Updated: Dec 18, 2020
After several months working from home, I've heard from many of you that you are rethinking your home office spaces. Initially, many thought needing a home office would last a few months. Now, the return to a separate work environment seems like a longer-term reality for many. As such, setting aside some dedicated time to consider what is and isn't working in your current home office can go a long ways in ensuring you make the most of the space you are utilizing. You want to maximize its components such as storage, lighting and arrangement to work most efficiently for you.
Here are some Neat Little Nest tips and things to ponder if you find yourself wanting to make some changes to your home office space.
consider how you work when envisioning the space
Before you lift a finger organizing, grab a pencil and jot down some key elements that are not part of your existing home office but should be. Consider the type of work you do. For example, if you're a writer and need to be at a desk most of the day, then you want to ask yourself if the placement of your desk, the type of chair you are using, and the overall ergonomics is optimal. Or, perhaps you're an artist that draws, paints or sculpts, or a consultant that is on video calls all day - your needs are completely different and your office space should reflect that.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
What do I love about my current home office space?
What do I wish I could change about my current home office space?
What tasks do I perform daily and what is required to do those tasks?
What items are essential for me to do my job well from a home office space?
dedicate a space for your office
If you haven't already, you might want to dedicate a room as an office. Doing so will provide you with an opportunity to create a more permanent solution.
If you don't have a whole room in your home or apartment to dedicate to your office, don't be discouraged. The next best thing to dedicating a room is to dedicate a designated space. That space could be part of a spare bedroom, a main room or even a walk-in closet. There are a lot of ways to get creative with space.
If you have very limited options, you might want to invest in storage pieces that can be set up and taken down quickly allowing you to work at a kitchen table or counter.
give everything a home
Just like with any other space, it's important to give all of the items in your office a home. This means that everything would have a place to go when it is not in use. This process helps to keep clutter at bay, as with any space organized surroundings can keep your mind calm and focused.
As a person who has had neck and shoulder troubles from sitting at an ill fitting desk setup, I know first-hand to consider the ergonomics of your desk. You'll want to think about the height of your monitor, where your arms rest on the keyboard and how your feet touch the ground.
Personally, I had to raise the height of my monitor in my office and I ended up purchasing an acrylic monitor stand. It provided me the extra height I needed to see the screen without tilting my head down as well as provided me with a place to store my keyboard underneath.
If you want to dig in more, visit this office ergonomics article written by the Mayo Clinic.
think about what you place within "arm's reach"
To be the most productive in your home office space, it's important to carefully think about how often you might use the items and where you are putting them. To simplify, you can think about all of the items in your workspace as items that either need to be within arm's reach or outside of arm's reach.
If you're at your desk while reading this, take a moment to look at everything on your desk's surface. What items are you using every single day? What items do you rarely use? You want to have the items you need to use most often within arm's reach and put the items used less often out of the way, preferably out of sight and yet accessible when needed. I've linked to some of my favorite wall organizers that make it easy to get things into arm's reach, but have them off the top of the desk.
divide your drawers
If you have drawers in your desk, use drawer dividers to maximize every inch of the space. Dividing the drawers also makes it easier for you to put like items together and to find them when you need them (and quickly). When choosing the drawer dividers that meet your needs, you will need to consider the size and the number of specific items that will reside in your drawers.
Taking the time to pause and reflect to produce a more efficient home office space can set you up for success as you continue to work-from-home in the months ahead. Whether you need a few tweaks or a major change to your home office, improving the environment for both joy and increased efficiency will help you as you continue to juggle new work rhythms and life balance from your home environment.
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