think that working on the go, wherever and whenever, is standard. However, many people underestimate the increased efficiency and productivity a designated office space can bring. A worry can be that you will become shackled to your desk, but a good home office which is designed with your exact needs and wants in mind will only help you work more fruitfully. Here are some of our top recommendations and considerations for designing a home office that is ideal for a digital or media freelancer.
Home Office Layout
Starting with the basics, the layout of your home office will greatly influence how you can use the space. It is a good idea to separate your office space from the rest of your home as this will help designate it as a working zone and reduce external distractions. Being able to have an allocated home office room is ideal, but even just clever use of partitioning and placement can create a dedicated workspace. Large bookcases can work well for partitioning as they can both segment a space and provide useful storage.
Home Office Lighting
You will likely be spending a great deal of time in your home office, so you will want it to be as comfortable as possible. Having a good source of natural daylight closeby is desirable as it can help prevent eyestrain; not only will this be kinder on your eyes, exposure to daylight is associated with greater productivity and improving your mood. Position your screen to ensure there’s no glare and, preferably, at a 90 degree angle from the window for optimum conditions.
When choosing your workstation, you should carefully think about your space requirements before picking out or designing a desk. Too little room will leave your workspace cramped and inefficient, but too much is wasteful and you may find yourself just trying to fill the space unnecessarily. Many media freelancers like to have 2 monitors, room for a laptop, tablet, notebooks or other resources and equipment, and these preferences will have to be factored into your furniture choices.
Home Office Storage
Keeping your workspace tidy is important for everyone – including creative types – to help boost focus. Designing your home office so everything has a place to be stored can help this immensely. Desk organisers, wall-mounted shelving units and bookcases are simple but effective storage solutions which can be styled and personalised however you please.
For graphic designers, photographers or other such freelancers who find themselves surrounded by tech, going wireless whenever possible can be a great way to streamline your workplace. A wireless mouse, keyboard, work phone, printer and headphones are just some examples of tech you can get to help prevent the dreaded tangled mass of wires at the back of your desk. Alternatively, a good wire tidy improves aesthetics and reduces the likelihood of accidental snags.
How you like to organise your work is something that will differ between individuals. However, visual people or those that work in creative sectors such as media may find some commonality in their preferred methods. Your preferred methods should be facilitated by and incorporated into your office space as much as possible.
For example, whiteboards and corkboards are great features to help lay out a weekly or monthly work schedule, or to map out ideas for ongoing projects. Stringing up some washing line to create a memo line can also be a useful way to organise tasks and order your workload according to how pressing it is.
Creating your home office is a great opportunity to create a space that works specifically for you. When tailoring your workspace, make sure you consider ergonomics for optimum comfort and ease of work. A bespoke desk, or one with adjustable leg height, will ensure your work station is at the perfect height. Investing in a quality, adjustable office chair will also help allow you to work for extended periods of time uninterrupted and in comfort.