Create a Home Office That Works for You

By Sue Baldani

When many of us had to start working from home after COVID hit, we made do with whatever space and equipment we had available in our homes. We figured it was a temporary situation and so if it didn’t have enough light, or if we didn’t have a desk, or it just wasn’t very conducive to productivity, it wouldn’t last long anyway.

Now, two years later, some of us are still in that same unmanageable space, maybe permanently if we either started a new remote job or our bosses decided to close the office and allow us to continue working from home. So, isn’t it beyond time that we turn our “temporary office” spaces into professional and functional ones where we can comfortably spend eight and sometimes more hours a day?

If you’re squeezed into a spare bedroom, and find that extra bed that’s taking up so much real estate is almost never used, get rid of it. Instead, use that space for a good-sized desk, some file cabinets, a book case and/or a credenza on which to place your printer and other office equipment. Take advantage of the wall space and hang shelves for an even more organized layout.

If you can’t afford all new furniture, don’t worry. Go to a resale or thrift shop, search online used furniture sites, or venture out to garage sales. You can often find high-quality office items at great bargains and sometimes even for free!

Good lighting is also an important component of any functional office. Pick up a great desk lamp or hang a light directly over your desk so you’re not constantly squinting at your paperwork. Think of all the other things you used to have in your outside office that made your workflow more efficient, and bring those items into your home office.

If you don’t have a whole room to spare, that’s fine too. Pick a corner or choose one side to dedicate as your office space. Then, incorporate as much of the above recommendations as you can. I know someone who put a desk in her walk-in closet. It has a door, it’s quiet, and can be cozy if set up right.

Creating the right work space will let your productivity and creativity soar. You’ll also have a place that you look forward to going to every day. A positive attitude is the first step to having a great work day.

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