COVID has made the home office a must-have item. Even as things are slowly returning to the ‘new norm’, remote work is here to stay and will continue to increase through 2023.
So, if you’re moving to a more permanent remote work situation, you need to start investing in your home office to avoid burnout and boost your productivity.
Here are 5 tips to help you get the home office of your dreams:
- Pick The Perfect Spot
If you're short on space, you’ve probably dedicated the kitchen table as your work area. This may have been alright for a few months, but forever? Maybe placing a table in front of a window in your bedroom might work better? Likely you want a dedicated spot just for work. For those with more space (and maybe kids), you might have to choose between complete silence and isolation or hectic surroundings. Test both spots before you decide on what area to make into an office.
- Give Yourself A View
If possible, opt for a spot with a view. Even if you are just looking at your front yard, the natural sunlight will benefit you and your space. If the secluded place you’ve picked for yourself doesn’t have a window, freshen up the walls with a bright new colour, add a piece of artwork or bring in a few plants to liven up the space. Consider checking out peel and stick wallpaper. It is not very expensive and super easy to apply to walls. AND, you have the added bonus of being able to create a “feature” wall without damaging the walls themselves. Peel and stick is just as easy to remove as it is to install. Get tired of the look? Change it up with a different peel and stick wallpaper.
- Get A Great Chair
Every great office needs a great chair. One that is comfortable, ergonomically correct, and the right size for your desk. Spend the few extra bucks and shop online for a suitable office chair. Remember, the mind can only absorb what the rear end can endure! Ask your workplace if they’re willing to invest in proper equipment too and you just might be able to expense or have it provided at no cost to you!
- Light Up Your Space
Make sure your office has suitable light. Natural light is best but if that isn’t possible, have overhead lighting or a small desk lamp to do the trick. Some people prefer lamp light to overhead light. Take some moments to determine your preferences. Your eyes will thank you later. This is also important for all those Zoom or Teams conference calls you’re sure to be joining.
- Add Personal Touches
Whatever inspires you, put it into your office. It could be quotes, pictures or small trinkets. Anything to add a little personality to your space is perfect. A perfect excuse to hop on Pinterest and get some DIY inspiration.
- Keep Your Background In Mind
Having said the above, do keep in mind that when you are on those video calls, your background is very visible. Some programs allow you to blur the background, but some items are still visible. Use a mirror to get a good handle on what your background looks like. If you have the room, you may want to put up a nice bookshelf where you can curate items that reflect your work image. Check the lighting for those video shots too. What you enjoy while working at your desk may cast shadows on the camera. If there is a window behind you, consider drawing a blind or adding sheers so that your key statements are not lost while your audience watch your neighbours through the window. Windows can also create back lighting which bleach out your features.
Taking time to ensure you have a proper workspace that will foster inspiration, calmness, and productivity. It can be the big things like the space and comfy chair to a fresh plant, scented candle or like me an unlimited supply of pens (who else agrees pens are like socks – ALWAYS going missing in my OWN home!). Don’t be afraid to experiment.