Working remotely for the first time in your life? If you’re like other professionals in the same boat, you probably fell into the experience without a lot of prep. That’s understandable. But do you really want to keep working from your dining room table? Or trading off a messy desk with your kids? Of course not.
In other words, it’s time for you to give your telecommuting space a thoughtful facelift. And you have plenty of options when it comes to making your home office efficient and inviting. Below are some awesome ways to remodel your residential workstation so it fits in with your lifestyle, workstyle, and decor.
1. Create a “tip list” of remodeling ideas.
Before diving into a huge upgrade project, take some time to see what other telecommuters have done. So open up a Google or Word doc because you’re going to take some notes. You can check out Angi to find plenty of articles on tons of ways to reinvent your at-home work area. (Simply write down your favorite thoughts. Piece of cake!)
Take your time when you are exploring. You don’t want to finish everything in a couple of days and then find something that you like way more. Think about different options and lay out different ideas before you go into deeper planning. Also, you can ask what your friends would do and steal something from their vision about a home office. It is better to be sure because once you start working, there’s no going back.
2. Give yourself an ergonomic advantage.
Do you tend to feel run-down and achy at the end of the workday? Your furniture and equipment could be the problem. Maybe you’re sitting at a desk that was built before the computer age and therefore isn’t a good height. Or perhaps you can’t adjust your chair for comfort. Whatever the reason, the answer is simple: Go shopping for office items.
Remember that you may be able to get high-end used furnishings from companies that have gone out of business or are downsizing. As an article from The New York Times notes, the process can be involved but the savings can be unbelievable. It is important that you are comfortable and have the appropriate support while you are working at home. That’s something most remote wrokers lack.
3. Carve out a functional work-at-home space.
Sharing is caring—except when it isn’t. It’s tough to focus on your work when you don’t have a place that’s earmarked exclusively for you. Instead of jumping from couch to chair to patio seat, pick a location you can own. It doesn’t have to be large, either. Some people have repurposed closets, bedroom corners, and cozy nooks.
What should you look for when choosing your spot? Find a space where you’ll enjoy sitting for hours. Be sure that you don’t feel too cramped or you’ll revert to just going anywhere. You may also want to reposition your router or buy a WiFi booster depending upon your Internet access and speed.
4. Paint your office walls and add new flooring.
Ready to give your office overhaul a deep updo dive? Nothing freshens a room or niche like a coat of paint. Opt for a lighter, neutral shade that you love. That way, you can add and remove colorful accents as you like.
While you’re at it, you may want to switch up the floor in your office. For example, adding carpeting can make a space feel warmer and cozier. On the other hand, laying hard flooring like luxury vinyl planks can modernize your remote office. Just make sure that whatever wall coloring and floors you choose fit with the rest of your home. Otherwise, your office could stand out in an unexpected and unwanted way.
5. Pay attention to your lighting.
We’ve all had those days when it’s tough as nails to concentrate on your work. Revive your spirit and energy with lighting. Although you should aim for natural lighting if you can get it, artificial lighting can perk you up, too.
In addition to ceiling lights, you may want to include at least one desk light as part of your office design. Have a window? Be sure you can adjust the window dressings or shades as the sun position changes. While you’re searching for lights, consider buying a ring light as well. Ring lights are terrific for Zoom meetings or taking pics for updated LinkedIn accounts.
6. Accessorize like a pro.
Aside from all the need-to-have equipment like a desk and computer, you can’t underestimate the power of accessories. Objects like family pictures, little trinkets, and favorite business books can help your space feel personalized. On those tough days, they’ll serve to brighten your spirits.
Just make sure that you don’t overdo it. Accessorizing is a fun activity but it can get out of hand fast. Resist the temptation to put everything you love in your home office. The last thing you want is a cluttered environment that’s distracting instead of invigorating.
7. Invite nature inside.
Even if you don’t have a breathtaking window view from your home office, you can still enjoy nature. For instance, many telecommuters like to add plants to their spaces. Living greenery serves as a reminder of the outdoors. At the same time, it naturally cleanses the air so your space stays a little fresher and healthier.
Other ways to bring the outside inside include hanging images of natural settings and choosing environmentally-themed furniture patterns. You can also go greener and appreciate nature by purchasing eco-friendly and organic items. (Bonus points for having a dedicated recycling bin in your remote office!)
It doesn’t take long to move from being a remote work rookie to a telecommuting expert. Start this month by giving your home office the reset it deserves. Not only will you be more efficient but you will be more eager to work. You’ll be ready to conquer the world—and the carpet commute.