The home office. Never before in the history of the relationship between emerging technology and the working world has the home office stolen the spotlight quite as dramatically as it has in the last few months. What was once a need of only a rare few remote workers or a luxury for those who desired a dedicated space to working toward making their side hustle their sole means, has now become a necessity as more companies shift their office spaces to the digital realm. As the lines of home and office continue to blur, it may be difficult to ever truly turn-off and get the time away from work you need to avoid eventual burnout. If your kitchen table has served as your conference call command center for the last few months, you may be starting to find yourself thinking of work when staring at your dinner plate. If your living room’s sofa and recliner have been your email entourage, you may be having a hard time not replaying the days replies while your family is watching the latest streaming obsession. As you use areas of your home traditionally reserved for rest and relaxation for productivity, you maybe conditioning yourself subconsciously to no view those areas as working zones. If you are one of the many across the globe who have recently found themselves putting in your day’s work without stepping foot outside your front door, it may be time to put some thought into creating a home office to help keep your work life and your home life in balance.
The first step to creating a home office is accepting that it just needs to be a designated space to work and not necessarily an entire room in your home. Not everyone has an extra room that they can dedicate to working; and that’s okay. Look around and see where you may have a bit of space. Once you find a bit of space, check to ensure will suit your needs by asking yourself a few basic questions. Will I be able to fit a small desk and chair here? Can I adjust the lighting or noise level? Will I be distracted by family or pets in this area? Ultimately you are asking yourself, Will I be able to focus in this space? If the answer to that question is no, than you will likely need to find another area. Just remember, it doesn’t have to initially check all of the boxes. Some things like furniture and lighting can be changed after you have decided on your new work space.
Once you have found the right space, it’s time to find the right furniture. Since many companies are extending their work from home practices indefinitely, it’s important to make sure whatever fixtures you have in your home office are going to be functional and comfortable for regular use. When choosing a desk, take measurements to ensure that it will fit in your chosen area and to know if the height of the work surface is going to be right. Slouching or straining to accommodate a too short or a too tall desk is going to make it difficult to focus on being productive and will make you not want to spend time in your work area. Small spaces tend to need more functional storage than large ones, so it is important to try to ensure that whatever desk you choose has options to fit your needs. A sleek wall desk with non-intrusive overhead storage space tucks away clutter while enhancing a small room’s design. If you have a little more space and more stuff to store, consider a desk with a built-in bookcase or clever cabinets.
What do you do if you can’t find a desk?
If your local furniture store doesn’t have a traditional desk in stock, there are a variety of different things that can be used for a workspace that cannot only work well, but also add a lot of high impact design to your space. A sofa table or a console table can easily take the place of a desk, while adding a bit of charm or a touch of glam to your office. A bar paired with matching barstools is another great option. No matter what you choose, you want to remember that you will be sitting at it so it should be tall enough to do so comfortably and have an open space for where you will be sitting. For storage, add a complementing accent cabinet to tuck away your work necessities.
The next important piece in any home office is the chair. Since you will be spending a lot of time in your home office chair, it is important to make sure that it is not only comfortable, but also supportive. Like an incorrect desk height, an improperly crafted chair can cause you to slouch or roll your hips. Not only can this hinder focus and efficiency, but it can also wreak havoc on your back. Choose a desk chair with padding, lumbar support, and a way to adjust height to ensure your day is as comfortable as it is productive.
What do you do if you can’t find an office chair?
If you are unable to find an office chair, there are a number of options you could use instead. Who says a dining chair can’t become your work day seat? Or, what about a beautiful and comfortable accent chair, or a perfectly tufted bench? Finding a beautiful and productivity-inspiring chair to complement your desk of choice should not be too hard since there are a plethora of options in any color or pattern your heart desires. Just remember to make sure that the height of the chair is appropriate for the desk you are pairing it with.
Lighting is an important element of any home office space. With too little light, you can strain your eyes with the blue light from the computer screen or not be able to fully focus due to tiredness. A properly placed lamp, or a pendant light can easily brighten up your work day and let you focus on the task at hand. The great thing about lamps is that there is an endless supply of lamp designs from contemporary, to traditional, to whimsical and everything in between. With so many options, it’s easy to not only shed some light on your space, but to also add some simple and functional style to your home office ensemble.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter whether your home office is that quiet corner of your home or a full room. As long as you have a dedicated space, the right pieces, an ample supply of style, and a way to step away at the end of the day, you are sure to be productive and maintain some work life balance leading to a healthier and happier you all the way around.