With the world being hit by global pandemic, more people than ever are working from home. And if that shift has left you wondering how to organize your home office, you’re not alone!
Creating an office space that is conducive to being productive is key to your success with working from home. One of the biggest benefits of having a home office is that you can set up a space that works perfectly for your specific needs.
Here are ten things to consider when figuring out how to organize your home office.
#1. Choose the Right Location
This is the one area where your options may be limited, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create a great space. While a dedicated room for your home office is most people’s ideal scenario, it’s just not always possible.
Whether you’re taking over a corner of the family room or repurposing a spare room, there are a few things you’ll want to think about. If you’re someone who takes a lot of calls you may have privacy considerations. If your work requires long periods of unbroken concentration, you may be concerned about how often family members will be coming in and out of the space.
Whatever your specific needs are, these should be a factor in choosing the right spot to work.
#2. Pay Attention to Ergonomics
If you’re used to working at a desktop with a full keyboard and a desk that is ergonomically correct, transitioning to a laptop at your kitchen table is likely to cause some strain on your body. Ergonomics are all about creating a healthy and pain-free work environment and that includes looking at things like posture, repetitive movements and temperature.
Investing in an ergonomically sound set up for your office is time (and possibly money) well spent, whether it means purchasing a sitting/standing desk or simply raising your monitor to optimal height with a stack of books. Lower cost items you can consider for your office include foot rests, or an ergonomic mouse and keyboard.
#3. Paint the Room an Inviting Color
If you’re going to be sitting amongst four walls all day, why not make them a color you love? We’re all familiar with the stereotypical drab, cold look of an office, but since you’re working from home, anything goes!
When choosing a color, consider how it makes you feel. Colors like red or orange create a feeling of warmth, whereas green or blue can have a more soothing effect.
#4. Treat Yourself to a Great Chair
While office chairs would fall under the ergonomic umbrella, this item is so important it deserves it’s own mention. It can’t be overstated how critical your office chair is in terms of your physical health. Poor posture can have long term effects, so finding a chair that can support your body effectively is critical.
When looking for a great office chair, looking for features like adjustable height and armrests, lumbar support, and ability to tilt.
#5. Make it Functional Yet Fabulous
When you’re trying to organize your home office, functionality is important. You don’t want to be searching through the house for your files, or trying to remember where you last put down X, Y or Z. An office space that promotes productivity is all about having what you need at your fingertips.
Think of it like a traditional office. You show up each day and what’s on your desk or in your office? What are all the things you have right there? Figure out what your “must haves” are, including office supplies and technology, what you need within arms reach versus somewhere in the room. Then, start setting up an office space that works best for your needs.
#6. Light It Up
An office with a window is usually on everyone’s wish list, but that may not always be possible. Even if your chosen office space does have a window, your ideal setup may not allow for you to be gazing outside as you work.
For offices with a window, consider where the sunlight hits throughout the day. If the spot you were considering placing your desk puts you right in the line of afternoon sun, it may not actually be the placement.
For office spaces without direct sunlight or that are in an area that’s not as bright, you’re going to want to ensure you have great lighting. A desk light, floor lamp or other lighting through the room can go a long way to keeping your office space bright.
#7. Go Vertical
Your desk will be your central hub for getting things done all day, but it won’t necessarily be able to house everything you need around you. And for people dealing with smaller or dual spaces, every inch of storage and display space is critical.
Making the most of your vertical space is always a smart strategy, so when looking at your office, consider how you can maximize its potential. Can you add floating shelves above your desk for storage? Can you add baskets on top of existing pieces? Can you take premade pieces and stack them together to make something custom that reaches all the way to the ceiling?
Using your vertical space is all about being creative, so take a look at your room and see where there are some opportunities.
#8. Add Some Greenery
You may or may not have noticed that many traditional office spaces have plants — and there’s good reason for that.
Indoor plants offer many health benefits, including increasing oxygen, adding moisture, purifying the air and more. Plants can also help improve mood and provide some visual interest to a space.
Now, not every space is ideal for live plants. And some people are not suited to plant ownership — and that’s totally okay! If live plants are not your thing, the world of faux greenery has come a long way and you can find a good selection at most home goods stores. Even if they aren’t real, they can still warm up a space and give your brain the same signals of relaxation and calmness.
#9. A Place for Everything
Everyone works differently. Some people like a desk with nothing but a laptop and a cup of coffee, other people have papers spread out everywhere with not a square inch of desk to be seen.
No matter what your work process is, if you want to organize your home office effectively, everything needs a home. It doesn’t have to be put away every day, but everything should have a location in the space where it CAN be put away. This is particularly critical for people whose office area functions as a dual use space.
If you’re short on space, baskets and decorative boxes can hide a multitude of things, and make for easy clean up when things need to be put away. (Like in a hurry before your next video call!)
#10. Include Personal Touches
One of the very best things about having a home office space is it’s all yours. There are no rules that have to be followed about how to paint or decorate, so anything goes!
While your home office should be designed in a way to allow you to be focused and productive, it also can reflect you on a personal level. Whether it’s including lots of family photos, a fun print you picked up on a fantastic trip or an old family heirloom desk, personal touches can go a long way to making your work experience that much better.
Look for things that evoke good memories, make you smile and bring you joy, and your home office can be a spot you feel happy to go to each day.
Organize Your Home Office For Maximum Success
Working from home can be a big transition for some people, but by creating an office space that feels inviting and is set up with everything you need is one of the ways you can make it easier.
With some smart design and plenty of homey touches, your home office can be a place where you not only get the job done, but also feel good while you do it.