About 32% of employees work from home. So, they need to transform their space into an office setting that’s conducive to productivity. This entails finding a quiet and spacious room. To get started, follow these tips to make your house work-from-home friendly.
1. Pick the Right Location
The first step is to designate an area for your office. You can use a spare bedroom or a finished attic or basement. If you live in a smaller house, you may not be able to designate a whole room. Instead, pick a specific spot in your kitchen or living room.
Try to find a spot with plenty of natural light and limited clutter. Also, face away from the sink, so you’re not distracted by the pile of dishes. Whatever location you choose, avoid using your bedroom. If you start to associate that space with productivity, it will be harder to fall asleep at night.
2. Create Proper Boundaries
It’s important to separate your work life from your personal one. For example, don’t mix your utility bills with client documents. Instead have a separate folder for personal and professional paperwork. In addition, physically divide the area. Choose a room with a door you can shut during the workday. If you have limited space, put up dividers in your living room.
Set boundaries for your time as well. For example, use a timer to signal the end of your workday. Plus, don’t get distracted by household chores. Save these for your lunch break or in between big projects. Also, communicate these boundaries to your family. Let your kids know the exact times you’re available and when you need space. Give them a heads up before any important meetings.
3. Develop a Routine
When you work from home, it’s easy to fall out of a normal routine. You don’t have the structure of getting ready for work, commuting, and then settling into the office. That's why you need to create your own routine and stick to it.
Plan your starting and ending times for the day. You can even schedule when you take breaks. Another tip is to dress professionally even at home. It can help you get into a productive mindset.
Here are some more tips for perfecting your routine:
- Get up at the same time each day
- Don’t go online first thing in the morning
- Eat breakfast
- Set aside times to complete household chores
- Create daily goals and track your progress
4. Have Plenty of Storage
To help keep your space organized, good storage is essential. Plus, a cluttered area can make you feel more anxious. Place decorative baskets or bins near your desk. If you deal with lots of paperwork, invest in a filing cabinet. In addition, have small cups or trays on your desk for pencils and pens. Keep essential items, such as meeting notes, within arm’s length.
Here are some more storage ideas for your office:
- Buy a dual-purpose coffee table
- Take advantage of wall space
- Add more cabinets
- Use a pull-down desk
- Repurpose old furniture
5. Incorporate Elements That Make You Smile
Besides just the basic office supplies, add some personal items as well. For example, choose artwork that matches your personality. You can even place a few family photos on your desk. Another idea is using peel-and-stick wallpaper in your favorite patterns and colors.
Add some fresh scents through personally selected candles. If music helps you focus, create a playlist so you can power through the day. In addition, provide comfort and style with throw blankets or back pillows.
6. Stay Connected
Even though you’re not physically in the office, still follow up with your co-workers. Update them on project changes and your overall progress. Also, routinely check in with your boss. That way you can receive feedback and ensure you’re on the right track.
7. Let in Natural Light
Sunlight can reduce stress and even strengthen your bones. Having a calming space is essential to working efficiently. So, pick a spot near a window and open your blinds. If you can’t be near a window, use a desk lamp. Also, hang mirrors and paint with neutral colors to reflect the natural light. If you have the budget, skylights are another good option.
8. Get a Comfortable Chair
We sit an average of 6.5 hours each day. So, you want a comfortable chair. Plus, an improperly fitted seat can lead to back issues. Look for one with good lumbar support and an adjustable seat. You may want one that swivels and has armrests as well. Also, make sure your desk and chair are at the same height and place your screen at eye level.
9. Clear the Clutter
Working in a cluttered area makes you stressed. Invest in storage bins to hold items you don’t use every day. Plus, try to find a desk with drawers, so the surface stays clear. While storing items, consider downsizing.
Are there any things you can sell or donate? When deciding what to keep, determine if the object holds personal value and whether it still works. For the items you want to sell, use sites like eBay or Poshmark.
10. Design With Plants
Plants brighten up the room and make you feel happier. Plus, they can boost your productivity by 15%, making them perfect for your office. When choosing vegetation, try to match it with the room's overall style.
If your house is more modern, go for oversized plants, such as the fiddle leaf fig or monstera. For a farmhouse style, pick functional plants like herbs. Consider mixing different sizes to create a beautiful contrast. In addition, incorporate colorful flowers to make the room more inviting.
11. Don’t Skimp on Lighting
Having proper lighting allows you to stay focused on the task at hand. Invest in a good desk lamp or use wall lamps. If you often video chat, add in some LED panel lights as well. Along with the style, consider the lighting color. Cool blues and whites can help you wake up and concentrate. Place the light in front of you to reduce screen glares.
12. Make Your Office More Functional
Consider the tasks you perform daily to determine how to best lay out the area. If you need to think deeply, then consider a minimalist design. If you have a more creative role, hang up artwork for inspiration.
Plus, think about how much surface space you need. Do you spend most of the time on the computer or do you cross-check documents? If you mostly work on your laptop, buy a smaller desk to allow for a more open concept.
How to Design the Perfect At-Home Office
Working remotely has its perks, such as a flexible schedule. However, it requires you to transform part of your home. So, try out these tips to create your ideal office space.