How To Make Your Home Office Work For You
The last year has brought many challenges and changes with it, including a huge increase in the number of people who are working from home. There are plenty of advantages to this—you can’t beat the commute, for one thing!—but it can also be difficult trying to find the perfect set-up for maximum productivity. If you’ve been holding down the fort from home and can’t seem to make the couch or bed work in your favor, keep reading! We’ve put together a few of our favorite tips for helping you create a space that will make working from home a huge success.
Find the location that feels right for you
If you’re fortunate enough to have an empty room you can use as a dedicated office space, be it a bedroom or basement, this part is easy. Not everyone has this kind of free space in their home, however. If you’ve been moving from room to room trying to find a place that feels right, you may need to think creatively about creating the kind of office space that works for you! Unused corners in bigger rooms, larger closets that don’t have a lot in them, storage space under the stairs—almost any nook or cranny can be converted into an office if you’re willing to think outside the box.
Give yourself some extra privacy
Even if you have a separate office set up at home, you may still find privacy hard to come by when other members of your family are in the house. You may benefit from hanging a “do not disturb” sign on the door or finding another way to communicate when you need some extra privacy, like these door hangers that send a polite but pointed message! If your office space is in a more public area of the house, consider adding a privacy divider to give yourself a more separate area to work from. Traditional dividers like this sit on the floor and can easily be moved from place to place as needed.
Invest in quality office products
When you’re working from home, it can be tempting to do up your space on a shoestring budget, especially if this is only a temporary situation. But if you’re spending 40 hours each week in this environment, do you really want to skimp? Remember that you get what you pay for. Whether you’re working from home full-time or part-time, for the next few months or the foreseeable future, quality is important.
Think about where you’re sitting, for example. Grabbing a chair from the kitchen or dining room can be fine if you’re just hanging out for a few minutes, but when you’re putting real hours in, you need proper support for your back. Ergonomic office chairs can often be adjusted based on your height, have built-in lumbar support, and feature adjustable seat depth, backrests, and armrests. Prioritize your comfort when you work from home, even if it’s a little more expensive, and you’ll see how much easier it is to be productive!
Find the right desk for you
Whether you’re in the office or working from home, you’re probably spending quite a bit of time at your desk. Finding a desk that fits your budget, workflow, and available space is essential for your comfort and productivity! Since both sitting and standing for extended periods can cause various aches and pains, a standing desk can be the perfect blend of both. An ergonomic desk that’s height adjustable lets you sit when you feel like it and stretch your legs when you need to with the simple push of a button! This innovative solution allows you to move throughout the workday, giving both your brain and your body a boost when you’re feeling tired or uninspired.
Get smart with storage options
A lot of the work we do from home tends to revolve around screens, so you may not need much more than a laptop or phone to do your job successfully. But some of us still have papers, pens, and other office supplies to contend with. Luckily, the days of huge metal cabinets and over-filled shelves are rapidly becoming a thing of the past in the office and at home! Floating shelves, cubbies, and existing storage units can be repurposed for anything you need to handle working from home. Dealing with a small space? Think vertically! A hutch, tall bookcase, or strategically placed shelving can maximize the room you do have and help you feel more organized.
Protect your neck and eyes
Monitor placement and quality of light are often overlooked when arranging a home office. There is no magical spot where a monitor is right for everyone, so be prepared to experiment until you find what works for you! Remember that:
- your spine should always be in a neutral position when working
- the top of the screen should be at or slightly below eye level
- the monitor should be at least 20 inches from your eyes (this can be a longer distance if your monitor is large)
To keep your neck in the proper alignment, you should be looking slightly down at the middle of the screen. You can ensure you’re looking down on the screen at an angle by tilting the monitor back about 10-20 degrees. If you wear bifocals, tip it back 30-45 degrees. This will keep you from tilting your head back to focus. Although most monitors are adjustable, you may need a screen riser to hit the exact angle you need.
Poor lighting can be a problem for your eyes, too. Eye strain can lead to chronic headaches and reduced productivity, but certain types of light can create glare on your screen or desk, making it difficult for you to see. If your home office has natural light available, take advantage of this by placing your desk in a place that gets plenty of it but doesn’t cause glaring issues. If you don’t have access to daylight, invest in a task lamp with a solid shape so you can point the light exactly where you need it, or go for an indirect source with diffusing shades that soften the light and make working long hours easier on your eyes.
Find your perfect home—and home office—with the JudyMac Team of Crye-Leike Realtors
Whether you’ll be working from home long-term or plan to get back to the office as soon as possible, creating a space that allows you to remain comfortable, focused, and efficient will benefit everyone involved. And remember: if you’re looking for a new home with the ideal office space in Downtown, Midtown, East Memphis, Germantown, Collierville, and beyond, the JudyMac Team of Crye-Leike Realtors has you covered. Get in touch with us anytime to start the search for your perfect home!