How to set up a work-from-home space you’ll love

Do I work from home, or do I live at work? The line between work and home life may be blurred these days, but what is clear is that most of us will be working from home for months to come. Enough with the improvised home office already. It’s time to create a workspace that looks great and just plain works.

Whether you’re working, juggling work and childcare or looking for work, here’s how to optimize that all-important work-from-home space to achieve your goals.

How to set up a work-from-home space you’ll love

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Invisibility is a superpower

The basic tenet of productivity requires you to tune out distraction and achieve deep focus. That can be tough to do with kids, pets, laundry and breakfast dishes all staring you down. The solution: a door, wherever possible. Situate yourself in a quiet niche in the bedroom, guest room or even family room – as long as there is a door you can close to minimize noise and find some privacy. In a pinch, a large closet or nook under the stairs can also be converted into a closed work area.

If a closed-door isn’t an option, try creating a room divider with a decorative screen or bookcase to create some separation between work and home life.

Design your mission control

It all starts with a good desk. Whether you opt for a traditional desk with storage drawers or jump on the standing desk bandwagon, be sure to choose the biggest desk your space can accommodate – it’s amazing how quickly it fills up. If you’re short on space, drop-front desks fold up to give you more floor space (and hide your workday mess!) while a slim console can provide just the right space for a laptop, phone charger and notepad.

Always look up

No one wants to be reminded of work obligations after hours, so be sure you have storage solutions that allow you to tuck your work away. Storage drawers or filing cabinets are the ultimate way to stay organized but don’t forget about vertical storage, too. Wall-mounted shelving and cabinetry can be styled to look slick and keep clutter under control.

Enjoy the view

While you may not be working from a room with a view, you can create your own. Borrow decor items from around your home to dress up your home office. A few green plants or a gallery wall will create a pleasant place to spend your day PLUS give you a professional look for videoconferences. Isn’t it time to ditch those weird Zoom backgrounds that look like you’re working from the jungle or the moon?

Colour—it’s a mood

Add a pop of colour to your space for an instant lift of the spirits. If you’re hesitant to paint the wall, splash colour on a piece of furniture or in a framed piece of art. Creative types will get a kick out of making colourful temporary wall art. Just Google ‘washi tape wallpaper’ for tons of inspo photos.

Look towards the light

Locate your desk near a window and get two important benefits: natural light reduces eye strain and raises productivity according to studies. Be sure to layer in artificial lights for different functions. Overhead lighting is often too bright for computer work, so add a task light for function plus a decorative lamp to be able to switch it up.

All the comforts of home

The ideal space to spend your working hours is where both productivity and comfort co-exist. Treat yourself to a soft rug underfoot, a comfy chair and a heated coffee mug to save on trips to the kitchen. Invest in good headphones that will let you tune the world out, and a cool desk organizer and whiteboard to jot down your next big idea.

Whether you call it your study, bureau or office, a little refresh will make your work-from-home space a place where you can do your best work.

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