5 Ways to Improve Your Home Office
As we enter the third year of working from home, the areas we have established at home are no longer enough for us. Here are some examples of how you can improve your remote workspace to make it efficient and more permanent.
More than two years after the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are still working from home.
What we thought would be a temporary situation in 2020 has become for many the way we work for the foreseeable future. Experts say that even if the pandemic remains a memory, most of us will work in a hybrid arrangement where we divide our time between our home office and the corporate office. Some of us will never return. A survey found that a quarter of companies plan to move at least 20% of their on-site employees to permanent work-from-home positions.
As we enter the third year of the work-from-home era, it’s time to upgrade our workspaces at home to make them more functional, more Professional and more comfortable. If you’ve spent months working in a chair in the kitchen area and hunched over a stack of papers with your laptop, it may be time to make a change. Here’s how you can make your workspace work for you.
Identify a specific area
Not everyone has a separate room at home that can turn into an office. If you’re in that camp, choose a place in your home and declare it your workspace. Maybe a counter in your kitchen, a corner in your bedroom, or a spot in your living room. Wherever you choose, be sure and work there every day (no relocation!)
Set up your chosen space with attention to everything from lighting to accessories to provide the environment you need to be successful.
Use lighting layers
Proper lighting is very important in a home workspace. Lighting affects your mood, productivity, and appearance during Zoom meetings. Do not settle for a single overhead lamp. You need a set of lighting for specific purposes. Get an adjustable desk lamp for task lighting and directing a beam of light exactly where you need it. Add ambient light with a desktop or floor lamp that diffuses light from a shade or bounces it off the wall or ceiling. Purpose: to illuminate the entire space with soft light.
Distribute and edit
When was the last time you cleaned your desk? Throw away whatever needs to be thrown away, put these stray pencils in a decorative container and file piles of paper. Make sure you have all your workday essentials close at hand and move any non-essentials elsewhere. Clutter can be a distraction, and dirty coffee cups and pointed piles of folders don’t look good on Zoom either. Cleaning your workspace isn’t just about looks, though. Studies have shown that cluttered spaces can negatively affect our stress levels and hinder our ability to focus.
Pay attention to your background
Shelves scattered by people and poor lighting 5 out of 10; fine art or style bookshelves get a 9 out of 10. Now we all know the drill – we have to keep the background in your home workspace clean and tidy. If you have the space, show off your style. Hang your favorite artwork or place a collection of interesting books and objects on your bookshelves.
- Take your office furniture seriouslyAn office manager used to worry about ergonomics, the science of fitting equipment to the worker. Now that’s our job. You have to make sure you have everything you need to stay healthy and comfortable while you work. Instead of leaning on the sofa leaned over your laptop, choose an office chair that supports your back and a desk at the right height for your frame. Try a standing desk so you don’t sit around all day and consider getting a monitor stand for the most comfortable viewing and elevating your screen. If you’re looking for a DIY solution, build your monitor stand using a few large hardcover books to elevate your monitor. Investing in ergonomic furniture can keep you healthy by preventing strains and lower back injuries.