In recent COVID-19-months many of us are working from home facing a completely new working culture. While the first reaction often was enthusiasm because we are saving so much time that we normally would have spent commuting between work and home after a couple of weeks we notice a difference: Working from home sometimes often is not as efficient as in the office. The reason: Only few of us have a home office setup that provides us with everything we need for concentrated, creative and efficient working.
The following tips will help you create a working space where you reach full focus and maximal efficiency.
Probably most of us don’t have an entire room for their home office or guest room that they could re-style . But here’s the good news: You can really make use of any unused space in your house. If there’s no spare room you can dedicate to your home office you can also use the guest room and transform it.
Alternatively you can use the empty space between two walls or under the stairs in order to create a nice working environment.
Often we do have “dead corners” in living room or bedroom which provide enough space for a small writing desk and chair. Remember: There’s almost no space too little. Just get creative and challenge your imagination!
Tip: When integrating your home office space into the living room or bedroom you can use book shelves, sideboards or folding screens in order to separate the areas. You can also use wall paint or rugs to divide the two areas optically.
Especially when integrating a home office corner into the living room or bedroom you want to look out for aesthetic writing desks that don’t scream “Work!”. You can either choose desks in the same style as the rest of your interior that blend in perfectly or you create some accents - for example by selecting desks in a contrasting color or material.
Make sure that your desk provides enough space for all your working equipment (screens, keyboard, scanner etc.) and has the right height for you. If you are lacking a big screen and only work with a laptop you can get a laptop stand in order to avoid neck pain.
Tip: Massive wood tables always create a warm look and feel and can be combined with almost any other style.
Ergonomic seating is key when you are working many hours in your home office. A wooden kitchen chair probably would cause back pain within the first weeks and shouldn’t be seriously taken into consideration as an office chair. Instead, choose your chair wisely. Ergonomic office chairs often are not the prettiest though by far the best option for keeping your back healthy.
If your home office is integrated in your living area you might want to consider a nice chair that is comfy and guarantees a healthy seating position. There are many options that range from stylish office chairs, upholstered dining chairs to armchairs with a high seat height.
Good lighting conditions can make the difference. With enough daylight and a good mix of indirect and accent lighting you can concentrate better and get more creative and efficient.
Make sure that the place where you set up your home office has enough daylight. Daylight is crucial for concentrated working and helps avoiding eye strain. Place your desk close to the window - ideally to the left or right, depending on whether you are right- or left-hander. Install a ceiling lamp for basic lighting. Add a desk lamp that lights up your working area on the table. Add some indirect lighting in shelves or install wall lamps. You can also add a floor lamp and table lamps in order to light up the entire room.
A nice and tidy working environment helps staying focused - so storage furniture like shelves, chests and drawers are perfect to hide all your equipment. Also a sideboard is perfect to create a home office space that looks more like living than working. In order to hide small items you can go for a desk with built-in drawers.
Tip: You can even store technical equipment like scanners and printers in cupboards and sideboards. Just make sure they have a small whole in the back for the cables. This way your home working area will look even more clean and won’t get this technical touch that’s typical for common office spaces.
As we spend most of our day time in our home office it’s important to add some accessories to make it feel cozy and warm. Home textiles are the perfect way to create coziness and a homely vibe.
Add a soft cushion to your office chair that supports your back and serves as decoration at the same time. A warm and fluffy rug cozies up the space as well and guarantees warm feet in the colder season. It also helps to optically separate the working area and the surrounding living space. Curtains on your windows are another option that make the space feel warmer and are perfect for adding some color to the room.
Accessories like wall pictures, a nice vase with flowers or a single leaf or a scented candle add a personal touch to your home office space and create a contrast to work. A mood board is also a great way to combine work with personal stories and add some color to the space. This increases joy while working and helps getting creative.
Don’t forget plants! They are perfect to add some green spots in order to create a dynamic look but they also increase productivity by up to 15%! Go for decorative plants like monstera, peace lily or ficus to beautify your desk and drawers. Hanging plants like ivy or pothos are perfect for high book shelves or can even be installed in macramé hanging baskets.
Your home office space should always be ready to be presented to guests. So keep it tidy and remove any clutter from surfaces and shelves. This helps staying focused and work as efficient as possible from home.
Tip: If you don’t want to invest in storage furniture you can also add decorative baskets and boxes which you store in bookshelves or sideboards. Baskets made of rattan and wicker create a warm and cozy look and serve as storage for paper, books and all the other things you want to get out of the way.