What is a home office? A room with a desk, a computer, and your college diploma hanging on the wall? Or a spot on the couch, close to an outlet, with a good view of the TV?
When you take the idea of an office outside of the typical work setting, the lines blur, and the concept of productivity often gets stuffed right into the couch cushions — along with your lost remotes and loose change.
With remote work becoming the norm, a home office can longer be the place where your to-do list goes to rot. It’s time to make a space that’s actually conducive to your 40+ hour a week job, and with these few tips, perhaps it’s even possible to create a space that’s better than any workplace you’ve sat in before.
Define the Purpose of The Space
Before you do anything, it’s key to take some time to define the purpose of your home office space. One of the coolest parts of having a home office is that you’re able to customize it in a way that’s unique to you. Say goodbye to your company’s clunky desks and ugly office chairs and say hello to pieces that work for you and your needs.
Ask yourself some important questions and let those answers inform what you buy, where you put things, and how you design the space as a whole!
Here are some questions to consider:
What will you be working on in this space? How much time will be spent sitting? Standing? Pacing? How much time will you spend on phone or video calls? Will other people (coworkers or clients) be visiting you in the space? What time of day are you most productive? What equipment is most important to you and the work you do? What kind of aesthetic do you feel drawn to?
Pick a Space in your Home
Your home office doesn’t need to be a room lined with mahogany bookshelves, but it should be a space that’s separate from the hustle and bustle of home life. Whether that means you need to section off part of your bedroom or turn your guest room into a temporary office, as long as you’re able to create some boundary between your home and office spaces, you’re golden!
No matter what you think or say, you will never reach peak productivity in front of a television or with a pile of dishes haunting you in the sink. In whatever way your home allows, create a boundary so that work can stay at work and the duties and pleasures of home can stay at home!
Sourcing Your Home Office Goods
Now that you’ve defined the purpose of your space and created a necessary boundary for your office, you’ll want to take intentional steps to fill it!
As you find items to fill your office with, go back to the answers to the questions above. It might be tempting to use your office space as a catchall storage closet or a workout room, however, to have a productive workspace, each item should have a purpose.
With much of the workforce still working from home by government or company mandates, it’s worth it to ask your company if you would be able to take some items from your original workspace to use in your new home office. This is especially great if you don’t have the resources to gather all of the things you need on your own. If you’re on a budget, considering thrifting some items or browsing sites like Facebook Marketplace! You’d be surprised what gems you can find!
As you source items for your office, here are a few important categories to consider:
1. Furniture - Office furniture tends to be pretty simple, and while we love a beautiful desk and chair, we recommend going for comfort over style when making the choice. When looking for your seating setup, consider ergonomics like your life depends on it. No more hunched neck and slouched shoulders — find yourself a standing desk or a chair and desk combo built with your body in mind.
2. Technology - With a home office, good technology is king. After all, you can’t get work done if your internet goes out every ten minutes. Invest in high-speed internet and items like good noise-canceling headphones and speakers for those endless conference calls. Consider what you’ll need daily and go from there. If you’ll need to print something once every two months, skip buying the printer and head to the local print shop as you need.
3. Design - It’s time to consider aesthetics! While this might seem a bit excessive for a home office (especially one that’s temporary), design is actually an essential part of making your home office a place where good work can get done. Designer Mark Hampton once said, "Real comfort, visual and physical, is vital to every room." Keep your decor items simplistic and intentional and choose colors that inspire and energize you throughout the day.
What are you waiting for? It’s time to create a space that feels like you, tunes out the distractions of the world, and allows you to do what you do best!
Are you looking for more ways to create work-life balance while working from home? AGL: Coaching for Good is here to help! Start your coaching journey today!
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