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Design Tips for a Home Office

Over the course of the last year, many in the Ottawa/Kanata region began working from home. Organizations big and small saw the perks and have started making a permanent switch to remote employees. At the Livery, we take pride in making our residents feel at home, but this article is focused on making you feel as productive as you are at the office.


Before you begin thinking about design or planning your home office, you’ll want to organize a budget. Check with your employer to see if they offer you any additional compensation or allowance for your new workspace. It’s a benefit many companies are starting to offer, since they recognize how much money they’re saving on rent, utilities, and property insurance.

One of the best pieces of advice for creating a budget is to pad your numbers for flexibility and unexpected issues. Some people do this by rounding up, ie: if you’re quoted $1,845 for furniture, round up to $2,000. Others simply like to add 10% on top of each quote for service, furniture, or technology.


While colour and decor are fun to daydream about, function and workflow should be your priority. Think about your current workspace and how it benefits you. Are there any bottlenecks in your routine? Is it a flawless system you want to replicate? Examining what currently works and doesn’t work for you is often the best place to start.


Reusing as much as possible is not only cost-effective, it’s a part of many organizations' corporate responsibility. There are many ways you can ensure your home office is operating with a reduced carbon footprint. Some of the easiest include:

  • Using recycled materials.
  • LED light fixtures.
  • Smart technology to save energy.


Your desk is the heart of your home office. Anything on or inside should be deserving of the space.

Raising your computer monitor not only feels better for your neck, because the screen is at eye level, but it also gives you extra surface space on your desk. The space under your desk is valuable too. If you don’t have much room for storage, filing systems, or office supplies, store them underneath.

You’ll be able to save yourself plenty of frustration if you take the time at the beginning to control your cables. There are a variety of cable trays and holders that make it easy to find something to match your set up.


Researchers have proven that a messy office (especially your desk) leads to a messy mind. Our ability to focus and process information decreases as the clutter around us increases. A chaotic desk also causes anxiety, guilt and raises cortisol levels.

You may find it easier to control clutter if you maintain designated stations. A mail station, for example, can assist in managing incoming and outgoing mail. A printing station can house ink, paper, staplers and more, not only eliminating clutter but making your process more efficient.


Digitizing your files is usually a big project but it helps with two of your goals: reducing your carbon footprint, and reducing clutter. Additionally, when the project is done you’ve created a system to continue digitizing, preventing clutter and old files from piling up again.


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