Upgrade your remote workspace: Quick fixes to make working from home functional and fabulous


By Family Features

With remote and hybrid work schedules here to stay for many Americans, it’s important to have a space dedicated to comfort and productivity. The initial transition to remote work involved setting up an impromptu workstation at the dining room table. Creating a long-term, functional home office can be one of the first steps to increasing efficiency, focus and productivity.

Whether your work area is a spacious room, small den or desk in a quiet spot in the house, these ideas can help you create a space where you enjoy working.

Location matters

Some remote workers have a spare bedroom or den they can dedicate as a home office. Others may need to create a multi-use area in which office space occupies another room, such as the dining room, family room or basement. If you have several options for your workspace, consider how lighting and sound may impact your ability to focus.

Position your desk near a window to help increase your mood and reduce boredom. If possible, choose a location where noise from other family members or traffic outside will be less of a distraction. Earplugs or background noise can help drown out sounds if you’re restricted to a specific location in your home.

Keep color in mind

Colors can influence productivity and mood. It is important to consider them when designing or updating your workspace. White can lead to boredom. Instead choose a color scheme that can make a positive impact. Warm colors like red or orange can increase energy. Blues are relaxing and can help keep blood pressure down. Green can help reduce stress.

Desk decisions

Measure your space to see how large of a desk you can accommodate. Decide between a traditional desk or consider a trendy adjustable-height version. These newer desks allow you to sit and stand throughout the workday and have been shown to provide health benefits in addition to increasing work performance. An ergonomic chair with a padded seat and armrests is a must-have to provide lumbar support and increase comfort while seated.

Storage solutions

Storage is one of the most critical aspects when designing your home office. Avoid clutter and keep documents and other items organized. Consider options such as built-in cabinets and shelving, base cabinets with desk file drawers, utility cabinets and wall bookcases.

Pleasing art and plants

Office plants provide numerous benefits such as improving air quality and increasing productivity. A study published in the Journal of Environmental Horticulture found productivity increased 12% when workers performed a task on a computer in a room with plants compared to those who performed the task in the same room without plants. Low-maintenance species such as orchids and succulents also produce a pleasant aroma and earthy atmosphere to decrease stress.

If you will be conducting video calls and your home office doesn’t have much natural light, place a light source behind the camera. While the background for your calls should be relatively neutral, a mural or art on the walls or shelves can add a creative touch to your space.