Adapting Your Home Office
2020 has been a year of changes, big and small. Now, as 2021 approaches, it’s out with the old and in with the new—and that goes for your home office setup as well.
In March, the world found itself scrambling to adapt to a world turned upside down. Some of us were already equipped with comfortable and well-organized offices, set up and ready for action. Others hastily assembled a passable home office, cramming into spare bedrooms and working amid Tupperware bins full of off-season clothing. Still, others pulled up a chair at the kitchen table and got to work.
Now, almost a year on, it’s time to rethink the concept of the work-from-home space. You don’t have to have a home office to succeed… but it does make everything just a little bit easier. An office should be your haven, a personal space where you put aside at-home responsibilities and focus on the day ahead.
Mind Over Matter
Having a dedicated workspace in your own home is actually better for your mental health. It turns out that a room—or desk—of one’s own is critical to staying productive, focused, and organized. Plus, it helps you compartmentalize your responsibilities. By separating your work from your home life, you may find it easier to keep job stress and negativity from seeping into your at-home attitude. You might even sleep more soundly at night!
The state of your home office can actually dictate your headspace. This can then affect your ability to get things done in a meaningful and efficient way. It creates something of a downward spiral: your productivity, organization, attitude, personal wellness, and mental rate of recovery are intimately connected and can be heavily impacted by your office space.
Know Your Needs
Your office, whether it’s an entire room or just a corner of the kitchen, should fit your personal wants and needs. Here are a few things to consider while planning your new office space.
- How do you work best, mentally, and physically?
- What makes you feel both focused and at ease?
- What tools will help you get and stay organized?
- What materials do you need to perform daily functions?
- How can you arrange your materials so what you need is always within reach?
The Ups of Ergonomics
The mind and body function together as a unit, so you should take both into consideration when setting up your office. If you work best standing up, there are plenty of desks to help you reach your full potential. If you perform better sitting, make sure your desk is at a comfortable height and that your chair supports your legs, back, and shoulders.
Your computer monitor should be positioned at eye-level, so you’re not craning your neck, and your keyboard should be set low and angled for optimal typing. These may not be the most exciting improvements to your at-home office, but we promise, an ergonomic setup is well worth your while.
Design with a Purpose
Everyone has a different idea of what a good office should look like. Of course, it’s all up to personal style. But here’s our personal suggestion: keep it minimal. The brain gets easily distracted by any number of things, from clutter to eye-catching artwork or decor. While clutter tends to stack up in a work setting, try to avoid excessively bright colors, ornamental designs, and intricate patterns.
Some people associate minimalism with being bland and boring, but it doesn’t have to be. Neat shapes, neutral tones, and clean lines are classic and stylish. That doesn’t mean you have to swear off-color or visual interest – just use it sparingly. Ultimately, minimalism isn’t for everyone, but a tidy, bright, and stripped-back office can help those with a wandering mind.
Form Follows Function
A useful tenet of the modern design movement, form follows function, is a handy tactic to apply to your office. Be practical when designing your office space. Surround yourself only with the tools you use daily. Then, organize the rest based on need. The less often you use a thing, the farther away it can stay. Don’t overburden your mind more than you need to; physical organization and mental organization go hand in hand.
Bottom line – a functional office space will help you thrive, and these tips can help you get there. But if you need a more significant overhaul or you’re thinking about a garage or basement conversion to get the space you need, it’s time to bring in the big guns. Winthorpe Design & Build will help you bring your home office vision to life, so you can get back to what really matters. Reach out today, and let’s get to work!