The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live our daily lives. Many Americans have recently found themselves working from home, multitasking their jobs with caring for children and family members. The dining room table has become more than just a place for meals – it’s now the study hall for your children’s E-learning and your makeshift office. No one is certain how long this remote work situation may last. Set yourself up for success during this time by creating an office right in your own home!
Children and teens need a separate space away from distractions where they can fully focus on their homework and projects, whether it be practicing for a spelling test or the ACT. Sometimes parents like to use a central space, such as the kitchen table, but usually the kitchen is an area of high traffic and loud noises. Family activity is buzzing all around and frequent refrigerator trips break concentration as well. “Working from home offers many advantages, including the flexibility of setting your own schedule, saving time and money by eliminating your daily commute, and allowing you to start a business with minimal overhead. However, being successful in a home office requires creating an office space that promotes efficiency in a non-traditional work environment. Whether you are self-employed or telecommuting, take time to define a professional working space that separates your work from your personal life.”
You’re most likely realizing that sharing your work space with the children isn’t helpful for staying on track with projects and communicating with your team. It’s time to take a look around the home and create a space specific for your work needs…
Choosing the best room for an office: Your office location is vital for your productivity. When deciding where to create your home office, think about the hours that you will be spending there. Factors such as sound, lighting, and even windows should come into mind. We love our families but we need to be mindful of the background noises they create. Locate a space in your home where the joyous ruckus of your home is barely audible, especially during your video calls! Try not to stick yourself into a tight dark room that will eventually make you unhappy. Choose a space that has potential to keep you focused and inspired.
Selecting the right furniture for your office: Your home office might be lacking in the square footage department. No worries! This just means you need to measure your space and furniture accurately, as well as placing desks, chairs and bookshelves in smart spots. For starters, make sure to get a chair for your desk that supports your back while allowing you to type on the computer. You can find a desk that is lightweight and can be broken down easily if needed. Lighting is everything – desk lamps and overhead lamps will give a nice range for different projects.
Make this room multi functional: Splitting a room in two can maximize your office space. One side can be dedicated primarily to office work and online meetings. The other side of the room can be used as a small reading nook or library. This can be the perfect place for taking virtual calls or meetings. When you need to take brain breaks through out the day, you can simply step away from your desk and re-center yourself in a quiet, cozy spot in your office. By not actually leaving the room to take your break, you’ll reduce the chance of distractions happening outside of your office.
Let the sun in: Natural light can brighten not only a room but also your mood! Windows in your office can be impactful in a major way. Natural light has been proven to be an immune booster as well as a mood lifter. Using natural light can also reduce eye strain and headaches. If you find yourself doing a significant amount of zoom calls, the natural light will brighten your appearance. “Using light therapy, in this case by bringing in more sunlight into your home, will help increase vitamins such as B12 and serotonin which boost your mood, improve sleep, prevent weight gain, and help with fatigue.”
Organization is key: It’s extremely hard to focus on your work when there isn’t any system of order in your office. Keep all of your important files, work devices and other equipment in designated areas. This will make finding items easier, plus an organized desk is an organized mind! Adding a small filing cabinet, shelving units on the walls, mounting a white board, calendar, and even a bulletin board can help keep you organized.
Bring comfort into your home office space: Unless you are going for an ultra modern look, adding elements of yourself into the office can make it a comforting, enjoyable space to be in. You don’t want to work in a place that you dread entering everyday. Invite parts of your personality and beloved items around the office to help to eliminate stress. This may include a couple framed pictures of fun memories, small houseplants, or even hang up your favorite artwork. Did you know that plants are natural oxygenators that can filter the air in your office? Plus they add a nice splash of color and comforting energy into the room.
Stay inspired and productive: Try a new fresh color of paint on the wall and even add wall decals. Fun fact: there are certain colors that inspire productivity and encourage soothing emotions! Check out this article about choosing the right color for your room: A Life of Productivity or read our previous blog “2020’s Trending Colors”. “Color enhances the design of every home by setting a “mood”, making a statement, and creating a certain energy.” Another way to stay productive is by hanging up a vision board. This might even be a fun project for the entire family. Cut and glue pictures to a poster board that will motivate your future goals every time you see it. For more creative ideas for your home office, take a look at our Pinterest page!
According to Organized Interiors, “There’s a direct correlation between more jobs becoming computer-reliant, technological advances, and the growing trend of working remotely. There have been sizeable increases in broadband speeds and improvements to WiFi and video conferencing technology. Advancements in mobile and cloud collaboration technology are also driving the digital shift in workplace structures. And, of course, the number of tech-savvy millennials entering the workforce is another factor. Forbes reported that in 2016, “43% of Americans spent some time working remotely”. The World Economic Forum’s employment trends forecast cited telecommuting as one of the main factors affecting changes in the workplace.” Learn more about the benefits of creating your own home office!