According to the Pew Research Center, 71% of Americans work from home due to the changes that the COVID-19 pandemic has forced, and 54% of them would like to continue working from their home offices after the coronavirus outbreak ends. As time has shown, you can run most things remotely, but in order to keep yourself motivated, the organization of a comprehensive workspace is vital.
It does not matter whether you live in a studio apartment on your own or are forced to work from a house full of kids and pets; you can still create a home office on a budget that will help you maintain your productivity. Following these simple yet necessary tips for creating an organized office space will allow even mobile home purchasers to arrange a full-fledged working area. Let’s bring your home office ideas to life!
Allocate Separate Working Space
If you are not used to working from home, your primary problem is an inability to concentrate in a relaxed environment. To eliminate all the temptations and create a working atmosphere, you should separate your home office space from the rest of the house.
You can do this by moving cabinets or a bookshelf to separate your working area from the main room visually. For example, IKEA’s budget-friendly KALLAX bookshelf can become a perfect improvised room divider with additional storage space.
You could also consider creating a temporary workplace. For example, you can set a folding table when you start your working hours and put it back away when unnecessary. This solution will also help you make a work-life balance a real thing.
It is equally important to remove everything you associate with leisure time – from a game console or musical instruments to any other things you grab as soon as you get tired or bored.
Keep It Organized
Keeping things on your desk in order will help you get yourself in a mood for work, focus on your tasks, and eliminate distractions. First of all, make sure to keep at hand only things necessary to perform your daily tasks, and put all other items in drawers or on shelves.
Secondly, if you have many books and documents on your desk, opt for vertical organizers – they save space and simplify access to the necessary papers. Also, pay attention to hanging models, especially if you have a small table. This will allow you to keep stationery, papers, chargers, and other accessories right in front of you, on the wall.
It would be even more beneficial to remove things that are not related to work, such as vacation photos or bright interior design items. They can disrupt your workflow, especially when you are getting tired and the brain starts looking for something to distract.
Get Proper Lighting
Lighting significantly affects our productivity, as the lack of proper lighting relaxes you, deprives energy, and brings you to sleep. The best solution to establish a smooth workflow in your home office is to make the most out of natural daylight. If possible, arrange a workplace next to the window. It is crucial to place the table so that the sunlight comes from the side and does not reach the monitor; otherwise, glare will make it inconvenient to work.
However, if your window faces the sunny side, working during the afternoon hours can become uncomfortable because of too-bright lighting, or the room may become too hot. For that reason, you should consider installing window blinds or curtains.
If you work in a room without a window, make sure to provide a good source of light. First of all, in addition to the overhead lighting, buy a table lamp. A perfect cost-effective yet highly functional solution is opting for adjustable fixtures, such as lamps on the clamp. They do not take up much space on your desk because you can attach them to its edge or the wall.
As for the optimal color temperature, installing fluorescent lamps with cold white light is not recommended, as working with it for a long fracture of time may increase the risk of vision problems. Choose options with a warm yellowish light that will allow you to work comfortably and not harm the eyes’ health.
Make Your Home Office Ergonomic
At first, you can be pretty сomfortable sitting in a soft chair or on the couch, but only until your low back pain will turn your working hours into a living hell. It would help if you took care of your workspace ergonomics in advance, as your health depends on it.
Getting the right chair for your home office makeover is a top priority. Choose a model with a variable height and good support for the lower back. When you sit on it, the lower back should fit snugly against the back.
Simultaneously, there should be free space between the edge of the chair and your knees. Otherwise, you will not avoid pressure on the legs and clamped blood flow. If the back is strongly reclined and it is not possible to lift it, consider getting an orthopedic pad as well.
It is equally important to adjust its height correctly. When you sit at your desk, your hands should be at the same level as your elbows or slightly lower, and your wrists should be straight, without curves. Ensure that you can adjust the height of the chair to this correct position.
The Bottom Line
Creating a home office on a budget is not that challenging if you know what things to consider in the first place. Keeping your workspace organized and clutter-free is the first step to increased productivity and inspiration during working hours.
Ensure that you stick to the essentials only – it will allow you to minimize distractions and avoid the temptation of working from bed.