Working from home has become a new norm, especially since the outbreak of COVID-19. A majority of those who had in-office jobs are now working from the comfort of their own home. The question is, is the home comfortable enough? Creating a space where you can work in peace and be more productive is extremely important since you’re no longer in an office environment. Read on to pinpoint the tips and tricks for generating a comfortable at-home workspace.
Find the Space in Your Home
Determining what room you want your new at-home office to be in is the first step. If you live alone, this may be simple since you don’t need to find a private space away from other family members. You might choose to use an open space in your bedroom for a desk and a chair, or utilize that extra guest room as your new and improved office.
If you live with friends or family, this is where you may need to find some privacy, unless you’re one to work fine in an open nook. Typically, to work most efficiently, you’ll want to find a remote space in your home that allows you to get your job done without the day-to-day sounds of others. Ideally, if you have a guest house or finished garage/shed, you could decide to make this into your own workspace.
If you can’t find a spot in your current home that allows you to be far from distraction, you may consider adding an addition to your home that would be considered your new office. This can be costly, but you can apply for a home equity line of credit which allows you to borrow money against the equity in your home. Using a HELOC is beneficial since it is a fast way to get cash from the equity you’ve built up in your home, and the most flexible since you can use it for almost anything. Now that you have the proper space to work successfully each day, you can continue on developing your ideal office space.
Create the Ideal Environment
The overall environment and functionality of your office plays an important role in the operation of your workday. You most likely will need to develop a remote work-life balance in order to separate the two. Make your office space both comfortable and practical. Are you one to enjoy a certain amount of decor or would you rather keep the walls bare to limit distraction? Some peaceful decor and items like plants may add some joy into your space and make it feel less like a standard office cubicle. Although, if you add too many decorations they can interfere with concentration, so make sure you keep the space clean and inviting to stay productive.
Organization is key, so you’ll want to determine a system and products that’ll help keep your workspace in order. Using systems like filing cabinets, built-in shelves, and bins will ensure your job and tasks stay in line. If you have a lot of items that may accumulate in your office, utilize storage furniture such as an ottoman that has a lift top or a desk with drawers.
Pinpoint the Proper Lighting
Lighting can make or break your productivity during your workday. The benefits of natural lighting in an office space are proven to increase both productivity and employee satisfaction.
Other benefits of natural lighting are reduced eye strain which lead to fewer headaches, improved mood, and less drowsiness.
If possible, find a location in your home that has big windows. If you choose to add an addition to your home, make sure to add large windows there as well. In some cases natural light might not be an option and this is where utilizing artificial lighting comes in.
It is known that LED lighting is favorable over fluorescent lighting in office settings. LED lights also are known to be more energy efficient and can save you money. Since artificial lighting is less desirable than natural lighting, there are some choices to help make this option work to your liking. You can choose to add dimmable lighting which may help with eye strain if the artificial lighting is too strong. Investing in a pair of blue light glasses can also be beneficial to reduce the chance of getting a headache while you work.
Incorporate Useful Technology
Including the proper technology that’ll be useful for your specific job can increase productivity tenfold. If your job involves a lot of computer work, consider purchasing an extra monitor if your job doesn’t provide you with one.
Many people like to add a sound machine in their workspace for additional relaxation. You can find endless options online that have sounds such as rainfall or white noise. Utilizing smart technology can add productivity to your day-to-day work life. Installing a Google Home or Alexa device is many people's first choice. You can use these devices to ask questions, help set reminders, and many more functions that can serve to be extremely helpful.
Smart plugs can be utilized in an array of devices to make your workday more efficient. Use these to plug in items like lights, printers, Wi-Fi routers, and AC units. This way you can control if the devices are on or off from the touch of a button on your smartphone.
Finding an ergonomic chair to help with posture will prevent issues with back pain. Many people like to invest in a chair with massage features to use while they work. Others may find a more active approach to their desk setup. The benefits of working out are significantly high especially for remote workers. Keeping yourself active to match your work lifestyle can increase your health. Investing in a bicycle desk is one way to both workout and work! These have become increasingly popular as more people work from home.
Whether you just started working from home or have been doing it for years, there are always ways to improve your office space and productivity. Utilizing these tips can help you narrow down your options. Once you’ve determined the specifics of what you may want or need for your work from home space, you can get started on working more efficiently.