Working from Home? Here’s How to Set up a Home Office

While Chicago is gradually opening up, Covid-19 is still out there. If you are fortunate enough to work from home and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future, it’s important to create a space that is inviting but helps you be productive. We have compiled some tips to help you curate a functional space now that our new normal is likely here to stay for a while. 

Choosing the Space

If you haven’t worked from home before, then this is probably new territory for you. It might be easy to choose a space if you live alone. Consider setting up near a window or clearing out a closet to easily transform into a work area.

If you live with significant others, family, or roommates, it might be tricky but not impossible. Identify a space that isn’t regularly used, like a guest room or dinning area. If you want some privacy, consider using screens to section off the desired area. Whatever you choose, clear communication with whoever you live with is key to ensuring that you have the time and privacy to work.

Create a Work Surface

If you have a desk on hand, great! That’s half the battle. If you don’t, there are plenty of ways to create a work surface in your home. While there are plenty of options online, maybe you’re not in the financial position to spend on a new desk. You can use what you already have, from a console table to a kitchen table.

If these options are already spoken for, consider using two filing cabinets with a board on top. These are great temporary alternatives but if you’re going to be working from home for a while, it might be time to invest in a desk. 

Get the Chair

Do invest in a chair with the right height and proper back support. You may have gotten used to office chairs so it’s important to recreate a comfortable space at home too. Do your research and find a chair that is functional and comfortable. 

Make it Bright

While not often talked about, lighting has an enormous effect on us. Natural light can be a great mood booster. Brighten up your new office by letting the light in. Keep your curtains open or use soft incandescent bulbs when the sun isn’t shining. Instead of intense fluorescent lights, consider floor lamps to create a warmer atmosphere. As opposed to working in an office space where the lighting is dictated by others, take this opportunity to create an environment that is conducive to your wellbeing and productivity.

Keep Work Separate 

This probably goes without saying but it’s a crucial step to working efficiently from home. Unlike working in an office, you might be tempted to work in various places depending on comfort levels. But we recommend you work in one area and one area alone. It’ll help maintain the separation between rest and work so you don’t get distracted or overwhelmed. If you’re planning on working from home for a while, it’s crucial for your mental health to create boundaries even when you’re in the same physical space. 

We hope this helps you create the space you need and want. But always be sure to rest, relax, and rejuvenate when you need to.

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