Build a Functional Home Office by Avoiding These Mistakes

A home office is a great asset, especially in the digital, post COVID-19 world we live in. Even if you’re only working from home a day or two a week, having a dedicated space can take you from a mediocre, distracted day, to a fully focused, productive day. 

Are you ready to minimize distractions and get back to business? We’ve been helping customers across the country set up their new home office or even their new business venture. 

But, in setting up your space, we know you want to save money but don’t cut corners on what’s really important. Here are a few mistakes to avoid so you can have the home office you want: 



  • Mistake 1: Choosing the wrong location for your home office. Think about what distracts you most. Are you setting up your office near those things or those people? It’s hard to stay focused if your office is set up right next to the fridge. It can be difficult to have a business call if your office is right next to your kids’ noisy playroom. That’s why we recommend taking your home office outside your home. You can be close, just not too close, with a portable building. You’ll be steps away from the office AND steps away from dinner with the family. You can stay focused and still be home when you need to be. If you’re just starting your search, we recommend looking at the Cook Utility Shed or Cook Lofted Cabin. 


  • Mistake 2: Choosing a portable building that’s not going to last. If you’ve decided a shed is the right place to put your home office, then you need to ensure you’re purchasing a long lasting building. You want this building to act as your office’s blank canvas that will last for years to come. There’s a reason we offer a Lifetime Warranty on all treated components. We stand behind the blank canvas we deliver to our customers.

premium-lofted-cabinAbove is the Cook Premium Lofted Cabin which makes a great home office location. 

  • Mistake 3: Adding electricity and lighting without first mapping out how you want your office to function. You want to make sure you have the appropriate number of outlets, plus, you want them to be in the proper location. You may not need an outlet right next to the office door, but you’ll probably need a few near your desk space. Or, do you plan to have a tv hung? Have an outlet installed high on the wall so you can easily hide the wires. Now, do you want canned lights? Lamps? A ceiling fan? All of these things need to be considered before you ask the electrician to start working on outfitting your portable building. Read more about what to consider before adding electricity to your shed. 

Lighting Inside the Shed

  • Mistake 4: Not basing your design on how you work best. You don’t have to recreate your old office. This is YOUR space. What motivates you? What inspires you? Create a space to help you be your most productive self. Maybe this means you’re adding a comfy chair and side table. Or, maybe this means you’re adding a work table as well as your computer desk. Think about what motivates you to stay productive and design the room based on those facts. 


  • Mistake 5: Not thinking about your office storage needs. Whether you plan to have clients stop by or not, you want to ensure you stay organized and uncluttered. Add storage solutions that fit the way you do business. This will help you stay focused and keep everything easily within reach. 



  • Mistake 6: Not considering how your background will look on video calls. You may not think you need any artwork or much lighting, but if you’re doing any video calls with clients or customers, you want to consider this. Do you have a spot in your office where your face is well lit? Can you add some texture and depth behind you by adding plants or artwork or even just a bookcase? You’d be surprised how much more professional you will look by adding a few simple touches to your background. 


  • Mistake 7: Creating a giant space for a desk and nothing else. Create a second space, even if it’s just a comfortable chair and a lamp. You’ll want to get up from your desk occasionally. You may want to take a call or just sit and brainstorm for a few minutes. You may want to have a spot for your kids to visit occasionally while you’re still working. Your desk may be a productive space for you, but there will come a time when you need just a little different scenery.  


  • Mistake 8: Not setting up boundaries for your office. Even if you decide your portable building will be used for storage and your office, clearly define the boundaries to each. Are you setting up this space so you can get out of the house? Then don’t allow everyone to follow. 


Want more tips on setting up your office in a storage shed? Check out this article! Cook builds a great blank canvas for whatever home office or storage solution you need. 

Let’s get started building your backyard home office!