Are you new to working from home, or have you been accustomed to it for years? Regardless of circumstance, it is crucial to optimize your home office space to ensure your productivity and well-being aren’t jeopardized.

While not every apartment or house comes complete with a study, library, or spare bedroom, there are myriad ways to establish and maintain a high-functioning, personalized workspace. Here are some suggestions to aid in the transformation of your “office away from office.”

Choose Your Spot

Reevaluate the furniture layout of the different rooms in your home. Can pieces be rearranged in order to accommodate a desk? Is the bookcase or armoire necessary? Can a vanity be converted into a desk? Is there a bare patch of wall where a shelf can be installed and function as a desk? It’s simple enough to get creative and rework a room’s existing design. Make sure you can fit a supportive and comfortable chair, as well.

Be Video Conference-Minded

Keeping things professional during a video conference call goes well beyond the way you dress. Remember, your colleagues and clients will have a full view of what’s behind you while you’re on a Skype, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams call. Ensure the visible décor is appropriate and isn’t distracting. Lighting is also important, so you may want to avoid setting up a workspace in your walk-in closet.

Ambiance Matters

The mood of your space is important. Whether you live alone, with roommates, or with a whole family, noise is an element to consider. Set yourself up in a spot that distances you from any sounds that may be a distraction – be it your teenager’s video games or your spouse’s music. Additionally, create some boundaries so you aren’t tempted to join your roommate as they binge watch your favorite TV show in the next room.

Stock Up

Once you’ve determined where you are establishing your office space, it’s important to fill it with the essential supplies you need. From pens to Post-it notes, arrange everything in a way that is easily accessible for you. Optimize your desk space even more by switching from using printouts and file folders to creating and organizing documents electronically. Also, decide if a computer monitor is entirely necessary. Especially with limited desk space, consider operating with a laptop.

Stay Organized

If your boss was walking around your office, you’d surely keep a tidy desk. You may not be a natural neatnik, but when it comes to a workspace, avoid clutter. Purchase bins, catch-alls, pencil jars, and containers to keep your things in order. Keeping the space tidy minimizes distractions and helps keep a healthy state of mind. In short, take pride in your area; it will help keep you on track.

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