It's back-to-school time! Whether you're going back to school yourself, your kids are, or you've just been admiring all the new desk supplies lining the Target shelves, fall is the perfect time to take a closer look at your current WFH situation.
The right work space can have a huge impact on your productivity levels. There're the basics like good lighting, a comfortable ergonomic chair, and a desk or tabletop with room for your computer and/or papers. However, it's important for your office space also to be an area where you enjoy spending time. Just think, if you don't want to be there, are you going to be inclined to put in that extra hour to get that project completed? Probably not. This same principle applies to kid's work spaces; if they don't like sitting at the kitchen table in the uncomfortable wooden chair, then they'll be even less jazzed than usual to get that math sheet done before dinner.
Here's how to turn any kind of work space into the most desirable hang-spot in your home:
If you're one of the lucky ones, then maybe you have a dedicated office. Awesome! This means you can personalize it so it works exactly the way you need it to work.
Start by considering the kinds of activities you're doing on a daily basis. Do you work on the computer? Then be sure you have a desk at the proper height and an ergonomic chair. Are you recording or doing a lot of Zoom meetings? Sound absorption is key, so be sure to put down a rug and add curtains to your windows. Do you need space to spread out paperwork? A large work table centered in the room might be the way to go.
Be sure to add some nice-to-have things as well. If you like to reward yourself with an afternoon latte, then maybe a Keurig would be a good addition. Or perhaps you need a midday stretch break, so a yoga mat and a bit of clear floor space makes sense. Even just a few framed photos from your favorite vacation or a pretty houseplant or two can do the trick. Whatever brings you joy!
Shared Work Space
Perhaps your kids need to crash your office space sometimes in order to use the computer, or you may not have an office at all and the dining table is the place to be. In many cases, we're sharing our work spaces with others in the house, but this doesn't mean we can't have a beautiful, functional work-from-home spot.
First, identify the people and use-cases that your spot needs to encompass. If you have kids that are using this space, be sure to consider their stature. Can you fit a smaller table and chair combo next to the adult version? Being comfortable is so important to productivity! Maybe you have older kids, so it makes more sense to use the dining table, where multiple people can work at the same time. The danger here is that the work stays and dinner is eaten over the sink. To solve for this, give each member of the family a bin or basket to collect all of their supplies in. When homework hour is done, have everyone collect their things and stow the bins in a cupboard, on a shelf, or even in a corner of the room until you need them again the next day.
Now that we've talked about the practical side, let's see how we can bring some joy into the space. Since it's a shared space, it's great to give everyone a spot to showcase their accomplishments--whether that be an A on a test, a published article, or a note from a happy client. Adding a bulletin or magnetic board on a nearby wall is a great way to encourage everyone to share their wins. I also love the idea of having a spot for your furry friends. Who doesn't love a purring cat or a snoozing dog by their feet while they work? A dog bed or wall-mounted cat perch gives your fur babies a place all their own, so you don't end up with a cat sleeping on your keyboard--I speak from experience!
One final thought: no matter where it is or who uses it, a home office is part of your home, so outfit it accordingly. Don't use institutional-looking furniture! Find things that look like the pieces you have in your other spaces. You'll be so much happier to spend time in the space if it feels like a reflection of you.
Want more work-from-home inspiration? Check out my post on Creative Home Office Set-ups >>
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