At the beginning of the pandemic when everyone had to transition to work from home, I, like most other professionals, thought it was going to be short-lived and only temporary. I set up a folding table, put my laptop on it, and continued to work from home. A year and a half later, working remotely is here to stay.
Recently I’ve been thinking about making some changes to my home workspace to help me be more productive and efficient. I started by asking myself a few questions:
- Is this the best space for me to work or is there another area in my home that would work better?
- Where can I go that I am not easily distracted by other things happening?
- What would help me be more efficient and happier in this workspace?
If you’re in the same situation, here are four things to consider when reimagining your work environment.
- Upgrade your environment. For me, a real desk would be more permanent and look much nicer than my folding table, and an adjustable office chair would be way more comfortable than the hard wooden dining chair I’ve been using. The cost of these items varies greatly, but you don’t have to spend a fortune—check out discount stores, Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace to find affordable options. I’m also considering investing in some video conference lighting to help with video calls, especially for the darker days in the fall and winter. I saw many options on Amazon for around $20.
- Make some changes. Small changes can make a huge difference—for example, I moved my printer from the kitchen to closer to my desk. Originally, I thought keeping it in the kitchen would force me to get up from my desk and walk around a little, but instead, I found myself getting something to eat or getting distracted by something else going on at home. Often, I’d come back to my desk without the document I printed.
- Be creative with storage. I keep my office supplies in a decorative wooden box. I hide my supplies, it feels homey, and it’s unexpected—not a typical set of drawers you’d normally see in an office. Be innovative and think of other ways you can keep your supplies, files, and binders out of sight when they’re not in use.
- Add some flair. If your space seems dark, lighten it up with a fresh coat of paint. Add artwork or something inspirational on the wall. If you’re in a small space, adding a mirror can help it appear larger.
Putting a little time and effort into your workspace can make a huge difference in your efficiency and create a much more positive work experience.