Working from home has quickly become the new normal for much of the regular American workforce. Changing trends given the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic has seen more employees work from home than ever before, and the transition has not been without its many challenges. Many individuals have been forced to rearrange child care, regular daily errands, etc. as in-person appointments become virtual conferences.
The world has largely embraced the shift to the work-from-home trend, as many employees, regardless of industry, have fashioned makeshift at-home work environments and continue to complete daily tasks that once were carried out from corporate office spaces.
Whether you consider yourself a work-from-home professional, or you’re entirely new to the concept of fulfilling a full-time occupation without leaving your own house, we have one suggestion when it comes to replacing your stress with peace of mind: find a way to mentally work from your office, even though you’re technically at home.
And there’s no faster way to mentally reach that point than by creating for yourself a workspace like the one you’d find in your own office. And given how much freedom you have to make the space your own, why not make it even better than your office?
The benefits to working from home
Make no mistake: working from home is a challenge. You’re dealing with the mental hurdle of working from your own house. At the same time, even though avoiding family members, friends and pets feels unnatural, it’s often a requirement if you’re looking to complete a full day’s work. Not to mention, you need to look for new ways to get outside of the house if you’re now working and sleeping in the same place.
However, working from home isn’t without its benefits. There are some elements of the work-from-home environment that are easy to fall in love with, including:
- More time spent at home with the family members you love
- Flexibility to schedule any necessary dental or doctor appointments around your work schedule
- Less money and time spent on gas and transportation to and from work
- Freedom to wear outfits you prefer, rather than any “necessary work clothes”
Suffice it to say, there are definitely some disadvantages to working from home that take time to adjust to. However, you’ll also enjoy a great many benefits to your new and improved corporate routine.
The ideal work from home setup
We’ve done you a favor and compiled all of our top suggestions when it comes to creating an at-home office space you’ll love. Without breaking the bank, here are a few items we know can help you make your work from home environment your own:
1. Add some life to the space
Even if it’s just a simple houseplant, adding a little “green” to your workspace can help you transform an empty room into more of a habitable environment. You can find a wide variety of houseplants that are both small, and require minimal watering. These include compact plants like the Ponytail palm and the Spider plant, both popular houseplants that can easily fit into virtually any small or mid-sized pot.
2. Consider a standing desk
Inevitably, you’ll grow tired of sitting in one spot for the majority of your workday. If you were in an office environment before COVID-19 became a significant issue, you were likely making regular trips to visit coworkers, refill a water bottle, frequent the bathroom, attend meetings, etc. Now that you’re working from home, opportunities to stretch your legs become less frequent but entirely more important for both fitness and morale. Some standing desks electronically extend and retract with just the touch of a button; others require more manual input. Either way, you can transition between sitting and standing positions before either becomes unbearable.
3. Go all in on your desk chair
Much like a pair of shoes or a mattress, you don’t want to skimp when it comes to buying something you’ll spend so much time using. Instead, don’t be afraid to go big when it comes to your office chair (especially if you can write part, or all of it, off as a business expense). Get the chair that swivels. Get the chair that keeps you warm and comfortable. Get the chair with the soda fountain attached to the back. In other words, the more you can fall in love with the office chair you’re sitting in, the more you can fall in love with your in-office environment and the work you’ll be doing there. And it all starts with the chair.
4. Equal parts home and office
And don’t be afraid to remind yourself that you’re still at home! Similarly to your own desk at work, outfit your desk and your office environment with photos of family members or friends, framed or unframed artwork, or whatever else makes you feel at home while spending time working. Whether it’s a magnet or a space heater, give your personality a big role when it comes to office space decoration.
5. Say yes to the desk
Like so many other things during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, your in-home office environment presents an opportunity to learn and grow. It’s a matter of personalizing the elements you can control, and learning to live with what you can’t control. But whether it’s your desk chair or your calendar, the pictures on the walls or your monitor setup, there’s so much about an at-home office setup that you can learn to love.
And once everything is set up, there’s only one other item you’ll need in order to successfully work from home: discipline. You’ll need the discipline to say no to your bed and yes to your desk and your daily to-do list. Working from home is an acquired taste and learned art, but there’s no reason why after acclimating to your new office, you can’t be even more productive than you once were in the office!