With remote work on the rise since the start of the global pandemic, homeowners are now faced with a new challenge: how to transform what used to be your living room (or guest room, or kitchen…you get the idea) into a focused, productive home office space? The good news is, this challenge is by no means insurmountable.
With a few clever tips and tricks and the addition of some new furniture, you will be able to tailor your home to meet your precise needs. And that is the case whether you need an entirely separate room that serves exclusively as your home office- or whether you want to transform the kids’ play area into a serious work zone during the day.
Whichever situation you find yourself in, let’s take a look at some great ways to transform your space into a productive work from home atmosphere.
- Choose the Right Furniture
Generally speaking, furniture is designed to be used for particular tasks. That comfy sofa that envelops you the moment you sit down? That one is designed for relaxation. Your bed? That one is, of course, designed for sleeping. So as you choose to where to work from home, you will want to resist the alluring temptation to settle into any of these cozy spots to do your work tasks. Keep your spaces as separate as possible by choosing new home office furniture.
Look for a swivel chair that provides ergonomic support, or try out a standup desk. A standup desk is a great option for a home office that needs to disappear in the evenings- most standup desks can fold down pretty thin, so you can quickly assemble and dismantle your office each day. That can be the new version of your “commute to the office”.
Your office desk is also hugely important. Search for a desk that is spacious enough to fit whichever tools you will use throughout your work day, including your laptop, keyboard, desktop screen, and a lamp. Try to keep clutter to a minimum; sitting down to a clear desk each day will help your mind focus instantaneously.
- Get Your Internet Up To Speed
If you are working from home, chances are that about 90% of your work tasks now take place online. So as you set up your home office space you will want to make sure that the internet is up to speed. After all, it is more than possible that you will be checking in on Slack, showing up to Zoom meetings, adjusting your Google Calendar events, editing social media posts, and more- and sometimes all of these at the same time (we see you, multitasker!).
So in order to avoid any glitchy videos you may want to consider upgrading to a new internet service provider. Or simply try moving your router close to where you will be working. If that doesn’t work, look for a wi-fi extender that can help push and boost your signal in the right direction.
- Give Yourself Some Walking Room
Studies have shown that access to natural light can make a huge difference in boosting your mood and productivity levels while working from home, or from the office. So give yourself some time in the great outdoors. One of the advantages of working from home is the flexibility it affords you; no one will be looking at you askance if you decide to take the office outside for a much needed power walk. And going for a walk outside is useful on a number of levels too.
Walking helps jog memories and promote the formulation of new ideas. Plus, it is an ideal way to conduct those long distance phone calls that have your body itching for movement. If you have a backyard, that’s even better. You can conduct sensitive phone calls related to your business dealings while you pace back and forth. That way, you will get exercise and some fresh air while you work. What could be better than that?
- Adjust Your Lighting
Setting up specific lighting options for your work day versus your down time at home is a great way to train your mind so that it knows when you are ready to focus and get down to business, and when it is time to relax and take it easy. Blue-tinted lightbulbs help keep your mind alert and buzzing; warmer-hued bulbs that emit an orange or yellow glow will help you slow down and relax. Make sure you also have a variety of lighting options in your workspace, from overall ambient lighting to a more concentrated lamp that can help specifically with close reading tasks.
- Divide and Conquer
The key to a strong multipurpose space arrangement is a good room divider. Physically separating your home office space is a great way to delineate where work begins and playtime ends. A room divider provides you with privacy and minimizes the often ample distractions that can plague us as we try to work from home, from barking dogs to singing toddlers and beyond. When the divider is up, that presents a clear sign that you are not available to play right now because you are in the office, hard at work.
A room divider may call to mind an ugly, somewhat sterile piece of office equipment, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are tons of great options to choose from, with clever additions. Whether you are looking for something fun, colorful, and decorative to add a splash of artistic flair to your living room, or you would prefer an elegant divider that provides you with cleverly hidden extra storage areas, there is an option to suit your preferences. Room dividers come in nearly every material you can think of as well, from natural materials like bamboo, wood, and rattan to synthetic options like plexiglass or mirrors.
- Create A Complete Atmosphere
Your home office is not just the desk you sit down at, however. Consider how you can create a complete atmosphere that will bring you a sense of calm, ease, focus, and productivity. If you like to listen to ambient music while you work, put a good speaker system in your workspace. Organize your charging cables and your file storage areas and try to keep the whole space as free of clutter as possible. Shore up your internet connection, give yourself plenty of lighting options, and choose furniture that will make you feel comfortable and ready to work.
Then take advantage of the benefits that come with working from home. Take lots of breaks throughout the day. Soak in the natural benefits that come from the gorgeous Southern California sunlight. Take your office for a walk, then come back home to double down and focus hard. At the end of the day, you’ll be glad you did.
Once the work day is over and done with, close up shop for the night- whether that means folding up your standup desk and taking it off the coffee table, putting away the room divider that separates your office space, or simply closing your home office door and turning out the lights. Now you are ready for relaxation and family fun, with no commute in between.
And for more ideas on how to set up your office space for success, check out the resource at Infinity Dish, and get the scoop on the components that make up a good home office.
This article was kindly contributed by Anthony Moretti, a guest author who focuses on custom articles and making real estate agents, like me, very happy with the guides, tips, and suggestions.