3 Steps to Help You Find Space for Your Home Office – Working from Home Part 1
It’s time to flex your interior design muscles to make the most of working from home.
It’s no secret that COVID has a lot of us working from home. Many of us were unprepared for this change and aren’t feeling as inspired by our home work spaces as we would like to be. If you are one of those many people, follow these 3 steps to take a second look at how your home office setup might be improved.
STEP 1: TAKE A LOOK YOUR SPACE
This is the first step in every interior design challenge, but we are so familiar with our homes that we may not think twice about it! Many people simply set up their workspace on their kitchen table because it is an obvious place to sit down, but by doing so, completely overlook a potentially better home office location!
- Is there any space available that is used infrequently or isn’t a functional part of your daily life?
- Can you rearrange the existing furniture to carve out a slot for your work station?
For example, do you have an infrequently used guest room with a lot of clutter, or is there an exercise bike collecting dust somewhere that could be moved? Or maybe you live in a small space and just need to move a bookshelf into the bedroom to make room for a desk in your living area. That sure beats sitting on the couch! Sometimes the best solution may take a few hours of work over the weekend, but you’ll reap the benefits in the long run
STEP 2: EVALUATE AND PRIORITIZE HOW YOU USE SPACE
At work, we’re used to having everything immediately on hand. If you’re working from home, opening yourself to the possibility of parceling your work space around the house can help you use your space more efficiently. A big part of interior design work is making sure space is being used to its best potential.
- What equipment is required to perform your work, and is there any equipment you use less frequently?
- Do you have enough power outlets?
- Do you need a place to store reference material?
- Are your job’s tasks divided into clear and different types of work?
If your job requires different tasks and equipment, you might benefit from splitting your work space in different areas of your home. Store equipment, references, or items you don’t need as often in another location to declutter your main work space. While you may miss the convenience of having everything being immediately on hand, I promise you that the mental clarity you will feel will make up for it!
You can also split up your workspace not only by the equipment needed, but the type of focus and energy each task requires. Perhaps some hands on work is best done in a quiet space with little distraction, but some work involving brainstorming or phone chats would be more inspired if you had a cozy spot near a big window. As the saying goes: divide and conquer!
STEP 3: SHARING AND COMMUNICATION
One of the biggest changes COVID has brought about is our partners, roommates and children suddenly being a part of our work life. We’ve all been on conference calls where someone’s toddler bursts into the room, not to mention hearing your partner ‘professional voice’ on telephone calls!
- How many people in your household are working from home, and do you share any similar tasks?
- If you have children, what level of supervision do they require?
- What level of privacy is required?
Everyone you’re sharing space with should be brought in on the conversation in Step 3! Take this time to share the ideas and thoughts you had in Steps 1 and 2. Tensions are running high for a lot of us, but now more than ever, we need to listen to others and in turn be listened to!
Asking these questions can lead you to surprising conclusions that can allow you to share your space more effectively. Be it scheduling your time to share a purposeful workspace, or ensuring the person who needs the most quiet is able to find that time easily and without stress.