In response to the spread of Covid-19 in the U.S., a significant majority of Americans have been asked to stay home. A lot of people aside from essential workers aren’t going to work, this is resulting in a surge of people who are working from home for the very first time. The need for a home office has become a necessity and since they don’t pop out of nowhere, I figured I’d share a few ideas.

It can take time to adjust to not working in an office space, as your home might not be set up to optimize productivity. Having a designated work area can help, and you might like working there even more if you make it aesthetically pleasing. Seeing how others have decorated their home workspaces can help you figure out what you want your remote office to look like.

Below are some guidelines for picking out the most productive work from home spot. Lighting it properly, and finding a desk and chair combo will keep you comfortable in the upcoming weeks. Keep these tips in mind to build a better workspace.

 

 

Create a dedicated workspace

Set boundaries

The use of a designated space helps establish the most important part of a home office: boundaries between work and home. You should set boundaries with your time as well. Work hard and don’t get distracted by housework is key!

 

 

Keep it organized/Make use of storage

Once you create a spot for work, don’t let the mess of everyday life take over. Cleaning up your desk every day/night is a good idea so as not to be overwhelmed with house tasks in the morning. The best way to ensure that spillover doesn’t happen? Good storage. Keep baskets or bins or file holders on your desk or on a nearby hard surface to help keep your paperwork nice and tidy.

 

 

 

 

Add a little something special and surround yourself with things you love

In addition to the essentials, make sure to incorporate elements that will make you happy and reduce stress. Keep the clutter to a minimum, but do add one to two items that make you happy. If you’re going to be set up there for the long haul, you can make some easy upgrades such as peel and stick wallpaper, painting, adding shelves and more. Whether it’s a yummy smelling candle, plant, or fresh misting spray, sometimes it’s the small things that make a difference when you’re working from home. Plants, in particular, can provide a nice visual distraction in the digital age.

 

 

 

Make it as ergonomic as possible

If suddenly working from home came as a surprise to you, you may not be set up with an ergonomic office chair, but you can still find the next best solution. Shop your home to try to match up a chair and table or another surface that lets you work at your computer or laptop without hunching over. A chair that’s comfortable yet provides back support is ideal. A cushion or draped blanket can help with the comfy factor. Or use a standing desk like situation, this can be done by stacking stuff to get the right height.

 

 

 

Now…

 

 

Create a routine

A big part of setting those boundaries is getting into a routine—the same way you would if you were waking up, getting ready, commuting, and settling in at your non-home office. Creating structure is essential.

 

Practice good communication

To ensure your work stays on schedule—and to stay connected with others—don’t let yourself go totally off the grid. Communicate with other humans.

 

 

Working from home has become the new normal for a lot of people, so I hope some of these tips help you maintain a designated space and retain some sanity. Share your work from office tips in the comments below.

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