I’m sure after 2020, there are few people who are a stranger to working from home. Even before the pandemic, this was not a new concept as the internet has made it so much easier to start your own business or work remotely.
But for any of you who are overwhelmed by the idea of trying to carve out a designated work space in your home while trying to juggle the everyday stresses of life, I thought I’d offer a few pointers to make it easier to find a comfortable place in your home to work. And to help you realize how easy it is to sneak in a work space just about anywhere in your home (I think we can all agree the bathroom is always off limits). Below are four tips for how to incorporate the home work space that is perfect for you.
The first thing I would suggest is to determine how many hours a day you’re spending working from home. If you’re like me and you work four or more hours per day, you need a desk and an ergonomic chair. I can’t emphasize the importance of an ergonomic chair enough, particularly one that supports your arms properly (the key is adjustable arms).
Let me tell you what happened to me during 2020 after I went from working full-time in a complete ergonomic setup to working from home in a pretty little chair from Home Goods (I love so many things from Home Goods, but their upholstered furniture, not so much). The chair did nothing to support my arms, so my shoulders, neck, and wrists paid the price. I only worked about 3-4 hours per day, if that, and still after about a year I had more pain in my body than I ever did working full-time.
There are so many great ergonomic options out there for every look and price point. Trust me, I know. I worked for both Steelcase and Haworth, so I know the difference. The chair I use now is a great example of a great looking ergonomic chair at a low price point.
Already have a great supportive chair? Consider a height adjustable desk.
Pick Dual-Use Furniture
If, however, you’re only spending a few hours a day then perhaps using your dining table or the kitchen island or even your sofa (or all of the above!) as a work space will suffice. There are so many great accessories out there to make even working in your living room functional such as a lap desk or a laptop table, which does double duty as a side table.
Which brings me to my next tip: If you live in a small space like I do and don’t have the option of a designated room or space for a home office, you need to make your furniture work double duty. Do you have a console table behind your sofa? If there’s enough walking space behind it, you can switch out the table for a desk. Or do you have that corner in your living room that you never know how to furnish or style? Plop in a comfy chair for a reading nook slash work space where you can use the aforementioned laptop side table.
Don’t sit with your back to the door
If you’ve read my design guide, then you already know never to sit with your back to a door, but perhaps you have a guest room or another small room where placing the desk against a wall in unavoidable. In these cases, an easy solution is to use a mirror so you have a view of the door from your desk.
And don’t take your work to bed with you
Another no-no is placing a work space in your bedroom. Your bedroom should be your sanctuary, the place where you can unwind after the work day is done. And, vice a versa, you don’t want to be sneaking glances at your bed, daydreaming of a nap while trying to focus on work. If your bedroom is truly the only space you have a for a work space, consider using furniture that can be closed off when you’re done working or is visually pleasing in a way that doesn’t make you think about work. Or, as many people are doing now, place your work space in a closet.
Still need help with your work from home setup? Contact me for a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation to help you get started on your next design project!
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