As the pandemic began to unfold earlier this year, many of us were quickly thrown into new work from home routines. Our bedrooms, dining rooms, or any open nook suddenly became our home offices, and we navigated through the ups and downs of WFH life, with kids, spouses, and pets all under one roof.
These days, Laura and I have transitioned to our new office space, but my months of working from home definitely taught me a thing or two. While I’m by no means the ultimate WFH expert, I wanted to share some helpful tips to create a comfortable working environment within your home, no matter the size or space.
via Anne Sage
CREATE A DIVIDE
During the first several weeks of the pandemic, I worked out of our master bedroom as a makeshift home office. Truth be told, it was kind of awful. I felt trapped and uninspired in a space that was meant to be a place of rest, and maintaining focus often seemed next to impossible.
Not long into this set-up, my husband and I ended up renegotiating our work spaces. While the situation was a definite balancing act, we decided that scheduling times in our single home office space was going to work out for the better.
While not every home has a dedicated office, my takeaway was to prioritize working from a space that’s not the same room where you sleep. It’s so important to create a divide from work and rest, in both a literal and figurative sense.
SET A SCHEDULE
When setting up shop at home, it’s really easy to blur the lines between our work and personal lives. I know this may seem entirely obvious, but one of the best WHF moves is to set dedicated office hours and stick to them. Whether working from home or not, I’ve found that defined work hours keeps me much more focused and productive throughout the day. Plus, it helps clients know what to expect from a communication standpoint.
DESIGNATE AN OFFICE SPACE
Earlier I touched on the idea of creating space divides, but another key step is to create an actual office space. Admittedly, this may look a little different for everyone depending on your layout, but the principle is the same across the board.
Once I got serious about working from home, I purchased a desk, office chair, table lamp and I always had my favorite candle at the ready. I was able to mentally and physically designate an area that I only used for work, and it was an immense help with day-to-day productivity.
Keep in mind that you don’t need an actual desk if space doesn’t allow, and even a small dining table will do the trick. Just find an area with plenty of natural light, if possible, and set the scene to help inspire better work sessions.
via Bryant Alsop
You know I love a beautiful space just as much as the next interior designer, but the reality is that we’re living in a pandemic, and most of our work set-ups are far from perfect. While creating an inspiring space is important, don’t worry if there’s more function over form in your WFH office.
Now is the time to get comfortable in your home office, and if you need extra gear like a laptop stand or a standing desk (both of which you’ll find in my office!), by all means, go for it. I also recommend picking up some noise-cancelling headphones, which are an absolute lifesaver whenever I really need to buckle down or have a client call.
Last but not least, never underestimate the power of organization to transform a home office. We all have work-related clutter spilling out over our desks (I’m guilty of collecting all the samples!), but finding a system to put everything in its place brings much-needed order to the chaos.
Once I realized my need for better home office organization, I created a space for shelving in our basement and began to house all my items there. This helped eliminate the possibility of my kids playing hopscotch with samples which, if you’re wondering, most definitely happened!
Whether it’s a filing cabinet, desk organizers or a closet shelf to store your extras, keeping work space free of clutter will make a huge impact on productivity day in and day out.
via Studio Esteta