7 Ways to Turn Your Home Office Into a Place You Love
Ever since March, we’ve been hearing about “the second wave” of coronavirus. The truth is, the first wave never officially left — we’ve just learned the best ways to live life while actively avoiding it. That said, plenty of reopenings around the nation have already been canceled to err on the side of caution. That means that you might still be working from the comforts of your own home — which might not seem too comfortable these days. After several months, the set-up may have lost its luster.
There are plenty of pros to working from home. If you have kids, you’ll have more time with them — even if that means rocking them to sleep for a mid-afternoon nap while listening in on a meeting. And surely everyone’s been driving less, meaning that getting gas for your car is no longer a weekly (or bi-weekly) event.
But in order to be your most productive, you have to turn your home office into a place you truly love. Here are some ways to revamp your home office.
Get a bunch of plants. Not just one sad succulent — but a bunch of plants that might make you feel like you’re working outside. Now that the days are going to get a little colder, it’s important to bring the outdoors in. Plants have also been scientifically proven to boost your mood and your productivity. “When you feel a little low, it’s amazing how a walk in the park can do wonders,” writes The Sill. “That’s because when we get in touch with nature, we reduce mental fatigue and stress while increasing relaxation and self-esteem. Even brief exposure to nature has been shown to make us more altruistic and cooperative.” Sounds like a pretty compelling argument to check out the Home Depot garden section.
Bring peace to your space by playing nature videos. You can even use your Vibe board to find something good, based on the fact that it flawlessly connects with 40 apps. That’s right — aside from Slack and Zoom, the board also connects with AT&T TV, Amazon Prime, and YouTube — and more apps are being integrated constantly.
It’s important for your office space to provide a calming ambiance as much as possible. Sometimes, these types of programs will also offer the perfect amount of background noise while you’re trying to focus on a big project. If you have a TV in the space, you can also use it for a similar purpose. Those with the Disney+ app might enjoy playing some of the app’s National Geographic documentaries in the background.
Look online for art that speaks to you. Now is a great time to support artists. Many artists who are trying to make a career out of their passion have Etsy stores. All you need to do is search for the type of piece you’re looking for, and you may unknowingly discover your new favorite painter. Having things to look at that you like will help you look forward to working in the morning. It’s a heck of a lot better than working in an office, where you don’t have too much control over what’s on the walls.
Find a good method for storing paperwork. These days, most things are digital. Back in the day, filing cabinets were much handier. But that doesn’t mean that digital documents have completely eradicated office clutter. If you have stacks of papers or mail on your desk that still have yet to be sorted, something about your home office arrangement isn’t working. If you make sure to keep your space organized, you’ll have one less thing to be stressed about in the morning. Get a small cabinet, or even a paper shredder to help remind you to keep your workspace tidy.
Think about getting a device with Alexa. It’s hard to believe in the power of Alexa until you have one. Consider it to be like your personal assistant. If you’re hard at work, you can easily call out to Alexa to help you with a problem, from “what’s the weather like today?” to “play me a song by the Beach Boys.” Treat Alexa like the one coworker who’s actually in the room with you. (Just don’t expect Alexa to do any of your actual work for you.) If you need a break or have a migraine, you can also ask Alexa to play “spa music” to help you relax.
Invest in a mini-fridge. Then, stock it with seltzer waters. It’s important to stay hydrated throughout the day, and it’s a great alternative if you’re really missing the water cooler back at work. The fridge doesn’t even have to be that big. Just something that’ll hold a few cans would be great. Sometimes, a little fridge also makes your space seem more inviting.
Make sure you have enough space. Placing your laptop on top of the washer or dryer as a makeshift desk may have worked back in March. But if this is still how you’re spending each day, you’ll want to make a few improvements. Quill believes that there’s a particular set-up for the best productivity. Their advice? Your set-up should be close to a window, and you should try out a standing desk if you feel the desire. “If you choose not to opt for a standing desk or if you decide to go with a combination of sitting and standing at work, it’s important to invest in a high-quality chair,” says writer Laura Newcomer. “If you want to sustain your productivity throughout the workday, then an ergonomic chair is the way to go.”
Remember, you spend a lot of time in your home office. And who knows? After all this time at home, your company may be pushing to have employees work remotely throughout the foreseeable future. Make sure that your workspace is a place you’re truly proud of—and, comfortable in.
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