Working from home has become a new norm for many people during the COVID-19 pandemic. While some people have been able to return to their workplaces recently, others are facing many more months of working in the same space where they sleep, eat, and relax. As cold and flu season approaches, worries about the coronavirus spreading even more quickly are growing. Americans already contract about one billion colds every year and the virus has proven to be more contagious than the standard cold or flu. Any business that can function with its employees working remotely will likely do so.
If you work for one of these businesses, it’s high time to optimize your at-home workspace for productivity. From perfecting your decorations to making sure you have ergonomic seating, there are plenty of improvements you can make even in the smallest of spaces. Let’s dive into how you can create a work-at-home space that fits both your professional and personal needs.
Pick the Perfect Spot
The spot where you set up your at-home office is one of the most important parts of creating your work-from-home space. About 67% of professionals say that working remotely is productive, but that productivity often hinges on where your workspace is located in your home. If you live in a tiny apartment, you may not have too many options so deciding the spot will probably be an easy one. Even if you just have a small corner in your living room or bedroom open, take advantage of it. Working at a small corner desk will likely lead to better productivity than working on your couch or bed.
If you have a larger home, choose a spot that’s out of the way. It will ideally be away from potential distractions, such as the television and tempting snacks, and receive good natural light. If you have kids at home, think about how close you want your workspace to be to them. You may need to set up a space close to them if they’re younger and need supervision, but you may want to find a quiet corner of the house to work in peace if they’re older and don’t need you watching them.
Make It Ergonomic
Ideally, you would be able to purchase an ergonomic chair and desk to help you feel comfortable and keep your back in shape while you work. However, these purchases don’t fit into everyone’s budget at the moment. Try shopping your home to match a chair with a table or other surface that allows you to work at your computer without hunching over. Make sure that the chair provides back support but is still comfortable to sit in for long periods of time. If it’s not quite comfy enough, try adding a cushion or draped blanket to it.
You can even devise a standing desk at home out of a kitchen counter. This can be a great option for people who don’t like sitting for too long or find themselves hunching over no matter how ergonomic their chair is. If your counter isn’t quite the right height, prop up your laptop with books to get it to the right level.
Decorate the Space
Even if your work-from-home space is just a temporary solution, adding some personality to it will help make it more pleasant for you to spend time in. You may think that the decorations you already have in your home are enough, but 47% of Americans haven’t updated their home decor in the last five years. A simple decor switch-up can make a room, or a corner of a room, feel fresh and inviting. You don’t even need to buy new items if it’s not in the budget. All you need to do is bring in a houseplant, piece of artwork, or piece of furniture from another room to rejuvenate the space and transform it into your home office.
Any space in your home can become the perfect office with just a little work. Think about what you have in your regular workspace that made you feel productive and try to recreate those elements in your at-home office. Your workspace needs to be catered to your personal needs and preferences, so remember to always prioritize those. With this in mind, you’ll be able to work effectively at home, even if it wasn’t quite how you imagined your professional life going this year.