Pick a naturally lit and ventilated space for your home office.
For most of us, it’s been a year or more of working from home. And as the physical, mental, and digital fatigue of running a home office catches up to us, it’s time for some reflection—and action!
Work is not just a place; it’s a mindset. And to get into that mindset and achieve optimal productivity, one needs to set up a dedicated work-from-home space—a self-contained room or area that enhances productivity.
We must view the home office through the same lens as a work office. Establishing discipline and a schedule, and removing distractions are critical to creating a comfortable and safe work environment.
The setup for work from home (WFH) can be different for different individuals, but having a well-organized desk space can definitely help improve one’s quality of life. For multifunctional spaces to work effectively, we need to reimagine our homes. What spaces do we use, and when and why? What spaces are being underutilized? What are the opportunities? How can we assign new meanings to spaces to meet our ever-evolving needs and wants?
Five things one should keep in mind while setting up a WFH space
The space should be well-ventilated and naturally-lit to keep the creative juices flowing. It’ll be best if it has access to a balcony or has large French windows with some outdoor views. For tight spaces or smaller apartments, setting up your workstation in the living room works best, instead of the bedroom. This way, your mind can segregate working from sleeping and relaxation.
A dedicated space to work and only work. Use dividers, doors, or your desk to mark off the area, and for sound control to restrict outdoor and indoor noise during virtual meetings so you can get uninterrupted time to focus. Set all of your work equipment in a singular area and keep it there. Don’t take anything out of the room/area; use it as an office.
(Photo: Jeetin Sharna)
A desk and an ergonomic chair is a must. It’s just a physiological signifier for work. We must avoid working from loungers, recliners, or the bed and try to maintain good posture. Countertops such as dining spaces can be converted into home-office desks. To save space, we can also look at bureaus which are wall-mounted or floating desks. This shelf-like setup allows for desk space without imposing on limited floor space.
Our major resources of WFH are laptops, cell phones, iPads, screens, video conferencing, and so on. A dedicated charging hub next to the desk would be a helpful tool for all these devices. It should have a charging station for all your gadgets.
This goes without saying, but the WFH spot should have great internet and mobile connectivity.
Five easy ways to make the WFH space functional yet aesthetic
‘Less is more.’ A minimalist approach to setting up a home office space is usually the most functional and appealing. Declutter and get rid of the things that you don’t use on a regular work day. Try not to add any unnecessary decor to your office space. You need to motivate, not distract yourself.
Get that stationery out on your desk - pens, highlighters, or any other items that come in handy. You can have dedicated trays to stack files, electronic devices, or stationery.
An indoor plant definitely helps to maintain your calm too—don’t forget to water it!
It’s a good idea to keep resistance bands close, just for some stretches between calls or when you can’t get up from your desk for a break.
Proper storage is important. Make sure everything has a place, and is returned to its original place when not in use. Some examples of underutilized spaces that can be used for a home office setup include underutilized niches, corners, and wardrobes and cupboards. (Photo: Jeetin Sharna)