Revamp your remote workspace
After a year of working from home, might it be time to adjust your workspace?
Reorganizing your home office layout may seem daunting, but a comfortable space helps create a more positive atmosphere, improved motivation and greater productivity.
First, take a moment to consider what doesn't work in the current layout. Next, take an inventory of furniture and equipment—including what you don't have.
Now, let's take a look at some common fixes for a remote workspace that doesn't work for you.
Find the right desk
Even if you have a desk, it may be time for a change. You’ll want something that’s big enough to fit your computer, store office supplies and give you ample workspace. Furniture makers offer desks for every need these days, from small writing desks to L-shaped desks to standing desks to folding desks—and everything in between. This is the time to really think about your personal work style and find the desk that suits you best. Don’t forget to consider the placement of the desk and what will be in the background. Is there a common walkway behind you that will have your housemates visible to your co-workers? A messy bookshelf? A window that looks out on a garbage dumpster? These are all possible distractions…or embarrassments.
Invest in a good chair
Once you’ve settled on a desk, it’s time to take a look at your chair. It’s worth it to invest in a quality office chair. Make sure it’s the correct height and provides good back and arm support while working. It should be comfortable to sit in for long periods of time (but don’t forget to stand and stretch periodically). If you’re a sit-and-stand person, there are now sit-and-stand adjustable chairs. There are even chairs with pedals that enable you to get in some body movement and up your heart rate while you get work done.
Select the best lighting
What kind of lighting do you have in your home office? If at all possible, try to set up your desk next to a window so you have access to natural light, which has been proven to provide both good work light and an improvement in your focus and general mood. If you don’t have a window available, get a table or floor lamp to brighten up your space.
Declutter and organize
Now that you’re working at home, just about anything you own can end up in your workspace. Coffee cups, dog treats, nail polish, kids’ toys, mail. To create a productive workspace, think organized and clean. First, go through your work area and remove any unnecessary items. Keep items you use often close at hand and things you only touch occasionally (e.g., filing) somewhere other than your desk. Store big items like books and notebooks on shelves or in labeled storage bins to keep your workspace tidy. Use a desk organizer to keep pens, highlighters, sticky notes, paper clips or other important supplies handy. Whiteboards and calendars can help you stay on top of deadlines, meetings and tasks. At the beginning of each week and month, put together a list of what’s coming up and what you need to tackle so you can remain focused and productive.
Personalize your space
Make your home office feel more inviting by adding things that showcase your personality or inspire you to do more creative work. Use shelves for plants, hang photos or inspirational wall art near your desk, or install bookshelves for storage. After all, if you’re going to spend eight hours or more a day here, why not make it a reflection of you—and a space you look forward to working in every day.Back to issue