How To Set Up Your Space to Work from Home
Never worked from home? Setting yourself up for success can be a challenge, especially if you’re trying to be productive from a space you’re used to relaxing in. Don’t fret. We’re here to help with some tools for how to turn your cozy pad into an effective office — hold the actual office.
March 26, 2020
If you’ve never worked from home, chances are, now that you’re trying it, you’ve already realized your space isn’t optimized to do so. You might not even own a desk, and why would you? You don’t usually work from home! But instead of making do from your couch, now is a great time to consider how rethinking your space can make working from home, work for you.
How to temporarily redesign your space to make it easier to work from home.
Where Do I Start?
Before you start rearranging your furniture, take a minute to think about what type of office environment makes you the most successful. Do you thrive in an open office with a lot of activity? The hustle and bustle of your kitchen could be right for you. Perhaps you’re a nose-to-the-grindstone type and you’d be perfectly snug tucked away in the corner of your bedroom. Or maybe comfort is key. Your bed or couch are always options. The point is, knowing how you work and what level of distraction is acceptable to you will go a long way toward determining where you want to set up shop.
A Desk Isn’t Always a Desk
Once you’ve determined your optimal working location, look around to see what’s already there that you can use to your advantage. Your breakfast nook has “sit here” written all over it, but places like your bedroom or living room might be more of a challenge.
A simple table or vanity you already use to display books or treasures in your bedroom can easily be cleared off to double as a desk when you need space to work. No desk? No problem. Make your existing furniture and layout work for you. Clear-off a bookshelf for a makeshift standing desk if you prefer to stand for part, or all, of your day. A low-slung coffee table can provide ample room for your laptop and any documents you may need to spread out. Think outside the box, and you’re bound to find a novel use for something you already have.
Setting the Scene
Once you’ve established your space, start thinking about what you need to get into the zone. You likely won’t have your normal desk amenities, so get creative using what you have on hand. A mug to hold your favorite writing tools, a picture of your pet, or a calendar pinned to the wall can help simulate the feeling of an office, even if you’re sitting in the middle of your living room.
If you’re frequently on video calls, it’s also a good time to consider what your colleagues will see when you turn on that video feed. You might not want to clean your whole room just for an hour-long meeting, so consider making your backdrop a painted wall, gallery of artwork, or curated set of decorations to help you appear professional and tidy when you’re on a video chat.
Give Your Back a Break
At home, it’s easier than ever to have everything you want or need at your fingertips, and easier to stick in one spot from sunup to sundown. No matter where you’ve settled on for your home office home base, changing your working posture is key. If you’re used to working in an office, you’re probably also used to having at least a handful of ergonomic solutions at your disposal. At home, accessing the right ergonomic solutions isn’t always easy. Find simple ways to give your body a break. Throw pillows make great lumbar and knee supports, set up your laptop at your kitchen island for a quick standing desk solution, prop your feet up on a stack of books, or take your next conference call in pigeon pose without fear of side-eye from Susan in Accounting.
Consider Your Storage
At your office, you probably have filing cabinets and desk organizers galore. At home, it doesn’t take long before the big project your working on has taken over every usable surface. Storing your work items throughout the day can also help prevent your work from overflowing into other areas of your home. Under-utilized baskets and drawers you already have can help capture the clutter; so, when you’re ready to end the day, you aren’t sitting in a place that still feels like your office.
A space that works for you one day, might not the next. Ideally, you won’t be working from a new location every day, but since you’re at home, empower yourself to find the right space that works for you at the right time. Stay flexible, and you’ll always have a space that feels right when things get hectic.