Space Planning for good Office Design

Why Have a Home Office in the first place?

In short the need for a Home Office has become greater and greater in recent years. Even if you dont work from home there is a good chance that you still access the internet from time to time. Children are starting to use computers younger, and most families will have  at least one home computer.

Will a Home Office add to the value of our home?

Yes, almost certainly. More and more people are now working full or part time from home. If you are selling your house you need to be aware that a place to house the home PC is now one of the criteria on most buyers minds. Having a dedicated space for a desk that doesn't encroach on the rest of the house functions will definitely add value.

Home Office Layout

Does a Home Office add more value than an extra bedroom?

Rarely. Additional bedrooms will normally be more valuable than a room used only as a home office. Estimates on how much value you will add, if you have a home office vary, but anywhere from 2-10% would seem logical. It will depend on the target market you are aiming to sell to and also how much space it takes up in proportion to the rest of the room. If your house is small then a dedicated home office is more likely to devalue the property. Make the home office and spare room fit well into one room and you have offered your potential buyers the best of both worlds.

What Size should your Home Office be?

First concideration is the size of the office.The no 1 mistake when building a home office is to assign the smallest room in the house or even a cubby hole area for the home office in the assumption that it is "only the office". As though it is not a real room at all. The reality is that we spend more and more time on our home PC and or working from home. The first thing to do is to figure out how many hours will be actually spent at the home office desk. This could be quite surprising as the trend of using computers at home whether for work or pleasure is on the up.

Testimonials:  

"its fab and it will be of enormous benefit to me in my work."

Gemma Bolger, Pink House Interiors, Limerick

More Testimonials

Home Office Bookshelves

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Home Office Desk


Decide if you plan to:

  • work full time from the Home Office
  • Work Part time from the Home Office
  • Only use the office for occasional recreational use
  • Want it for all the family to use the PC

Anyone who actually works from home part or full time needs to give serious thought to making the home office one of the most comfortable rooms in the house. If you are spending 20-30 hours in the home office then that is actually more many people spend in their kitchen! So if the home office is in use much more than the spare bedroom, then have a folding bed and a proper desk rather than proper bed and little space for the desk.

Put the appropriate effort and expense in to match the roooms useage.

Ergonomics (the functionality of your design):

A few key sizes when planning the Home Office:

Recommended desk heights range from 640mm to 800mm  with most standard furniture at 750mm. If one person is predominantely using the desk then adjust the height according to how tall or small they are if you are going for bespoke fit out.

Office chairs are designed to adjust up and down between 360mm and 470mm for a comfortable height for most people.

The clearance or comfortable distance needed between the seated side of the table and a wall or other obstruction is 700-750mm. This allows for the desk chair to be pulled out to sit in without feeling cramped. You will need more if the area needs to allow others to pass comfortably behind when someone in at the desk.

How many Sockets does a typical Home Office need?

If you are planning a new build or renovation which includes the home office then you have the luxury of getting the corrrect number of sockets for the space. Most non purpose built offices have too few and end up with extension leads and double adaptors aplenty!

List what will be in the office from the following possibilities and add any others before it is too late:

  • Computer hard drive
  • Computer Screen
  • Printer
  • Scanner
  • Laptop
  • Photocopier
  • Phone (s)
  • Fax
  • Mobile charger
  • Stereo
  • Lamp (s)
  • Broadband Router

While you may not want a socket for every one of these, it is worth covering at least the minimum required.

And Finally...

Bear in mind that if the room may be converted to a bedroom at a later stage (for resale for instance) you could try to put the sockets in less visible areas of the room.