With many people now working from home, the home office has become an important space. Families that previously regulated their home office to bill pay and homework assignments are now spending a good chunk of their time here, accomplishing everything from international video conferences to third-grade math.
And while some people have transformed a spare bedroom or their formal dining room, many LifeStyle homeowners are lucky enough to have a designated home office. Some of our most popular floorplans—including the Monterey and Monterey II, Santa Cruz, St. Thomas, St. Martin, and St. Barts, among others—include a private workspace.
Whatever you call your home office, however, it must meet your needs. If you’re having trouble concentrating or being productive, here are five tips that may help.
1. Smart set up. Your home office must be set up in a way that allows you to be both comfortable and productive. This means ensuring you have functional furniture pieces, including a properly-proportioned desk set at the correct height, as well as adequate storage and organizational pieces. Arrange furniture in a way that complements your work habits. And don’t under-estimate the importance of a high-quality home office chair. It should be comfortable and adhere to proper ergonomics to avoid unnecessary aches and pains.
2. Proper lighting. Natural light has been proven to increase a person’s mood, boost productivity, and boost vitamin D storage. If possible, set up your home office to take advantage of natural light. This will help you feel less isolated and cramped in your workspace, and give you a nicer view. If you are working before or after hours when the sun isn’t shining, ensure you have adequate, shadow-free task lighting to avoid eye strain.
3. Minimize distractions. For many of us, working from home is impeded because of constant distractions. While some interruptions are unavoidable—especially with kids home from school—others are simple to avoid. Keep items unrelated to work—television, games, personal hobbies—out of this space to enhance your sense of separation.
4. Declutter. Along the same vein, it is also important to declutter your home office. For many of us, clutter invites stress and zaps productivity. Get rid of or relocate paperwork and objects that are unrelated to work-from-home activities.
5. Make it inviting. While we all wish COVID-19 would disappear, the reality is we currently don’t know how long we’ll be in this mess. So it’s worth it to invest the time to design your home office as a place that feels good to you. Set the tone to be calming and inviting—a place where you are comfortable spending time most days. Bring in personal touches—favorite colors, photos of loved ones, artwork and more that inspire and motivate you.