There’s no place like home. But it starts to feel a lot less like home when you also have to use it for an office. That is the position in which many people find themselves today. This time last year, no one expected to have to transform a part of their home into a makeshift office space and classroom. Not everyone is cut out for working from home. They did the best they could by cobbling together something barely workable between the kitchen and the chaos of the family room.
That was fine when you first started. But it is lousy for the long haul. Your office is seriously detracting from your home. And your home is seriously detracting from your office. Unlike mixing peanut butter and chocolate, you are getting the worst of both worlds. You are getting a home that feels like work and an office where work can barely be done. In such a space, you are not at your peak proficiency.
There are always other options, such as coworking spaces. Unfortunately, with COVID still among us, that will be a non-starter for many people. It also represents an extra expense that few will find worthwhile in the current climate. So it comes down to making the home/office work for both home and office. Here are a few ideas that should help:
Pay Attention to Ergonomics
Working from a laptop will hurt your neck. That is just a cold, hard fact for almost everyone who does it a lot. If the laptop is at a comfortable level for typing, you have to look down to see the monitor. To fix this problem, you will need to either add a second monitor that is at eye level or raise the laptop and add a keyboard and pointing device. Either way, a serious modification is needed.
The better of the two options is to add a large monitor that reduces eye and neck strain. Of course, you are going to need a decent monitor stand to ensure proper placement of the monitor. Depending on the type of work you do, you might need a dual-monitor setup. You likely don’t have a piece of furniture in your home that can properly handle that need. A good monitor stand can transform your space into something a lot more ergonomic and a lot less painful.
Make It a Creative Space
If you are a creative pro, you need a workplace that inspires creativity. Your home is many things. But it might not be the most creative space you can imagine. Fear not, there are many ways to add creativity to your home office. You would be surprised at how much a single piece of art can add to a space. A plant is also a way to calm the mind and let the creative juices flow.
If you have a separate room for your office, get one of those smart speakers you control with your voice. If you are a Mac and iOS user, Apple rolls its own. If you use a PC/Android combo, there is no end to your choices. A little soft music off in the corner of your home or garden office can do wonders for abstract thinking.
Spring for Real Office Furniture
Your kitchen table is no place for office work. That monitor takes up a lot of space. You need some room to zoom that mouse around. And that folding chair was not designed for comfort or ergonomics. Even if you’re only in need of a small one, having a look online at the top Desks for Home Offices will provide a range of options with some out there that will meet your needs and fit in the space you have. Getting a proper desk that looks and feels like it belongs in an office can help to get you into the right mindset. Don’t get an all-purpose surface that you’ll end up sharing with the dirty breakfast dishes.
When you sip your morning coffee, it should feel like home. When you sit down to get some work done, it should feel like work. Make a separate space for work that is dedicated to your job. Secure the monitor on a proper stand. Make a few accommodations for creativity in your space. And use proper office furniture.