Before Covid-19, if you worked in an office, you longed to work at home. If you worked at home, you savored the advantages and struggled into work clothes for the occasional meeting. Some took a table Starbucks (usually a 4-top and aggravated the other patrons with loud phone calls) becaming known as laptop hobos.
All that changed with Covid. Now, not only are adults forced to work from home, the children are there too! The spouse who spent hours in the break room is now in the kitchen foraging for snacks and gossip; and, Starbucks is take out only.
Now, there’s Zoom, Teams and Meet.Google.com; now people can see into your house, see how you live. Now, you need a backdrop or a virtual background, and somewhere quiet to be for the big stuff.
Now, working at home may not be just a temporary two – three month thing. Now, you might be there for a while.
Your commute time is a few steps, or in some case a mere turn. I-295, car problems, the line at Starbucks are no longer valid covers for sleeping in.
That scramble to clear an area of real estate in their home for office space – converting any vacant surface into a desk and pulling up a dining chair – is now something that will have to work with a Christmas Tree and the possibiliity of family at Thanksgiving.
What did you do? Did you take over the kitchen table or snag a corner on the outdoor patio? Dig out your old desk from your first apartment and that rug from college, and you’re good to go? Well, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to make somewhere good looking and comfortable. Here are some ideas.
Get a good floor mat!
No matter what you do, chances are you will be getting up a lot, or need your chair to move. A mat to protect your floors from this new flurry of activity is a vital investment.
Consider this glass mat from Vitrazza. It might feel expensive compared to something from Office Depot, but- they have sales and there is a coupon running right now on Bloomberg TV.
Table Height & a decent chair!
Save your back and trips to the chiropractor; desk height and proper chair support is imperative. Sitting on your couch with your feet on the ottoman and computer in your lap puts undue strain on your neck. The standard desk height is 30” which accommodates most people.
However, this is a great opportunity to create your own desk customized to a height conducive to your frame.
The next step is having a good chair. Be sure you use a chair designed for the office with a pneumatic lift for adjusting the height, casters for mobility and the ability to recline. I am sure you already discovered the need for good padding & appropriate back height! (I hear you aching on a sofa with a laptop, or a bench pushed up to a windowsill!)
Papers & Supplies
Even in this digital era, you could drown in paperwork! And the cables, the thumb drives, the paperclips! Hvae you got stacks of folders on the floor, that always get knocked over? Consider mobile options like this from Big Lots that you can tuck away when you transition from work life to home life.
For a nicer looking alternative, Ikea offers several storage solutions in a moderate price points. Or you could go mad and really do it right!
Lighting is crucial. In Orange Park we can take advantage of our sunny weather and locate near a window for an abundance of natural light. When you don’t have that luxury, make sure you have adequate overhead lighting as well as task lighting. Check out the stylish Possini Euro Sentry Black and Antique Brass Lamp from Lamps Plus.
Bright, bold colors, interesting shapes and pieces that reflect a cherished memory such as a vacation souvenir, trophy, child’s art or family keepsake are vital to create the energy you need to keep you focused. Pinterest has a wealth of ideas for the handy person that enjoys DIY projects as seen in this photo. Not only can this be constructed easily, the cheery pops of color draw you in.
Don’t forget the kids
You may have opted for a virtual school experience for the start of this upcoming school year. Make sure you create a space that meets their needs and honors their commitment. Be sure to include them in the design process!
Isn’t this fun?
Some of you already have a room dedicated as an office. After spending more time in that space, you concluded it needs some rejuvenating. Ballard Designs in Jacksonville offers a modular work solution. The Tuscan comes in three colors; gray, cream and black and can be customized to fit your specific need. The desk chair not only meets all the criteria, you can select from a wide range of fabrics and wood tones.
I’m just a phone call away!
This blog post’s featured image comes from a fun article on The Spruce – Small Home Office Ideas That Are Surpisingly Stylish