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Working From Home: Carving out functional space

As much of the country, and the world, is shifting to working from home during this pandemic, many people are strapped with the task to find work spaces in their home. Half of the battle is creating an environment that feels apart from home, a space where you can get into the mindset of work when you "go to your home office". If you don’t already have a dedicated office, finding the space to conduct your job tasks can be challenging. Here are some tips to creating a functional space for increased productivity at home.


Location

Sometimes there is an obvious place to set up your new work space at home. Sometimes there’s not. Try to select a spot where you won’t be too easily distracted. Your chair/table arrangement is important, you’re definitely going for comfort rather than looks. You'll want somewhere to put your feet up, something high enough to keep your posture straight and space where you can keep everything at arms length so you don't strain your body when you reach for something. Ventilation and fresh air are also important! If you don’t have a space in a room with a window that can be opened, opt for a small fan to circulate air and help keep you alert.


Lastly, locating your work space somewhere where you have enough outlet/data plug locations is important – in addition to your laptop/computer and printer, you’ll want to have enough outlets for charging items like your cell phone or tablet.



Organization

We understand that it’s not feasible to go out shopping at this time to purchase items in order to complete your “home office” space, but you could browse websites like Amazon, the Container Store, Joss & Main, or Target for organization items such as baskets and shelving. If online shopping isn't the best option for you, here are a few suggestions on how to keep things organized with items you may already have at home:


Paperwork: Rather than stacks of paper haphazardly scattered on your work surface, consider finding small bins or baskets to help organize your paperwork. Not only will this help keep things in order, but the de-cluttering of your work surface will help your concentration and productivity.

Office supplies: If you don’t have an actual desk to use (with drawers for storage), find a caddy, tray or glass jar to contain your pens, pencils, scissors, stapler..etc. This will help keep those office supplies close by without having to make extra trips to your “junk drawer”.



Storage

In small spaces, you may be limited on your horizontal work surfaces. That’s where vertical storage can be a huge benefit! Try a small shelving tower or bookcase. Not only does it help keep items up off your “desktop”, but it also helps to keep important paperwork and files itemized and easy to access.


Lighting

Make sure you have good lighting at your work space! Bad lighting can strain your eyes and cause headaches. Natural light is the best lighting for productivity. But if you don’t have a spot with plenty of natural light, borrow a lamp from somewhere else in your house to maximize a well-lit work surface. A desk lamp can provide direct lighting to your work space and paperwork. While a floor lamp can be useful to provide general lighting, like when you are sitting back and reading a book.



Mood

Again, if you are using a space in your home that isn’t a dedicated office, consider grabbing a few “happy” items to uplift your mood. Not that you want to muddle up your space, but things like a photo of your family or pet, a plant, or a favorite vacation souvenir are small items that can be inspiring during this new routine of working at home.


Adding an essential oil diffuser in your home office space is also a great way to help provide fresh aromas and clear your mind. Here are some essential oils that are good for focus & concentration: lemon, cypress, peppermint, sandalwood, cedarwood, basil, clary sage, and patchouli.

With a variety of ways to tap into music, it can be very beneficial to have a small speaker (or use your phone/computer) to play music. Not only can music uplift your mood and help you focus, but it can drown out white noise from machines like printers and computers.


Take A Break

Your health and well-being is important. Don’t forget to pay attention to your body! Sitting for a length of time can strain your body and mind. Don't forget to take breaks, stretch and get lots of fresh air. Click on the image below for some easy stretches you can do at your desk.


Working from home can be a big adjustment. We hope these tips help you create a work from home space that is more productive and comfortable. As always, feel free to contact us if you are looking to improve your home office for maximum storage, productivity and comfort.


Stay well and keep working hard! We'll get through this together.

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© 2020 Melichar Architects

The Practice of Fine Architecture

207 EAST WESTMINSTER, LAKE FOREST, IL 60045

Tel 847.295.2440

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