Window Treatments 101

4 Ways to Make "Work From Home" Work for You and Your Home Office Design

As popularity and necessity to work from home grows, you may be increasingly interested in improving your home office décor. Deciding on color and style inspiration early on will help you choose pieces to build up the space later that can all work together cohesively. Every home and home office needs are going to be unique to you, so remember to take the time to identify what will work best for your circumstances. Here are four home office ideas that can improve your work-from-home experience.

1. Define your space

Not all homes have a defined home office, but it’s important to dedicate a space to your productivity. Avoid high traffic, and distracting areas—you don’t want to look at a sink of dirty dishes when you have important deadlines. Working while also supporting virtual learning can be a challenge if you need to stay nearby, so you might consider a specified corner in a shared room. Making a few small décor changes and purchases can help outline your space, and focus your work.

  • Use a room divider to stay near, but visually separate yourself—temporary curtains or a folding divider can help accomplish this without being permanent so you can open up the space when it’s play time.
  • Have a desk or set up a table to have everything you need at hand, so you aren’t constantly leaving your space and getting distracted. Include a flag or other indicator to signal to spouses and children when you’re on a video chat or call that cannot be interrupted.
  • A small area rug can help represent your office space. Choose a texture you can still move your office chair on, and a color that boosts your mood.

2. Use light—the right way

Studies show that natural daylight in an office setting improves overall wellness, with reduced eye strain and headaches. Employees seated near a window experience increased productivity, so situating your home office in a space that features a window is ideal—and you’ll be glad you did when short winter days limit your exposure.

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Glare can be a real issue when working on devices. Consider switching to a solar shade or one with bottom up/top down control so that you can maximize your light, or more precisely block it where it matters.

If you can’t spare any space for your home office setup near a window, choose a full spectrum lightbulb so that you can get the mood enhancing benefits of natural light. You can install it in a fixture or lamp that matches your style and avoid compromising your home office décor.

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3. Control the clatter

“Noise” is relative depending on your lifestyle but working from home it becomes more important than ever to control what you can. Soft surroundings can absorb sound that could travel through your walls. Adding layers to your home office décor can look great and also serve that purpose. Add a comfortable chair and throw pillows for those snack breaks, and drapery panels on either side of your windows can absorb sound, and dramatically darken the room if needed.

If you’ve cut the noise and realize the silence is deafening, it’s easier to add sound back in with a fan or white noise machine. Look for one that has versatility in settings and sounds so that you can find the level that works best for you.

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4. Take a stand

If you are able to stand, even for a few hours or minutes each day, consider a literal upgrade. Standing desks are gaining popularity in the workplace for good reason, and your home office is no exception. Known for keeping focus and energy high, and research that points to reduced back pain, lower risk of cardiovascular disease, and lower blood sugar, it’s an easy switch to make. If you aren’t ready to take the plunge with all new office furniture, there are things you can do to reap similar benefits.

  • Set an app or a timer to stand and stretch for at least a minute every hour.
  • Temporarily raise your laptop to standing height using a storage container (or consider a desktop standing-desk converter)
  • Add a lumbar pillow for back support while seated, and make sure you have an ergonomic desk chair
  • Go for a brisk walk on your lunch break

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Most of all, love the pieces you choose, and it will be a lot easier to “step into your office” and maybe make being at work feel a lot more like being at home.

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