If your working life has been affected by the pandemic, chances are you’ve had to shift your office life to a home work space. Your routines have changed, and maybe it’s been difficult to find a new “groove”. Change is never easy, but taking this opportunity to develop a new workspace that accommodates your needs could make all the difference in your workflow. It could even ignite new ways of thinking when you return to your public office.
So what does an inspiring and successful home workspace look like? The truth is, every space will be different depending on your specific working needs. If your job requires clients to begin visiting your home instead of your office, you’ll have to make different considerations, like privacy, and proximity to doors. If the workspace is just for you, you’ve got the freedom to make it whatever you need it to be. And yours won’t look like your coworker’s who used to occupy the cubicle next to yours at the office.
Choose a room that will be distraction-free
The room you decide to use as your workspace will be one of the most important decisions you make. Many people like to choose rooms that are somewhat separate from the rest of the house, especially if there are others living there too. Choose a room with a door, so that you can close out any distracting noise. Making sure your room is in a quiet corner of the house will help too—one far away from kids rooms, the laundry room, or the kitchen. (1)
Keep it bright
Sunlight has a motivational quality! Open your curtains and let some light into your workspace. This will also be beneficial when it’s time for weekly check-ins and Zoom meetings with your colleagues. There’s nothing worse than a dark, lamp-lit room when you’re trying to lead a video call. Placing your desk in front of a window will allow natural light to work its magic during your meetings. Set your computer at eye-level, and suddenly you’re looking really good for the camera. If you’re working with clients directly, this will also add a sense of professionalism to your call. (2)
Choose an ergonomic chair
Back pain can be a real problem at work and at home. A lot of it has to do with the way your body is positioned over long periods of time. That includes where you choose to sit during an eight-hour work day. While a kitchen chair doesn’t seem like a bad choice, it may have an impact on your body over time. When possible, choose a chair that supports your lower back and keeps you sitting upright. The position of your arms and legs makes a difference too, so be sure to sit somewhere that supports your body as a whole. While you may love curling up on your couch while you work away, consider the impact it will have on your body day after day. (2)
Create a mobile office
So say you like to move around, and a change in scenery actually helps your workflow as opposed to sitting in the same room every day. No problem! Create a mobile office in your home using a rolling file cart. On the cart, you can store your laptop, pens, paperwork, coffee mug, whatever you need—and you’ll have the capacity to bring your workspace with you no matter where you want to work in a day. Maybe its a rainy-living room-recliner type day, or you’re feeling extra motivated and want to spread out at the kitchen table, or maybe its 75 degrees and you want to spend the whole day outside on the patio set under the umbrella. A mobile cart can make that possible for you, and keep you organized in the process! (1)
At the end of the day, the best workspace will be one that adequately meets all of your personal needs. Be aware of the things that distract you, bring discomfort over long periods of time, or make you feel less motivated. At home, you have the opportunity to remove all of the barriers and tailor your space to your own liking and comfort. Be mindful of your surroundings and what motivates you to work productively day by day!