2020 has taken it upon itself to become the year of work from home (WFH). Change and discomfort go hand in hand, though, and most of us have struggled to sync our work routines within our homes. The solution may be simpler than you think – a small but deliberately designed WFH space can not only help you maintain efficiency but even give it a boost.
Some people have the space for a dedicated home office while others make do with a corner from which they can touch their bed. In either case, it is imperative that you place a physical boundary that demarcates home space from work space. Entering your work area should be like entering your actual office, where work unambiguously takes top priority during work hours. A rug, furniture such as a table or sofa, or a divider screen are ideal for this purpose.
Convertible or mobile furniture is sometimes the only way you will be able to fit an office inside your home. Foldaway tables are one of the best and most affordable WFH solutions. Most office chairs come with wheels but you may also want to consider a desk with the same feature. Bar carts can work wonders in this sense if they are of the correct height. Another advantage of mobile furniture is that the “pack up and roll away” sequence mirrors your office routine and allows your brain to compartmentalize work and home.
A cramped, messy work area works against your productivity and efficiency, and just makes it harder to get your head around your workload. If you are strapped for space at home, consider furniture with integrated storage, or storage solutions that slide innocuously under your desk until they are needed. The bar cart mentioned above is an ideal example of multi-functionary storage that is practical and saves space.
Whether you were fortunate enough to have a corner office or stuck under fluorescents all day, you have full control over your home lighting. There is no need to stick with overhead lights nor even strictly with white light. Some people find that softer yellows are not only easier on their eyes but also more flattering for those unavoidable video calls. Just make sure that the effect isn’t so mellow that you start to drift off during business hours.
Aesthetics and Ergonomics
One of the biggest drawbacks of a confined workspace is that it becomes so easy to get bored and distracted. If possible, position your workplace near a window so a glance its way gives you a literal change of scenery. Your favorite paintings and photographs are another pleasant option.
Physical discomfort from unsuitable or mis-sized furniture can hurt your focus. There is no need to splurge on gimmicky office chairs that resemble Transformers. Chairs with adjustable height and backrest angle are usually compact and get the job done.
Space is not the most important factor in working from home – it is your mindset. By creating a dedicated, comfortable, and conducive work area within your home, you give yourself the best chance of handling your workload and impressing management and colleagues.