During the global pandemic, those of us who are fortunate enough to work from home have been thrust into a new situation that we now call our ‘new normal’. While many of us probably worked from home occasionally, we likely didn’t work from home full-time, while trying to home school kids and concentrate over our partner’s continuous teleconferences. With the ‘new normal’ likely here to stay for the foreseeable future, it’s time to create an effective work from home space with actual furniture! Here are my tips to create an effective space without breaking the budget.
Get the Right Furniture
I’m sure we’ve all heard the stories of people working from their sofas, kitchen islands and even ironing boards! While this may work temporarily, it’s not good for the long term. Slouching, hunching over or laying down to work can play havoc on your body. It’s important to have the correct position when working at a desk. This diagram below from the Mayo Clinic shows the correct position for optimal ergonomics while working at a desk.
Ideally you should position your home office away from sources of noise and distraction. So if your kids are yelling and screaming in the living room all day, or your partner is talking loudly on teleconferences for 7 of the 8 hours, try to find a space away from these noise sources, ideally with a door that you can close.
While blocking out distracting noises, try to invite in welcoming noises that aid concentration, such as birds singing, or the wind gently rustling through the leaves. You can do this by positioning your home office by an open door or window, or better still in a garden room like this one by Backyard Room.
Having the right amount of natural light is also important in creating an effective home office working environment. It’s also good for your overall health. This is one of the main reasons I enjoy working from home so much. In the office I have very little natural light, and I find it really drags my mood down and make me tired. At home I’ve positioned my desk in a room with plenty of natural light from large windows, which really lifts my mood.
However, you can have too much of a good thing. If your desk either faces a window or has a window behind it, you may find that at certain times of the day you may not be able to see your computer screen. If you can’t position your desk where the light doesn’t impact it, make sure to have blinds or curtains that you can close while the sun is affecting your view.
Have you ever heard the phrase “A cluttered space makes a cluttered mind?” Having good organization and storage solutions for your home office is not just important to help you find things more easily, but it can also help your mental health. Having a disorganized, cluttered environment can cause poor food choices, less effective thinking and generally poor mental health. So at the very least, clear the clutter off your work area, and ideally invest in a few simple storage solutions. Wall shelves, desk caddies, filing cabinets, or rolling carts can all help to clear up the clutter. Try IKEA for great cheap storage solutions.
Make it inviting
Just because your home office should be practical, doesn’t mean it has to be ugly. Don’t forget to add some accessories or artwork to make it more inviting, and feel more like home. After all it is a ‘home’ office. Here are some of my favorite desk and home office accessories that are practical and also stylish.
- Codify Pencil Holder by Anthropologie, $48
- UBrands 150ct Wooden Push Pins with Jar available at Target, $5.49
- Marble And Gold Metal Maxwell Letter Holder by World Market, $24.99
- Lund London Nordic Modular Stacking Boxes Set of 3 available at The Container Store, $27.99 each
- Apothecary Black Wood Drawers by Kate & Laurel available at The Home Depot, $36.99
- Drona storage box by IKEA, $3.99
- Bigso Linen Marten Paper Drawers by The Container Store, $19.99
- White Marble Mix & Match Wall Shelves by World Market are available in 2ft or 3ft sizes, shelf brackets sold separately, $39.99-$59.99
I hope that with these tips you can set up an inviting, stylish and effective work from home space. Stay tuned for more posts this week on the theme of the home office.
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Thanks for reading,