Over the past year more people have started working from home, if not full time, part time. If you want to make your temporary ‘office’ more permanent, but aren’t sure where to start, maybe we can help. An office can be incorporated about anywhere in your home. I even ran across a home office incorporated into a master bath! Whether it’s a corner of a room, a closet, or dedicated office space, you can make it your own.
If you’ve been using your dining room table as your desk, and are tired of constantly moving things out of the way, it’s time to get a dedicated work space. Just having the space consistent will increase productivity, not having to reorganize every time you sit down. If you don’t have a room you can dedicate to an office, that’s ok. There might be some area you haven’t considered converting into a workspace. Perhaps there is a closet you could clear out, or a room that can be rearranged to plug in a desk area, or even under the basement stairs.
Get rid of clutter. You will be more productive, and more at-ease, if you aren’t surrounded by clutter. Get a filing cabinet for paperwork, or even a stand-up file you can sit nearby. Minimizing your surroundings to just what you will need and use will help you determine how much space is essential. You might be surprised at how little room you actually use.
There are lots of options available for desk space at home – whether it’s a traditional desk, a Murphy desk, or just a flat surface you can leave in place. Pay attention to the height of your work surface. You don’t want it to be too high or too low when you’re working on a computer. A standard height is 28” – 30”, but this will depend on how tall you are, also. And having a comfortable chair is a must. If you aren’t comfortable, you won’t be productive.
If you are able to dedicate an entire room for your office, you can truly personalize it to your tastes. You can decide the color, the décor, and the furnishings. If you are using a corner of a room that others will be using, you can still personalize your space. If you paint one wall a complimentary color to the rest of the room, that will help show that space is dedicated to your office. Utilizing a screen or room divider can help designate your work area, also. Facing your desk away from the wall can help define your work space, and provide a nice backdrop for your virtual meetings.
If you will be involved in virtual meetings, pay attention to what is behind you. It would be best if there is a wall, so people aren’t distracted by other people or things in your home, or what’s going on outside a window. What do you want people to discover about you while you’re on a video chat? What would you like your boss to see? Answering these questions will help guide your decisions. Or simply put up a screen or divider behind you.
Lighting is very important when making decisions about your home office. If the overhead light doesn’t quite cut it, consider adding a floor or table lamp. You need to be able to see what’s on your work surface without a struggle. Windows can provide a lot of light, and you can adjust how much by utilizing shades or curtains. Sunlight, and plants, are natural mood boosters, so a bonus to any work space.
Color is something to consider when making decisions about your home office. The space should promote productivity, so you must feel comfortable. Starting with a light color will allow for other elements to pop without being overwhelming. You can add your own pop of color by using wallpaper or another color of paint behind shelves, or paint a stripe around the room or on any soffits. The color blue can increase your focus, and help you feel calm. So, adding blue into your color scheme can be beneficial.
Because your home office is yours, you can change what isn’t working without getting permission from your boss. If something is irritating you, get rid of it. If you feel uncomfortable, or edgy, try to figure out why and change it. Including things in the area that make you happy can help increase your productivity. Being able to look at photos of family, or vacation spots you’ve visited, can give you brief breaks in your day that keep you moving. Even updating cabinetry for easy access while you’re seated can make work easier.
Here is a link to some interesting homework alternatives if you need further inspiration. https://www.mymove.com/home-inspiration/decoration-design-ideas/work-from-home-inspiration-quarantine/
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