More people are working from home than ever before in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, so it’s time to invest in your office space. You need an appealing room that maximizes your productivity and keeps you focused, despite all the distractions in your home. These upgrades and easy remodels will connect you to your office like never before.
1. Soundproof Your Room
If you’re like most people, you find it difficult to concentrate on your work when there’s a lot of noise. Even 10 decibels of noise can decrease your productivity by around 5%, leading you to complete fewer tasks and work less effectively. For reference, a person breathing is about 10 decibels. Something so small can affect you drastically.
Add soundproofing to your walls to combat the noises of daily life in your household. This remodel is a significant undertaking, so if you cannot do it properly, at least find a thick door. It can block out some of the noise, as long as you remember to keep it closed.
2. Use the Space You Have
If you don’t have room for a designated home office space, you might be tempted to use the kitchen or dining room table. You should avoid this, especially when others are in the home with you, because of all the distractions they can provide. Sitting in the kitchen means you’ll have people in and out to get refreshments all day, while making space in the dining room might lead to foot traffic coming through your area.
Consider remodeling a shed in your backyard or unused space in your garage into a functional space. A shed may take work to insulate and set up with electricity, but it’s a remote area where you know you won’t be bothered.
3. Make Built-in Storage
Bookshelves and file cabinets are often clunky, which can take up space in your office, especially if it’s already a small room. Add floating shelves around your office instead.
You can also opt for a built-in desk if you don’t plan on moving it. Built-in storage will provide places for books, files and more within your reach without adding clutter. This solution can be convenient if you plan to use the room for more than just an office.
4. Create a Sitting Area
A sitting area can help you destress and take breaks away from your computer without pulling yourself out of working mode. Turning a windowsill into a bench with a few pillows can visually add to your office, but it can also be functional. If you feel stiff from sitting down, you can walk around and stretch your legs out on the bench.
If you see clients out of your home, consider adding a sitting space for them, too. It may involve moving some things around in your office, but even adding a few bottles of water or a couple of nice chairs can make your space feel much more professional.
5. Add a Skylight or a Sunroom
Having no natural light in your office is a disservice to yourself. Incorporating light can increase productivity and reduce strain on your eyes from staring at a screen. You can do this by adding sheer curtains to your existing windows, or you could go all-out and install a skylight on your roof. Additionally, you could replace your current windows with glass panels that stretch from the ceiling to the floor to allow more light inside.
6. Choose a Collapsible Office
This solution is perfect for employees who want to keep their work “out of sight, out of mind” when they’re not on the clock. If you live in a small space, like an apartment or tiny home, you should consider building your office space into a closet. With some modifications, a folding card table can work like a Murphy bed and attach to your closet wall when you aren’t using it.
Placing your office in a guest room could make you feel less invasive when you have to work when guests are over. They won’t feel like they’re taking up your space, and having an office that can be tucked away quickly will make you not feel like you’re getting in their way.
7. Keep a Small Kitchen in Your Office
Walking away from your desk could prove detrimental to your productivity score. If you like to keep your water bottle filled, consider including a mini-fridge in your office to keep things cold and easily accessible. Similarly, if you’re prone to needing coffee breaks, place a coffee maker in your workspace to truly make it feel like you’re back at your office building.
You might include a small prep station so you can make your coffee or warm something in a microwave. Including these elements in your workspace and remodeling your office to make room for them creates a more productivity-friendly area that will keep you from leaving the room too often.
8. Find Space for Plants
This suggestion is less of a remodel than the others, but it includes crucial information that could drastically improve your WFH life. If you don’t have any plants in your office, now is the time to add them. Plants help increase productivity and lower stress levels, making them excellent additions to your office space, no matter how small it may be.
To fully reap the benefits of being in a green environment, you may have to minimize the furniture in your office space in favor of plants and greenery. If you don’t have the space for tall trees, adding a small potted plant to your desk could work. Just make sure it’s within your line of sight.
Optimize Your Home Office to Work for You
You should feel comfortable in your home office. It’s where you need to apply the most focus to complete your tasks. Above all, make sure you have a dedicated space that isn’t somewhere you typically try to relax and unwind. You can fit your workspace in even the smallest of areas, and you can work with just about anything.