Let’s face it my friends: Working from home is a reality that is here to stay.
Hopefully this Corona Virus crisis will be over soon but among many changes that isolation brought to our lives, the telecommuting is certainly one of the changes that will be incorporated to our new routine. Will companies not reconsider the need to have all employees in the same space all the time? Will employees not question the need to spend so many hours commuting instead of working from home? Crises are always opportunities to learn. Always.
Not only that. Honestly, I am sure that this impossible homeschooling challenge that so many parents have been facing will be over soon, but… Won’t studying from home also be something that will grow and another trend that remains long after corona virus is beaten?
So, considering a dedicated space for you and your family to work more comfortably and efficiently from home and putting some thought and love into this project should be at the top of your list. With or without my help. 😉
So, here are the priorities you should follow when tackling this project for good:
1) Invest in a good Office Chair
No need to say that your back should be your highest priority, right?
Look at the other benefits: A good office chair, besides taking care of your back and avoiding future pains, will make you more comfortable and productive. Yes, being comfortable is key to getting work done.
Did you know ergonomic chairs are designed with blood flow and correct posture in mind? Yes, you will be able to stay alert and focused for much longer.
2) Make sure you have the right lighting
Needless to say, natural light is always the best source, but it is not always available. So, you need to make sure to choose the right type and intensity of light fixtures.
Lighting that is too bright can have many negative effects on productivity and health. Harsh and bright lighting –particularly fluorescent bulbs– has been linked to causing migraines and eye strain. On the other hand, dim or dull lighting can be just as bad a problem. A poorly lit room makes the eyes work harder to focus and see properly, causing headaches and eye strain.
3) Location, location, location.
Chances are you will spend a great deal of time in your home office so, you should think carefully about the best place to set it up. So the real estate law of “location” is the priority here too. Make sure to do it in a completely dedicated space, where you will be least distracted. That is key. Even if it ends up being not the most spacious and brightest spot of your home. (Lack of light and space can always be fixed with the right fixtures and furniture).
4) More than ever, form should follow function.
Of course, your office should be inspiring and cozy, but this place should before anything be functional. So your desk, shelves, and storage should serve you, not the other way around.
Think about the requirements of your job and what items you need available right next to you before investing in furniture, and then look for pieces that are both functional and beautiful. Take your measurements precisely and be very strategic about it.
5) Plan your storage space smartly
Even if you have a dedicated room for your office, storage usually is never enough. So, before any decision make a self-assessment: Are you a stacker or a filer?
If you tend to make piles, invest on nice baskets to put some order on your mail, notes, and stacks of papers. If you prefer a clean desktop, designate one drawer for your “to-do” papers. Wooden or metal cube storage can be a fun alternative to bookshelves, since each space can be used for books, mementos, etc.
6) Tame your technology
We all agree that no matter our storage needs, we need to be diligent about keeping our homes uncluttered, right? There is nothing that makes a home office feel more cluttered than wires hanging from the desk and running all over the place.
So, please, take control of the technology with these simple tips:
- Invest in both a wireless printer and even a wireless mouse
- Add a grommet (yes, grommet. Google it!) in your desktop to lead any wires from your desk down below.
- Attach any visible wires to the underside of your desk or down along a desk leg.
- Gather loose wires along the floor together with a simple cord tamer.
7) Personalize in a thoughtful way
Personal “extras” like a pretty mug for a pencil holder, a cool notepad, and a fun waste basket can make your office cozy and inviting. Also, adding family photos on your desk can be great, but when things don’t change from time to time, they cease to make us mindful. So, remember to vary the photos, and include little mementos of success, cartoons that make you laugh and scents that make you smile.
OK. I hope these tips help you design your office in the best possible way. Of course, if you want me to help more, you can drop me a line and for a very convenient fee, we can work together if I know the specifics of your place. Assessing spaces and designing solutions is not only my passion, they say it is a strength of mine. The decoration part is a hobby. 😉
As final inspiration, here is a selection of the best solutions I’ve seen to specific challenges. I hope you like them. The last photo is my favorite: the slanted desk is one of my first projects! My client said it is stylish and more than anything absolutely functional.
So that’s it. Keep up your good work at home!