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So, if you’re like most people right now, you’ve probably found yourself working at home at least some of the time, if not constantly through the week.

And, like many of us, you’ve probably had something of a hard time getting used to it. No matter how many lengthy phone calls you’ve had with the IT department, or how fancy and well-prepared your personal desktop or laptop was for the challenge, there’s probably been a little period of adjustment. Where are you supposed to sit? Is there an easy place for you to take or make phone calls? All important questions to ask, but questions you…might not really have an answer for, since most of us don’t really plan on making a home office for the long term.

Sound familiar? We’ve got a few tips here to turn somewhere – anywhere – in your home into a productive and helpful home office:

 

Create a Productive Home Office During The COVID-19 Pandemic

 

Think outside the box

A lot of people think that a home office has to be an entire room given over to an office, but the truth is, a home office can be wherever you need it. Unused nook in the hallway? Perfect. Corner of the living room? Totally fine. The kitchen counter, since nobody really eats there anyway? Completely acceptable.

The “home office” just needs to be an area with the right supplies where your WiFi is stable, your focus is on your work, and your posture is comfortable enough to maintain through the length of the workday. Don’t be afraid to get a little creative when you start looking through your house for the right office, and remember – all that matters is that you can fit a chair there.

 

Don’t get chained to a desk

While you’re looking for the right place to work, you might start worrying about having the space for a full-sized home office desk. With a little creativity, anything can be a work surface! We’ve seen people use end tables, dining room tables, and even nightstands to help support their work and create an ‘anchor’ for their home office. In cases where you really want to save space, we’ve even seen people turn to low-hanging wall shelves to create a worksurface perfectly fit for a laptop and notebook! Remember – just use your imagination!

 

Get the right supplies

Of course, any good home office (wherever in your house it winds up being) needs the right home office furniture to stay productive. Think about the sort of work you need and how you can best accomplish it – for example, if you work in an industry that still handles physical documents and paper records, do you need a filing cabinet to keep your records in until they can get processed elsewhere? Can you keep outgoing paperwork in a desk organizer, alongside those pencils you’ll inevitably need during your next phone meeting? Do you have space for your computer or laptop, as well as enough outlets to plug everything in at? When’s the last time you even owned an office chair? These are all questions you’ll want to ask early on so you can start making the whole process easier.

 

Remember to Decorate

Odds are, wherever your office was, you had some stuff on your desk to remind you of your life outside of work. Maybe you had some pictures of your dog, maybe you had some souvenirs from vacation, maybe you were the designated office “fun one” who had a bunch of toys and Nerf guns on their desk. (Every job has one, it’s fine!) Whatever your style, make sure to do it at home as well – if you’re going to be spending eight hours of the workday in this room, it’ll do wonders for your mental health to keep some decorations around to brighten up the mood.

 

Stay Flexible

Finally, as the last few months have likely already taught you, you’ll have to stay flexible with your schedule, office hours, and overall availability. Make sure to set up an office that allows you to take phone calls (or to quickly get to a place where you can, in case the kids start yelling or the dog starts barking), something that allows for different postures throughout the day, and remember to let yourself take a break every once in a while to avoid burnout!

You’ll be back at your office soon enough, but in the meantime, if you’re working at home due to COVID-19 closures, now may be the time to make your home office as nice as possible!

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