In 2020, many companies were forced to socially distance themselves, requiring employees to work from home. Now, a number of years later, we still see the effects of this societal change, with remote work being more common now than ever. Whether companies chose to keep some of their employees remote, or people found the work-from-home concept to their liking, it’s not unusual to have a workspace in your own home.
While some people can work from the comfort of their kitchen table without a second thought, most people working from home have taken the time to decorate their home office and make it their own comfortable space. Whether it’s incorporating a relaxing color scheme, inspirational wall decor or functional (and comfortable) office furniture, creating a home office space you love can boost motivation and make allow you to reap the benefits of at-home work.
Easy ways to transform your workspace
Don’t sell yourself short when it comes to creating a beautiful in-home office; let your imagination fill the space for you. Creating a dynamic home office is more than just filling your home office with new furniture; you’re looking to create a workspace where you actually want to spend time. With a little time and creativity, you can craft a workspace more personalized than any corporate office space.
1. Showcase your identity
Despite all of the benefits that working in a corporate office brings, your desk is typically already at work when you arrive on your first day. You have a limited say as to where you sit, what your desk looks like and where you can file important documents or folders. All of those rules are now subject to change because you’re the one designing the space.
For that reason, make sure that each element in your at-home workspace helps showcase your identity. If you want a standing desk, buy one. If you think an overhead lamp will increase your productivity, make it happen. If you think a change in the colors of your home office will help, paint the walls. The faster you can create a space covered in your personality, the faster you’ll begin to see it as your own.
2. Include at least one item in your office that doesn’t need to be there
Maybe it’s a bobblehead of your favorite television show character or athlete. Maybe it’s a dynamic wall decal, ornament or piece of art. Maybe it’s an extra chair or a bookshelf full of your favorite novels and knickknacks. No matter what it is, make sure that your office includes at least one tribute to who you are, and not just to what you do. Just like your regular office at work likely contains photo frames or some indication of your personality, your at-home office needs the same flair that makes work enjoyable (or at least tolerable) in the first place.
3. Fall in love with your desk chair
One must-have in your home office is a nice, quality desk chair, even if it costs a little extra (You’ll thank us for this one after spending inordinate amounts of time in your desk chair). Especially since there’s likely no water cooler to visit or coworkers to converse with, you’ll be spending quite a bit of time sitting. Make sure that it’s a chair you can fall in love with, not just tolerate. If it swivels, perfect. If you can sink into it, even better. No matter what it looks like or feels like, your desk chair defines the office space and makes for productive work sessions, or otherwise long hours.
4. Make your office a (temporary) hangout spot
There’s always a danger that a child or pet will walk in on a conference call and we’ve likely all sat through virtual meetings with all sorts of home-based noise in the background – pans banging, dogs barking, children crying or laughing or running. However, your family is also what keeps you going during the day.
And technically, anyone at home during the day is now one of your coworkers! Whenever you’re not on a conference call, especially during a break or during lunch, feel free to invite your “coworkers” to share lunch with you at your desk. A shared meal, or any non-work activity in or near your office, will go a long way toward humanizing the space.
5. Install speakers
This step is a simple one, but it can mean huge changes for morale, for your work ethic and for the entire at-home work environment. Whether you install a compact smart speaker, a traditional plug-in or Bluetooth speaker or even a soundbar or high-end stereo system, make sure that you can listen to music, podcasts, audiobooks, talk shows or to whatever audio you prefer as you work.
Not only does audio serve as sufficient white noise that can assist in concentration, music especially can serve to drastically improve your mood, making it easier to concentrate and complete the full workday.
Learn to fall in love with your home office
Transforming any home space into a workplace means more than sliding furniture into place and plugging in the necessary computer and monitor elements. It means entirely shifting your focus with regard to one room or area of the house. When you enter that room or space during normal work hours, your brain needs to understand that you are now “at work.” And that transition takes time to fully resonate. Thankfully, using these (and other) decorating ideas can help you create a home in the office in which you hopefully enjoy working.