7 ways to balance the family home with a home office

7 ways to balance the family home with a home office

Design and lifestyle blogger, and star of The Block, Katrina Chambers, gives us her tips on how to create a home office the whole family can use.

A multi-tasking home office needs to be a neat, highly functional office, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be inspiring for the whole family.

1. Turn down the distractions

. We carry our laptops, phones and other devices wherever we go, and with all those devices there are already more than enough distractions to potentially lower our productivity or stifle our creativity. Keep things simple with minimal clutter. Have a place for each device or put it away in a cupboard if it’s not needed daily. If you’re encouraging the kids to do their homework, make sure only the device they need is in front of them.

2. Hide the cords.

If possible, put unsightly cords in their place. Tuck them into a drawer, behind a wall or in a box – just keep them neat. There’s no need to overwhelm your workspace with them and you don’t need the kids tripping over them. WI-FI is such a wonderful invention, allowing your laptops and printers to be tucked away in a drawer when not in use.

3. Account for noise.

Is the TV on in the background? If the position of your home office is in the middle of the home, like mine, the noise factor can be disruptive. If you can close the room off when needed, that will help. If you must have background noise, what about putting some less-distracting music on instead?

4. Communal desk space.

How many people in your family might be using this space? Do you work from home? Do the kids use it? If you’re planning out a home office then it’s a great idea to make sure there’s a long desk space for multiple people to work at – along with lots of chairs so that you can sit with the kids if they need help with their homework.

5. Look for light.

Is there a window, or sufficient lighting, both of the overhead kind and task lighting? Keeping the space bright will encourage productivity.

6. Wall art.

Create a family gallery wall with Polaroid images and inspiring quotes. You can find large amounts of free motivational quotes online, which you can print out and stick to the walls. This will create a happy and positive energy in your office.

7. Make storage accessible.

Do you have drawers and cupboards where you can stash unused books, pens and bills? Use storage as much as you can, so that you can keep your desk space tidy and welcoming. This will encourage everyone to use the desk, rather than a few trying to fight for a bit of empty space, only to end up using the kitchen bench. Shelves are another great storage option. You can display fun homewares or kids’ artwork and file documents in binders.