Home offices are fast becoming a “must-have” for house hunters and those building from the ground up. As more and more of us work remotely, having a dedicated space in which we can be our most productive selves is essential.

Whether you are designing a home office for your custom build or revamping an existing room, here are five features that combine form and function for maximum results:

1. Picture Windows

The beauty of quality windows is undeniable, but they are much more than an aesthetic feature. A study by Cornell professor Alan Hedge found that workers in daylit environments saw an 84 percent decrease in symptoms of eyestrain, headaches, and blurred vision. And, Hedge says, “optimizing the amount of natural light in an office significantly improves health and wellness… leading to gains in productivity.”

Let the sunshine in with beautiful picture windows. And be sure to take a break now and again to enjoy the view!

2. Built-Ins

Built-in shelves and desks not only help you maximize your home office space, they allow you to get – and stay – organized. Use the shelves to keep important books, files, supplies, and, if you like a few mementos that are important to you (e.g. photos of your family, a favorite figurine).

These built-in shelves are primarily for display, but you can easily use them to organize your home office and work essentials. Note the cabinets below, which are perfect for files.

Organization saves you time, keeps you on task, reduces stress (No more panicked, “Where did that file go?! moments), and increases creativity. Built-ins are one handy tool for fighting the war against clutter, lost items, and general chaos!

"Your home should be a reflection of you; don’t leave your home office out when thinking about important functions and features."

3. Sound Proofing

Working from home offers myriad benefits, but there are also many distractions with which to contend. Whether it is the road construction crew outside, the neighbor’s very vocal dog, or your children and partner playing in the next room, noise can make it difficult to concentrate. Soundproofing is an excellent investment for your home office, and one that will yield a great ROI.

There are some easy ways to dampen noise, such as installing a rug or carpet, using plush furniture to reduce reverberations, using soundproof curtains, and installing a solid core door. You can also opt for acoustical tiles for the ceiling and walls, if you are particularly sensitive to noise.

4. General and Task Lighting

Proper lighting is critical for productivity. Task lighting is designed to make it easier to achieve a specific task; it doesn’t necessarily increase brightness but instead increases contrast. This way, you’re better able to see the job at hand. We recommend adjustable ambient lights that you can brighten or dim based on the time of day as well as a task lamp or desk lamp. These lamps deliver focused light at your workstation. You can then dim or turn off the other lights, depending on your preferences.

You can also use interior lighting to emulate the benefits of natural sunlight – a major benefit during the long winter months! Blue-enriched light bulbs increase productivity while decreasing daytime fatigue and sleepiness. A University of Greenwich study also found that workers who were exposed to blue-enriched light bulbs were “happier, more alert and had less eye strain.”

5. A Bit of You

An intriguing study from the University of Exeter found that when employees were allowed to decorate (or even just rearrange) their space, they were up to 30% more productive. You’re in luck here as you are certainly allowed to decorate your home office! So, infuse a little you. Some ideas:

  • An accent wall. For example, if your office is done in neutrals, try a bold shade or unique material on the accent wall.
  • A gallery wall. Use one wall to hang artwork (professional or framed masterpieces by your children) or photographs. This will become a soothing focal point.
  • A modern gas fireplace for visual interest – and comfort.
  • A large print from a local artist.
  • Plants. Indoor plants have been shown to reduce stress. Whenever you’re feeling the pressure, you can engage in some green therapy.
  • Area and accent rugs. These infuse color and style into your office, particularly if you find neutral walls most conducive to work.

Your home should be a reflection of you; don’t leave your home office out when thinking about important functions and features.

When designing your dream home, you want a builder who helps you consider the important details of every room. Contact G&G Custom Homes, we’re ready to help you get to work.

Are you looking for the right custom home builder to help you bring your unique vision to life in a house that is built for living?

At G&G Custom Homes, our team is committed to helping you customize your home, contact us for a free consultation to get started.