Did you know that since the pandemic hit, 7% of real estate agents who took part in HomeLight’s Q3 2020 survey say their clients are vying for homes with a home office? 1% even said they want a space that can act as a dedicated classroom!
Fear not, dear reader! We have a few tips on creating a space that’s both functional and comfortable!
1. Have a clear plan for the room
This tip may seem redundant because this article gives you tips for creating a home office, but for some people, the home office will act as more than just an office. Some people need it to be a spare room for guests, while others will need it to serve another purpose.
When you know what, exactly, the room will be used for, you’ll have a better idea of what needs to be done to make a space that’ll suit all of your needs. If you’re short on space and cannot make a dedicated office, try your best to find a quiet space and set up shop. Although it may not be an ideal situation, you can use room dividers to give you a little more privacy and reduce distraction.
2. Clear out the room and purge what you don’t need/want
So, you know what the room is going to be used for. Now it’s time to take everything out of the room. Yes, this means everything because then you’ll have a better picture of where things will go, what needs to stay, and what things you can get rid of.
When you’re going through the items you’re removing; you have to be critical about what you choose to keep because you don’t want to put the clutter back into the room!
So, while you may love that antique grandfather clock that doesn’t work, if you don’t intend on getting it repaired and relocated to another room, consider donating it. Many companies will make a furniture donation pick up. Not only will you be making your place look that much better but helping someone in need in the process.
Also, remember that as you’re clearing out the room, you’ll want to clean the furniture so that you really do have a clean slate. If you’re putting some of the furniture back into the room, you don’t want to bring the dust with them! When we say “clean slate,” we put the emphasis on “clean!”
3. Create a list of what you need/want and stick to a budget
Sit down and make a list of things you’ll need to create a functional office space. This could be a new desk and chair. It could be an organization system. It could mean new paint and flooring. Whatever you want, write it down. Then you’ll want to create a budget and go through the items on your list.
Next, do a little online shopping to find items that fit within said budget. You can splurge a little bit on nicer things, like an aerodynamic desk chair or custom-built bookshelves. However, if you do splurge on something, you’re going to compromise and settle on cheaper items from your list.
4. Get organized!
It isn’t enough to just have an office - it needs to be organized! You don’t want to be at a Zoom meeting and rush around trying to find things you need. An organized office doesn’t have to be a complex organizational system.
You don’t have to spring for a custom built-in book shelving unit, nor do you need to hire a full-blown decorator/organizer to get everything in order. You can just use bins, file boxes, shelves, and even baskets if you’d like.
The point of creating an organizational system is to have it set to your needs. If you only have a few items you’ll need for work; you can have a simple setup that is easy to access and looks good.
If your kids are going to be using the space, too, they’re probably going to have many more materials for their school work. You can help keep them organized by having a dedicated area for their school materials and keep the items for each class in its own bin.
5. Have a schedule in place for everyone
When you’re working from home, it’s hard to stay on track. However, if you have a schedule, it may be quite a bit easier. The schedule can include when you’ll take breaks and when you have a Zoom meeting that you’ll need to make yourself presentable (at least from the waist up!)
The schedule can also be used for other family members who will need to use the office space and help them stay on track so their work can get done, too!
We know it may sound a little silly to have a schedule written out for your day when you or other members of the family are working from home, but you’d be surprised by how helpful it is!
Not only does it help everyone know when the office space is being used, but it’ll help everyone stay on time so the next person can use the office.
Families who have several people working from home or doing distance learning will have a few missteps trying to figure out what will work for them. We don’t know when we’ll be able to return to work or school, so we have to do what we can to make it work. However, we feel that these tips lay the groundwork such busy folks like yourself can get your work done and maximize your productivity!
Final Thoughts on Creating a Productive Workspace
If you spend many hours working out of your home, it makes sense to invest some time and energy in making your workspace more productive. Hopefully, you have found these home office productivity tips to be useful.
About the author: The above article on how to create a productive workspace was written by Maddi Arcurio. Maddi works for Homelight and enjoys writing on all things about real estate to help buyers and sellers make the wisest decisions possible.