With a sudden shift to working from home, many people created make-shift work environments. Some have the luxury of a complete home office, and others are utilizing their kitchen tables or living rooms.
While these temporary home offices have played their part in the short-term, they may not suffice for people who continue to work from home. According to Global Workplace Analytics, many people will continue to work remotely, even after offices start to open back up.
“Our best estimate is that 25-30% of the workforce will be working-from-home multiple days a week by the end of 2021.”
– Kate Lister, President of Global Workplace Analytics.
With this rise in remote employees, home offices are becoming increasingly important. It’s essential to have a place that signals it is ‘working time,’ where you can focus and stay on task. Here are some tips to keep in mind when designing a home office:
Whenever possible, maximize natural light. Natural light boosts mood, increases productivity, and creates a feeling of openness. When arranging your desk and office furniture, place it so you can see out the windows, but out of direct glare from the sun. Ideally, you should be able to work all day with blinds open.
Add Lighting Options
Natural light isn’t always enough. Add a variety of lighting options in your home office so that you always have plenty of light for work tasks. Overhead lighting, combined with lamps at your working space, is often plenty of light. If you want to add in more, you can incorporate a floor lamp and recessed lighting in the ceiling.
Storage is needed in any work environment. Whether you need a filing cabinet, a bookcase, or a closet with shelves, make sure you have a system in place to stay organized.
Ergonomics aims to design the workspace to improve performance and productivity. Often, seemingly small adjustments make a huge difference to how we feel physically and mentally after the workday. Set up your computer and keyboard so you eliminate the hunched over stance and find a chair that is both comfortable and supportive. If you have enough space, create a couple of working areas, including a place to stand, a place to sit, and even a small couch to change things up.
Not everyone has an entire room that can be dedicated to a home office. You can create an office nook that contains most of the above elements. Select a corner of a room that is seldom used, and add in floating shelves, a desk, and lighting. Some people even transform a closet into an office space.
If you are going to continue working from home, we recommend taking the time to design a space that fits your needs. Your home office should reflect your style, be a place that you enjoy, and an area where you can tune out distractions to accomplish your work goals.