Many of us have been working from home for a few weeks now, and it can be easy to spend all day working from the couch, kitchen table, or even bed. But a well-designed workspace can put you in the mindset to be much more productive. Follow these design tips to make your home office a space that encourages excellent work.
1. Create a Dedicated Workspace
It can be tempting to sit back on the couch or at the kitchen table with your laptop and morning coffee. But this space won't get you in the mindset to work all day. Find somewhere that you can dedicate as a workspace - even if it is a small desk in the corner of a room. If you can't find a room or area that works, consider less conventional options. Many people convert closets into workspaces by simply removing the door and hinges. If the closet space is tight, install a floating desk to save some legroom.
2. Match the Aesthetic of Your Home
Your home office should express your personal aesthetic, especially if your office space is in a multi-functional room, like the den. Either way, you don't want the area to be an eyesore that you dread seeing every day. Choose a desk or even DIY one that matches with the rest of your furniture. Then decorate with accessories pulled from other areas around your home.
3. Visually Define the Work Area
Creating a defined area helps you get in the headspace for work, especially if your workspace is in a shared room. Something as simple as a rug or anchoring the desk with a gallery wall can create a visual separation between your workspace and the rest of the room. To take it a step further, consider wallpapering or painting the wall behind your desk in a color that works with your aesthetic but also stands out as something different.
4. Choose a Desk Chair that Works for You
You don't have to buy a new ergonomic desk chair to make your space feel like an office. Choose one that is comfortable for you, and that fits in with the style of your home. That might even mean using one of the extra kitchen or dining room chairs, a statement chair that you already have, or even an exercise ball. Whatever you choose, make sure it is something you are comfortable sitting in all day, so it doesn't become distracting.
5. Ditch the Filing Cabinets
If you're already tight on space, you don't have room for bulky office storage. Go digital with a portable scanner that can fit in your desk drawer. It will allow you to scan any documents you need and keep them filed away on your computer.
6. Hook Up a Second Monitor
You likely have a larger monitor or even a second monitor at your traditional workspace. Hooking up an additional monitor can help you stay more productive, especially during virtual meetings. If you don’t have an extra monitor, get creative. A second screen doesn't necessarily have to be a monitor. Most TVs can be hooked up to a laptop with a simple connecting cable. If you have an old TV collecting dust, hook it up at your workspace. Or, if you only need a second screen for occasional meetings, use your regular TV.
7. Invest in Ergonomic Accessories
Laptops with their flat keyboards and trackpads are not always best suited to a desk environment. An external keyboard is more ergonomic because you can place it where it works best for you, without having to stare down at your computer screen. An external mouse also makes navigating websites, files, and documents much more accessible. These accessories can range in price, with wired and Bluetooth options. And you may be surprised at how affordable they can be.
8. Put your Laptop on a Riser
Laptop risers are usually one of the last things that people think to purchase for their office space, but they can make such a difference. When you raise your laptop screen to eye level, it is a better ergonomic posture for your neck. If you don't want to invest in a laptop riser, you can use something laying around the garage like wood blocks, or even a painted cardboard box, to raise your computer.
If spending more time at home has made you realize that you need more space, consider consulting a home remodeling company about building an addition, finishing your basement, or even creating a three-season deck. Brothers home remodeling experts are available for virtual consultation, so you can even get started on your home office now.