When you think of your “work from home style” it likely includes comfortable sweats and slippers, and doesn’t exactly bring furnishings to mind, but as the remote work trend grows, you may find yourself wanting to improve your home office décor. Neglecting the space where you work can have a negative impact on your work, and your life. It’s your home, and should reflect your style, so remember to take the time to identify what will work best for your circumstances. Here are some home office ideas to improve your work-from-home experience.
Not all homes can spare a room dedicated to a home office, so you may have to get creative when defining your space. Make sure you choose an area where you are still accessible if you need to monitor virtual learning or other priorities, but not so central that you can’t focus or take calls easily. Making a few small décor changes and purchases can help outline your space, and focus your work.
- An area rug can help represent your office space--choose something with a low pile if you’ll need to roll your office chair, and don’t forget a color that boosts your mood.
- Try a room divider within hearing distance, but visually separate from a shared room—temporary curtains, or a folding divider can help accomplish this.
- Make sure you have everything you need nearby, constantly leaving your space can blur the mental separation and lead to distraction.
Studies show that natural light in an office setting improves overall wellness, with evidence of reduced eye strain and fewer headaches. Individuals seated near a window are also known to experience increased productivity, so situate your home office near a window, if possible.
- Solar shades allow light in, and a view, but can block harmful UV rays, as well as reduce glare on monitors and devices, making working near a window easier.
- Shades with bottom up/top down control are another good option so that you can maximize your light but precisely block where glare is entering your window.
- A full spectrum lightbulb provides the mood-enhancing benefits of natural light, and can be installed in a fixture that matches your home office style.
3. Vertical Work Space
Consider an upgrade- literally! Standing desks are gaining popularity in the workplace and your home office is no exception. Standing, if you are able to, throughout the day can help keep focus and energy high, in addition to evidence of lower risk of cardiovascular disease, lower blood sugar, and reduced back and joint paint. There are ways you can incorporate some of these benefits, even if you don’t have a standing desk.
- Get an ergonomic desk chair, or add support pillows to your chair.
- Use a smart watch or timer to remind you to stand and stretch for at least a minute every hour.
- Get a standing desk converter, or use household items to safely raise your computer- make sure it gets sufficient air flow and can’t fall.
- Get outside and go for a quick walk during your breaks.
4. Soft Décor
We all have different opinions and tolerances when it comes to what’s “noisy”, but your home office needs to be a place where you can focus and take calls and video conferences unencumbered. Soft textures can absorb sound so adding layers to your home office décor can look great while serving a purpose.
- Add soft, sound absorbing, accessories such as throw pillows, upholstered seating, or stylish drapery panels
- Include a flag or dry erase board to signal to spouses and children that you’re on a video chat or call that should not be interrupted unless it’s an emergency.
- Add sound back in with a fan or white noise machine if it’s starting to feel a little too quiet, and it can simulate an office setting.
Most of all, choose pieces that speak to your personal style and it will be a lot easier to “step into your office”.
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