Ah, working from home. What was once a pipedream of the working class has now been made a reality for some of us due to the pandemic. Was it worth it? No. Is it still nice? Yes.
But for those of us who are new at the game, how exactly does one create a good working environment? Not all of us can have whole rooms devoted to working in our house, much less a specific working space, right?
WRONG! …Well, sort of.
We can’t promise that everyone can have a whole room devoted to a home office, but we can tell you how to make any desk, table, or corner of your house into a professional workspace! How? Well, this blog is going to get you acquainted with the art of home office feng shui, so grab your notebook and let’s rock n’ roll.
How Do I Set Up a Home Office?
Anyone can put a laptop on a table and call it a workspace, but is that really a good way to work? We don’t think so. Workspaces need organization, a productivity-inducing environment, and, most importantly, zazz. If you don’t know what that means, you will by the end of this blog. Let’s start with step one:
Choose a Dedicated Work Space
Having one place where it all gets done is better for your mind, body, and spirit. It tells your brain that this area is the place where things get done, as opposed to the place where you get to relax and hang out.
Choose a table or desk in your home or apartment (don’t have one? You can get them online or at a thrift store for super cheap) - it doesn’t have to be big, just wide enough to ensure that your laptop, monitor (if needed), and mouse can fit on it. Make sure the table is low enough that you can sit at it comfortably, and that it’s placed close enough to an outlet. There you go! The foundations of a home office are forming!
Find Bright, Natural Lighting
There are lots of ways to prevent your space from getting dark, dismal, and/or depressing. If you have a window that gets light, put your desk right next to it. No window, or it’s not near an outlet? No problem. Grab yourself a nice sun lamp to mimic the sun’s glorious rays. You’d be surprised how well this works, the human brain is shockingly easy to trick.
You’re going to be sitting in this space for several hours, so you need to make sure to cover your physical needs as well as your mental ones. Invest in a desk chair that provides enough lumbar support and posterior cushioning to make you comfortable for most of the day. Make sure your monitor/laptop are eye-height, so you’re not looking down or up far enough to hurt your neck, and try to get a mouse pad with padding so you don’t obliterate your wrist while clicking and typing for hours on end. If you still find that you need a little more comfort, we’ll get into more detail about what products you can use to ease that pain in a bit!
How Can I Make My Home Office Look Professional?
Now that we’ve carved out a workspace for ourselves, it’s time to get it looking spic and span for those copious zoom calls. But don’t sweat, it’s easier than you think!
A Simple, Clean Backdrop
While we’re sure everyone will love your poster of that extremely specific niche tv show or anime you like, it doesn’t always fit the corporate vibe. You don’t have to get rid of it of course, but if you find it’s distracting while you’re on a call, consider moving it to an area where it can really be appreciated.
Family photos, pleasant photography, or interesting art is always great. If you don’t have any of that or feel that your background is a little too distracting (but don’t have the means or desire to change it), you can always blur it out and not even think about it. Technology is built for introverts, and virtual meetings are no exception. Your home office, your choice!
Appropriate Desk Decor
Your desk isn’t always visible on a call, but sometimes it can be nice to incorporate trinkets and decorations. Just make sure that whatever you have on your desk is appropriate for that meeting with your manager.
Flowers, scented candles, and framed photos always look stellar, and don’t distract from the task at hand. Plus, the first two smell great and can really help you relax and focus. A win/win!
An Organized Work Environment
Last but certainly not least is to keep your workspace from getting too cluttered. A constant mess can be a huge pain, and can distract you from getting things done. Don’t have a lot of storage space? All good - read on to the next section:
What is Essential for Working from Home?
Alright, we’ve got a foundation. Now time for what’s important: an organized, decorated, personalized space that allows you to separate your work life from your home life (even if they’re technically in the same place).
Computers typically eliminate the need for stationary, but that doesn’t mean we don’t need it sometimes for notes and important documents. Create a designated spot for pencils, paper, and notebooks. If you don’t have enough space on your desk (or your desk has no drawers), grab a cheap bin from the store and keep your stationary there. Just make sure not to let it get too cluttered, or you’ll wind up back at square one with no feng shui and a lot of stress.
Remember in the previous section when we emphasized comfort first? We’re doubling down. If major tech companies with bean bag chairs in their open floor-plan offices have told us anything, it’s that studies show having a comfortable, relaxing workspace is a great way to stay productive and happy.
For your home office, this means diffusers, candles, non-harsh lighting, and anything else that can make you feel a little more relaxed.
Just because it has to be workplace appropriate doesn’t mean that you can’t add your own personal touch! Grab some trinkets and decor that makes you think of your hobbies, interests, family, or loved ones. This is a great way to keep yourself in a good headspace for the workday.
Let’s make one thing clear: just because you’re working from home does not mean you need to take your work with you after hours. Unless specifically asked, try not to let your work bleed into home life.
Establish solid home office hours that don’t get infringed upon unless there’s a work emergency, and make those hours clear. Failure to do this might set a work precedent that could really stress you out!
Some people even create a separate work phone number, or even have a designated work phone. If you can’t do that, you can at least take control of your time with a set schedule.
Must-Have Support Gear for Working from Home
Time for the best part: products that can help you work at your best! Even the most comfortable workspace can do a number on your body. Grab these handy products to get the most out of your productivity!
Slaving over a hot keyboard all day can really damage our neck, back, and shoulders. Stop your slouching at the source with our copper-infused posture brace that keeps your shoulders back, your spine in line, and your mind refreshed. Plus, it fits comfortably under or over any shirt for all-day support at work or at home (or in this case, at work and at home).
Having some lower back issues? Sitting for hours at a time is not ideal for our lower back, even if you have proper lumbar and coccyx support.
That’s why our back brace is great for keeping your back fully supported and stabilized throughout the day, and is great for preventing aches and pains. What’s more, this brace engages your core and takes the pressure off your lower back as well, so you can workout while you work from home.