Has your dining room table suddenly become a temporary workspace? Are you holed up in your bedroom for an important conference call hoping your kids can stay on task long enough for you to get done before chaos erupts? As the threat of Covid-19 sends more people home to ‘work’, creating a space that’s actually productive will become more important. Unfortunately, it’s beginning to look like this temporary scenario may not be as temporary as we’d like.
Whether you have a whole room you can dedicate as a working office or just a corner of a room to work with there are a lot of ways to get creative when it comes to making your office work for you.
You don’t have to be in a designated office to be creative but in order to be productive consider these factors.
The first thing to consider is location. You’ll be more productive if you can find a low traffic area with fewer distractions (translation: choose a spot that makes it harder for the kids to find you). If you think you might be working from home for more than a few weeks then consider repurposing the function of one of the rooms so that you can have more designated space.
Place your desk near a window:
Natural light. Enough said. If you can’t leave your house this will be critical to your sanity. If you can’t put the desk near the window, at least face it away from the wall and into the room.
Find the right chair:
This may be one of the most important features of your home office especially if you plan to spend hours working from home. Sore shoulders, an achy back, and a neck ache aren’t really good for productivity. An ergonomic chair can help minimize pain and allow you to focus.
Add a touch of green:
Did you know green can put you in an imaginative mood? The easiest way to do this is to add a plant to your workspace. In fact, research shows plants are good for our health, helping us manage stress and according to one study, increase productivity by up to 15 percent. It doesn’t have to be a high maintenance variety. Let’s be honest, you’ve got enough to worry about without adding watering to your daily to-do list.
Add a mirror:
If you are working in a small space, a mirror can help bounce around the light in the space making it feel bigger.
What inspires you? Books, quotes, art, colors all add to the vibe of the space. Adding personal touches like photos or mementos can work as inspiration too.
Add a rug:
A rug can help define a space that isn’t really defined by its own walls.
Be patient with yourself (and those around you) as we all enter this new work phase.
If you’ve never worked from home before you might have to experiment with temperature and sound. Some people need total quiet. Others work with the buzz of music or tv in the background.
Even before cities across the country started the quarantine, and isolation practices, more Americans were working from home as part of the gig economy. Who knows? After this is all done flexible work from home policies may become the norm. And if it does, your office will be ready!