Updated: May 15, 2021
What will homes look like in a post-pandemic world? What will offices look like? It's safe to say the way we approach work has drastically changed for the better. In a recent article published by The Atlantic, people — from homeowners to architects — are rethinking the “dream home.” It claims people became “hyperaware of what they like — and what they don’t — about the space they live.” That means looking forward and adjusting to these new ideas.
Many companies have either extended their work-from-home or made the switch official. If you work for a company that has made the call for permanent work from home, it’s time to rethink your home office.
Working from the kitchen island or the dining room table might have been fine in the short term. But now that we’re looking at the long-term, you need a permanent workspace. This is one aspect architects and designers are pushing for: “the rise of the home as a workspace.”
The two key components when working from home
There are two things you need to do if you’re going to create a permanent work-from-home space. You need to construct some type of privacy nook and you need to set up shop near a power outlet. These seem simple enough, but depending on the layout of your home, they can be difficult to get right.
The post-pandemic home's focus will be on home offices and "Zoom rooms." It'll be important to establish your workspace. Yet it's "a luxury for someone to have a dedicated home office." Not every home is conducive to this need.
If you don’t have a separate room to create an office, get creative and build a nook for yourself. You can do this by utilizing bookshelves or storage units. They’ll double as a wall and give you storage for your supplies. Are you or your spouse handy with tools? Construct a partition to set around your space. It may give off a cubicle vibe, but trust me, it’ll be worth it having a little closed-off space for yourself.
The next thing you want to focus on is bringing in natural light.
4 ways to bring natural light into your home
One of the things people never liked about offices was the poor natural light. You relied on harsh, overhead fluorescent lighting. If you’re making the permanent switch to work from home, you need to make that space as productive as possible. And there’s no better motivator than natural light.
Here are a few ways you can make that a reality:
Set up your desk by a window
If you’re easily distracted by your neighbors walking their dog, you may want to turn the desk away from the window. Even if your back is to the panes, you’ll still get the benefits of natural light. Natural light is an immediate mood booster. There’s nothing more comforting than the sun on your face — or back — and the way it refreshes a room.
Invest in floor and desk lamps
This is your chance to ditch the overhead lighting. Studies show desks and floor lamps give off a more calming ambiance. They’re bright enough to keep you motivated, but not harsh enough to blind you. Use as much natural light as you can throughout the day, then switch on your lamps rather than the ceiling light. You should also invest in buying brighter bulbs. Look for bulbs with a “daylight” shade.
Interior designers know the trick to making a room feel bigger and brighter is to use mirrors. Rather than absorb light, mirrors reflect it. Even if a little natural light is coming in, the mirror will reflect it into other parts of the room. You don’t need to set up a hall of mirrors. A single tall one will do or a wall-mounted piece is all you need.
Go for a walk
Due to your home’s layout and available space, you might not be able to set up near a window. Nor will you be able to put mirrors all over the house. If this is the case, get natural light by going for a walk. When you take a break or refill your coffee cup, step outside for five to ten minutes. If you live in a high-rise, stand near a window and soak in the light. Sometimes ten minutes of natural sunlight is all you need to give you a burst of energy.
Products to use for working from home
What you use in your home office space will vary depending on your job and the way you work. If you live alone, you might not need some of the noise-canceling products listed below. If you’re prone to aches and sore muscles, you’ll want to focus on ergonomic products.
Whatever you need to be the most productive, these are some products to get you in that headspace.
Noise-canceling headphones. A must if you live with others. Especially if more than one of you is working from home for the foreseeable future. Also perfect for those easily distracted by the noises our homes make on a daily basis.
Ergonomic products. If you ache quickly when sitting too long, look into buying something to ease the soreness. Try a standing desk, laptop stand, wireless keyboard/mouse, chair, footrest pillow, and more. It’s important to make sure we’re comfortable. When we’re comfortable we’re more productive. These ergonomic products will alleviate future aches.
Desk pad. Protect your desk from coffee spills and the heat of your computer by setting up a desk pad. Look into buying a washable one so if you do happen to spill some coffee on it, it can be easily cleaned. There are different sizes and colors available to match your needs and personality.
Get a charging hub. If you’re limited to setting up your space near a power outlet, look into buying a charging hub instead. It limits the number of cords you’re dealing with on a daily basis and it doubles as an organizer.
Plants, diffusers, and pictures. It’s important to make your work from home space as personal as you did your desk at the office. Spruce it up with some plants or a diffuser if you prefer oils. Set up a few pictures of friends and family or landscapes if that’s your preference. Turn your workspace into the most productive space in your home.
The post-pandemic world might look like a lot of things. It may be different. It may be similar to what we know. As to what the future dream home looks like, the article concludes, “it’s hard to say which features will be fads and which will become fixtures.”
What has definitely happened is the realization that the cost of office space isn’t always necessary. Employees made it clear they can work from home. This has lead companies to make the leap and make the transition permanent. Or they're nearing making the final decision.
Whatever your company decides to do, it’s always a good idea to refresh your home. And creating a dedicated home office is one way you can do that.
At Dexterous Organizing, we help people that are going through all types of major life transitions. Whether you’re looking to relocate your office to a smaller space or if you’re going to permanently be working from home and need a better home office, we can help. Schedule your free discovery call today.