Many of us have found ourselves charting new territory and lugging computers and files home from the office. Tackling projects and deadlines may be made even more difficult with kids and spouses isolating at home as well.
The easiest way to manage your work-life balance is to separate it – literally. By designating a space as your home office, you will find it that much easier to stay focused and concentrated. Here are some ways to create a beautiful and functional home office space.
Put some organizational systems in place
This doesn’t have to be a large filing cabinet or bookcase, especially if this change is only temporary. Baskets and boxes work perfectly for organizing your work materials.
DIY HACK: Use wrapping paper or contact paper to transform a plain old cardboard box. You can even bust out the paint and try your hand at a faux wood or marble effect!
Stock up on desk accessories
Even if you’re using the dining room table as your workspace, desk accessories are the easiest way to make you feel like you’re back at the office again. Lay out a pen cup, charging station, a stapler and tape dispenser, and even a container for sticky notes and paper clips. Even if most of your documentation is online for the time being, you will still feel organized and ready for what the day will bring.
PRO TIP: By making sure all of your desk accessories match, your brain will pick up on the visual cohesiveness and help to alleviate disorder and stress.
Comfort is key
It may be difficult to find a chair that is just as perfectly worn in as your chair at work. If you aren’t blessed with a home office already fitted with the perfect desk chair – fear not. Spruce up your dining room chair with a pillow against the back for extra lumbar support, and maybe even one on the seat of the chair for extra cushion.
However, don’t get too comfortable. It is important to retain some normalcy in your work routine. This will make the transition back to everyday life easier, and your work-from-home life seem a bit familiar as well. Start your day off like you normally would. Hop in the shower, brush your hair, and throw on some pants. And we don’t mean pajama pants!
Additionally, we stressed the importance of making your work seating comfortable, but try to stay off of the couch, bed, and lazy boy. These areas are sacred in the sense that they are to only be used for sleep and lounging. Keep your work out of these spaces if possible.
You may think that complete silence is key to staying focused, but a traditional office environment is never silent. If you can, try to find a quiet corner in the house for your home office away from the kids. Add in organic background noise such as the TV on low. YouTube has many playlists that offer background noise for work and study.
PRO TIP: Candles and house plants not only add a visual aspect to your workspace, they can help increase productivity as well! Candles with underlying citrus scents help energize you, while plants offer oxygen and purify the quality of the air.
In this time of isolation and social distancing, plants will also help to keep you connected with nature.
Lastly, stay connected with co-workers! Even if it means utilizing online video chatting software, such as Zoom or just a simple group message thread, it is important to meet daily or weekly to go over the week’s goals and plans. Also, it’s refreshing to see a face “on the outside”.