2020 was the year of working from home. 2021 looks to be the continuation of it.
While the first few weeks of working in sweatpants and comfy clothes were novel, and eschewing the morning commute for another hour in bed felt great, we all learned the limitations of working from home.
Attending virtual meetings at your kitchen table won’t do, and how can you ignore that pile of laundry when you’re home all day? It’s stressful, and you need help separating your work and home life.
Creating a small home office helps you do that. Read on to learn more about how to build your home office to regain your sanity.
Benefits of a Home Office
Even as vaccination rates increase, it doesn’t look like we’re headed to the office any time soon. While the light of vaccine-aided herd immunity appears on the distant horizon, many workers still don’t have a definitive return date.
Now is the time to invest in a home workspace.
If you’re on the fence about creating a home office, consider the benefits it can bring to your work and home life.
If you have a home office, you have an office. Working from your couch, your kitchen table, or your bed reduces your ability to concentrate on your work.
There’s so much to do every day when you’re stuck at home; laundry, dishes, and dinner just to name a few. Separate yourself from those concerns in your home office.
Working from home can wreak havoc on your work/life balance.
It’s hard to create a complete separation from your job when you’re always around it. That is what makes setting up an office so important.
Your work exists in that room, and that room only. When you emerge after a long day, you close the door and leave work behind. Then you engage with your home responsibilities.
How to Create a Home Office
Creating an office doesn’t need to be a huge task, nor does it need to be a massive investment.
Consider your comfort and your work environment, and you’ll realize your home office needs to be more than a desk, a chair, and four walls. Let’s go through some considerations to build the best office you can.
Ideally, you should pick a room in your house you don’t often use. Maybe it’s a guest bedroom or another room with a window that allows for natural light.
The unfortunate part about choosing a room is that not everybody has a great, dedicated space waiting to be converted. For some, a basement or an attic will have to suffice.
If you can’t find a separate space from the rest of your house, you may have to rearrange some furniture to give you a corner of your living room or dining room.
Did you know different colors promote different moods? It’s true. Colors elicit emotions running the gamut from anger to calm, and from warmth to depression.
When designing your home office, make sure to choose muted light colors like gray or beige to promote a calm, even keel while working.
While you might be forced into a basement space, attic, or garage, try to avoid it if at all possible. A lack of natural light kills productivity. If you can, make an office space with plenty of sunlight.
Studies show that office plants increase worker productivity by 15%. Why? Plantlife promotes general well-being, increased concentration, and air quality.
Working from home will always be a battle with productivity. An investment in some plants to surround your small home office will help
Reduce Cable Clutter
The modern home office requires the electronics and technology necessary to maintain a connection with your coworkers. Computers, printers, tablets, and phones all have cords that left unattended, will form a tangled nest.
Invest in a surge protector or power strip that helps keep cords organized. To take this to the next level, buy a cable management strip to keep your office free of this unattractive clutter.
If you’re building a small office say, in the corner of your living room, don’t count on a lot of floor storage space. For one thing, inefficient floor storage clutters whatever space you have.
Second, floor storage eliminates space that’s already at a premium in a small home office.
A way to mitigate this and manage your space is to build shelving. These shelves keep your floor clear and maximize your small office area.
Think About Ergonomics
Ergonomics is the study of efficiency within a working environment. This includes worker comfort and the goal of eliminating worker injury. There are certain things you need to build the best ergonomic office.
Sitting all day isn’t great for your circulation or your overall health. You need to take breaks to stretch and move your limbs. That being said, it isn’t always possible.
The best way to split the difference is with an adjustable sit-stand desk. This way, you can stretch and get your work done at the same time.
You’re wearing sweatpants, anyway. So stretch out.
Choosing an office chair for ergonomic design is far different than choosing for pure comfort. Sure, those bulky cushioned chairs are comfortable, but do they help your posture and reduce strain?
Shop for a desk chair that allows for a full range of movement. If you’re unable to invest in a new chair, an orthopedic seat or cushion will help your small office ergonomics.
Creating a Small Home Office Is an Important Investment
We understand you thought you’d be back at the office by now. Who could’ve predicted back in March 2020 that we’d all still be stuck at home in 2021?
If you’ve worked from home all this time, you might not remember what real pants feel like. You might not remember what it was like to have an office. But you need one.
Creating a small home office will increase your productivity, promote your work/life balance, and restore some much-needed work sanity.
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