In response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, millions of people are adjusting to the realities of staying indoors, and for many, that includes working remotely. As professionals settle into the new normal of working from home, many are figuring out how to create a workspace that’s comfortable, but still fosters productivity. Although working remotely during COVID-19 may seem uncomfortable or uncertain, working from home doesn’t have to be.
In this blog, members of our Interior Design team share their tips to create a workspace that’s cozy, comfortable, and crafted to help you stay focused and productive in the days to come:
Claim Your Area: It may not be the office, but home can actually become a better space to work. Make sure that wherever you decide to work in your home you designate it as your workspace. Be sure to also have a comfortable chair for maintaining your regular schedule — which could be up to 8 hours.
Make Small Space Your Workspace: For those living in a small apartment who might not have the luxury of a home office, making the most of available space is key. Designer Shannon Pringle recommends transforming an existing space, like a breakfast bar or dining room table, into a workspace.
Add Natural Light: If you have the option, arrange your workspace to be close to a window. This will ensure you’re still getting your daily dose of Vitamin D, and natural light will help wake you up each morning now that you don’t have a commute. If the weather is nice, open a window — you’re at home so you have these luxuries to be more relaxed.
Go Green: Don’t forget to add some greenery. If you have house plants, arrange them near your workspace. Plants not only add color, but they help to make your workspace feel fresh. Plus, while it’s recommended that we stay indoors, plants offer a safe and alternative way to bring the outside indoors.
All About the Acoustics – It’s important to also take in the acoustic elements of a space. Often the background noise of an office – coworker’s conversations, phones ringing, the soft hum of a printer – positively impact our daily routines. Designer Grace Hackendorn suggests listening to music or playing your TV in the background to make it feel more like an office environment. This would also help you block out any distractions that you run into at home.
Make Sure to Move: As much as we want to keep our distance, we are not restricted to our houses or apartments. Just like at work, go out for a walk at lunch time so that when you come back to your workspace, you feel refreshed and ready to keep working. For those who are living in multifamily complexes, taking advantage of co-working space or shared amenities (within reason, of course) is another way to change up your environment during your workday.
Make Space for Your Pet: Remember, since you’re working from home you have more flexibility when it comes to your workspace, and including your pet can help decrease stress. Senior Designer Derek Perini recommends placing a chair near your workspace for your pet to sit on; his cat enjoys sleeping on a chair while he works, and it gives him the opportunity to give her attention and snuggle her!
Find Your Inspiration: Lastly, this time can be a little stressful for all of us, especially since we’ll be spending more time inside. Make sure you find a space to just meditate or pray, and take a break from your busy schedules. As we all know, just because you’re at home, the work and the meetings haven’t slowed down. Find that space that you can go to, to get away from it all. Designer Tina Salvitti also recommends creating an inspiration board that you can use if you need a creative boost, or to help you visualize your collaborations during conference calls and online meetings.
While working from home, making sure your space is set up properly is crucial to helping stay productive. Avoid working on the sofa if you can, and utilize tabletops to set up your laptop or computer. Perhaps most importantly, stick to your routine each day – wake up early, get ready, and limit your at-home distractions. Even if you can’t create your own space from scratch, utilizing the design tips above can help keep your hours spent working remotely comfortable — so you can continue to do your best work!
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