This year’s events have created a situation where many more people than ever before are working from home, while at the same time, many children are also attempting to attend school from home. Having so many people attempting to do so many different things from home can be a recipe for chaos. Given the sudden and unexpected nature of the changes, many of us were unprepared to suddenly be working from or homeschooling children. Since it seems as though some of these changes are here to stay, finding ways for everyone to focus on their work or their studies while sharing space at home has become a critical component to being successful and staying sane.
If you’ve never had a home office before, creating one can be a challenge. However, there are some easy things you can do to create dedicated office and/or school space in your home so everyone can focus and stay on track to get things done.
First, you’ll want to figure out how much space you need. For example, a family with two adults working from home and two children of different ages attending school online will probably need more dedicated workspace than a family with one adult working at home. It’s important to consider the logistics of when and how everyone will be working, as well. If kids attend school on alternate days or times, they may be able to share a workspace. Recognizing when and how the space will be used may give you more options for workspace than you originally imagined.
Now it’s time to consider all the areas in your home that may work for a home office. Do you have a dedicated room, such as a basement or an extra bedroom that can be converted into a workspace? Or do you need to add some workspace to another area that will have multiple uses? Start by measuring the areas you have available to see how much space you have to work with.
Once you know how much space you have to work with, it’s time to decide how to maximize the workspace. At minimum, most people need a flat work table with space for a laptop, access to a power outlet, and a chair. If you have more space to work with, you can think about a larger desk, lighting, and storage. If you don’t have room for a dedicated office, consider furniture that has pullout or foldaway options. It’s a great way to make extra room when space is at a premium.
If you have no choice but to work in an area that also serves another purpose, such as the dining room table or the living room, it’s a good idea to put together a storage box for office stuff. Then, you can keep all of your work or school supplies together in one place. And when your workday is finished, it’s easy to pack everything up and get your living space back. Constantly shuffling around piles of work to get to the dining room table, or digging under piles of folded laundry to find a work file can create more stress than necessary. Creating an organization system can help improve work/life balance and make working from home easier.
Close the Door
Working from home can make it feel like you’re never actually done working, and with today’s always connected culture, that feeling can be amplified. When creating a work from home space, set it up in a way where you can close the door when you’re done working, so there’s a clear signal that you’ve transitioned from work time to home time. That’s a simple thing to do if you have your home office in a private area of the house. However, if your new home office is in a shared area, it’s important that you have a way to close up shop for the day and switch over to home life. That could mean closing a fold up table, or putting your work stuff in a box and putting it in the closet for the evening. Regardless of how you do it, it’s important to your wellbeing to make a conscious switch from work to home each day, otherwise you’ll be headed for burnout.
While you may not have chosen the work from home lifestyle, it’s one of the facts of life for many of us these days. Given that, it’s important to have a comfortable place in your home where you can focus on work. And don’t forget to create a way to distance yourself from work once you’re done for the day. It’s important for your mental wellbeing to be able to distinguish between home time and work time, even when you’re doing it all from the same place.
At Portella, our goal is always to blend utility and beauty to create the best possible doors and windows for every design need. Whether you need custom windows throughout your home, or one custom glass door to fulfill an architectural vision for your home office space, we have the solutions you need. At Portella, we work with people to realize their visions of the perfect space, and we meticulously craft custom steel windows and doors to ensure the perfect aesthetic for every project.
Do you have a dedicated home office? If you’ve been working from home unexpectedly, how did you make the transition work for you?