Think Outside the Cubicle: Designing Your Home Office Space

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For many of us, the commute to work and the water cooler chats in the office have gone out the window with our new work-at-home routine. And while this new work reality certainly brings its challenges and distractions, it also presents an exciting opportunity to make the most of our home spaces — and allows you to move into your own “corner office.”

“The need to work from home has accentuated a need to create flexible spaces in the home,” says Katie Allen, LL Flooring’s director of trend and design. “Now is the time to reimagine how to create multi-use spaces that can set us up for success and style.”

Finding the Zoom Zone
We couldn’t agree more that it’s a struggle to look good on your Zoom calls (we recommend tips on that here), but your space can always look good if you put thought and ideas to work. When setting up your home office, it’s important to find a space where you can bring out both comfort and functionality. For starters, give yourself a window office. Remember: you’re in control of the space you want to create, so it’s natural to bring in the natural light — plus this will help boost your mood, focus, and motivation.

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Also, be realistic: seek out a space where you can get work done, but not shut yourself away from the family homelife. An extra bedroom is one option to transform, but also consider creating a nook in a main living space, where you can use curtains or decorative wall dividers to fashion a new room. This can establish an area that helps you stay connected to your homelife, but also provides a flexible barrier for privacy when needed.

In this same theme, simple, streamlined desks on wheels can be plugged into place and rolled out when the time is right. As a result, you can create a true flexible space that can easily and quickly be transformed from an office to a world away from work.

Take a Seat
Furniture is a main component of building your home office and there are plenty of options to find a style match— from cool, weathered or reclaimed wooden desks to minimalist metal ones, or plain tables that give you plenty of surface. It’s also smart to make your work space reflect that you’re working at home and not back in the real office. For one, try to declutter and remove as much paper as possible. And, find creative ways to use walls to host reminders and notes via chalkboards with personalized magnets, or bulletin boards or stylish shelving. And who says your printer needs to go on your desk? If it’s wireless, hide it to declutter.

Importantly, don’t underestimate the value of a good chair. It is definitely worth the investment to bring in a seat that helps drive ergonomics to avoid pesky neck, back, and shoulder pain. Even if the chair doesn’t match your office décor, it’s well worth it to have a chair that can help you sit right (just don’t sit all day). For the correct ergonomic set up, check out these tips.

Meetings Need a Mood Boost
You know that color of Cubicle Gray? Let’s not go there. When you step back and look at your at-home work station (sorry, we hate that word, too), think about how you can bring in color to boost your spirit. Research shows that blues are cool for calming while greens can help you better focus. We’re all in on orange and peach-like hues to bring a sunny outlook to things. Of course, color doesn’t need to only play on the walls — use picture frames, planters or even mousepads and pencil holders to add a bit of color love.

Inspiration Outside the Inbox
There is no question that individuality is key to creating a comfortable space. Home offices should complement the rest of your house, so use this opportunity to be in charge — your home office doesn’t have to be a “lifeless cubicle” or mirror your office setup. It’s a great idea to carry themes you have in your home and bring those into your space or place treasured pieces to serve as your work buddy and bring a smile through the day.

What have you done to set up your at-home office? We would love to see your setups or hear your challenges!

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