More people than ever are working from home offices. While the trend began during the first wave of Covid lockdowns, many professionals, particularly parents, have opted to continue working from home because it’s flexible, comfortable, and less expensive. The downside is that it’s easy to get distracted, and it can be challenging to carve out an area for your home office that’s practical, efficient, and fits into your home space.
What are the Essentials?
To create a workable home office, make up a list of what you absolutely need and start there. It could be as simple as a place to put your laptop and a comfortable chair. Or you may need a desk where you can spread out, a file cabinet, and some storage. Ask yourself relevant questions. Will you need privacy for phone calls? What about teleconferencing? Once you have a handle on what you need, look at your space and think creatively. A few spots to consider might be:
- A corner of your bedroom. Invest in a small desk, task chair, and extra lighting to create a quiet corner. As a bonus, you’ll be able to close the door when you need to make phone calls or concentrate.
- Your kitchen can work if it’s spacious and you can work at your kitchen table. However, you’ll need to be able to put aside your work easily somewhere at mealtimes. Invest in a nice tote you can use to quickly stow items as needed.
- Family rooms usually have lots of light and are comfortable, but if you have lots of family traffic, be sure to define your work area as separate from the rest of the room. It’s easy to do with an area rug or small screen. Now reinforce those boundaries by making it clear when you’re in that space, you are working and can’t be interrupted unless it’s urgent.
- If you have an oversized laundry room, you could even consider tucking a desk in there to create a work area. Your kids aren’t likely to wander into your laundry room very often!
Take Some Tips from the Pros
To have a successful home office, you’ll want your space to be inviting as well as functional. You’ll be spending a majority of your day in a small area, so keep these tips from Key Interiors
in mind to design a welcoming space that will improve your productivity:
- Use natural lighting whenever possible. Natural light is easier on the eyes and creates a warm, peaceful atmosphere. Placing your desk near a window or under a skylight helps.
- Bring a bit of the outdoors inside. Keep a plant on your desk to liven up the area. Live plants freshen the air and have been found to reduce stress and improve mood.
- Use color wisely. Bold pops of color are invigorating and can help you create a personalized space you’ll look forward to being in for long periods. For small office areas, use vivid artwork on the walls and colorful desk accessories.
- Invest in quality office furniture. An ergonomically designed desk chair and a sit-and-stand desk can prevent an aching back and minimize fatigue.
If you’re considering working from home, it’s worth it to take the time to create a truly functional and appealing workspace. You may discover, as many have, that working from home allows you the chance to enjoy an improved work/life balance.