Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a monumental shift in the way that workers perform their jobs on a day-to-day basis. Rather than getting up and driving into work each morning, employees are instead rolling out of bed and logging into their computers to work from home. Working from home has allowed some workers to thrive while others continue to struggle with this new reality.
With this large growth in working remotely, there is a focus on creating a space in the home that closely mimics the environment of working in an office. Employers want people who can continue to get the same quantity and quality of work done at home as they can in the office. Here are six tips for how to design your home office for improved productivity.
Define Your Space
Creating an at-home workspace can be a challenge, especially if you are sharing the residence with others who aren’t working full time. The first thing that you should do when starting your home office project is to define the space as your own. This means choosing the room where you want to get your work done and communicating your desires to others in your home.
While many assume that simply going into a spare bedroom or setting up shop on the kitchen table will suffice, they are soon to discover that these high-traffic areas can make concentration a challenge. The office should be a private space where others know that you are there to get work done and are not to be disturbed. If you find that you can’t dedicate an entire room for an office, use decorative screens or partitions to help separate the space during work hours.
Draft a Plan
The next step after deciding on the location of the room is to draft a plan. This first part of the plan should incorporate the other members of your household. It should include things like rules on entering the office during the workday, the use of bandwidth during business hours, and the approximate times of day when you will be available. Setting expectations early will help lessen the adjustment period while allowing you to focus on getting your daily tasks complete.
The other part of the plan should regard what to do with the workspace. The ideal plan will consider the available space, the tools that you need to complete your job, and the furniture that you will use. You want a space that will give you decorating options for your desk while not allowing too much space for clutter.
Set the Budget
Set the budget for your project after you have drafted your plans. Your budget should include the cost of everyday materials that you use in your work and should be enough to cover extra expenses that are needed to convert your office. The materials that you will need include more than standard office supplies and should also factor in things like the cost of a nice desk, a nice office chair, and other office necessities to help you get through the day.
When setting your budget, be mindful of what you are spending and speak to a tax adviser about the possibility of writing some of the expenses off at the end of the year on your taxes. You should also budget money for shelves and additional storage space to help keep the room organized. Remember that all the trappings found in a traditional office may not be necessary because your coworkers won’t be able to see the entirety of your space.
At work or home, one of the best tools for decorating an office is the use of nature. Using features found in the great outdoors can add a touch of simplicity to your workspace. Plants are a great addition to any space for many reasons. First, they can help to improve the air quality in the immediate area. They are also able to help control humidity levels and can make your office feel more inviting for your guests.
Another way to incorporate nature in your design plans is to make use of any natural lighting in your office. Windows and skylights are a great way to brighten up the office and improve your productivity. Natural light also helps ward off the effects of the afternoon crash by increasing your energy levels.
Keep It Clean
Consider your workplace at home to be an extension of your office. Treat your desk as a place of business and keep a space that is clean and clutter-free. While there is nothing wrong with personal items, strive to keep your desk and shelves as professional as possible. Just because you are working from home doesn’t mean that all office place etiquette should suddenly be forgotten.
Clutter should be eliminated from your office however possible. It’s a killer of productivity and can cause you to focus on activities that aren’t central to your job function—like cleaning and vacuuming.
Allow Yourself Distractions
That being said, there is still room for knickknacks and other personal effects so long as they don’t take over your desk or workspace. Family photos and other cherished items help to remind us why we get out of bed each morning—that shouldn’t stop just because the address of where we work has changed. Plus, a mental break can help clear your head for the rest of the day and allow you to focus better than if you had just tried to plow through it. Allowing yourself to take breaks throughout the day prevents burnout at your job.
For more decoration tips and tricks that will teach you how to design your home office for improved productivity, come check out the experts at the Great American Home Store. As the premier home office furniture store in Memphis, we have all the knowledge and know-how that you will need to transform your empty room into the office space of your dreams.