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Here's How to Maximize Your Home Office Potential

Posted on October 13th, 2021 at 9:11 AM
Here's How to Maximize Your Home Office Potential

Whether you've been working from home for years or since the start of the pandemic, it's essential to make the most of your home office. From boosted productivity to improved mood, the right feng shui can help you maximize your workday.

If you're interested in making the most of your home office, Maleno, a leading custom building and remodeling company in Erie, Pennsylvania, is here to help. We're looking at the current landscape of remote work and six actionable ways to unlock the potential of your home office.

A World of Remote Workers

Following the height of the pandemic, Bloomberg, using statistics from the National Bureau of Economic Research, has reported that working from home has increased employee productivity by 5 percent “due to re-optimized working arrangements.” What’s more, working from home saves on commuting times and costs.

At the same time, many employees are unhappy while working from home due to troubles with communication and teamwork, lack of office equipment, distractions, and absence of a good working environment.

Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics, expects 70 percent of the workforce to work remotely at least five days a month by 2025. For that reason, it’s essential to make your home office space comfortable by:

Husband, wife, daughter, and dog posing for a family photo

1. Staying Connected

Working from home can get lonely. No more water cooler talk. No more handshakes when you meet someone or close a deal. No more whiteboard brainstorming sessions. Considering Americans spend eight hours of their days working, we can spend a good portion of time feeling isolated when we’re working from home, despite remaining connected to our teams virtually.

But personalizing your home office can help you feel more connected to your family, friends, and even coworkers. Consider hanging up:

  • Pictures of your family and friends
  • Pictures from work events, retreats, and holiday parties
  • Awards, accolades, and newspaper articles
  • Branded signage

Woman selecting paint color for home office walls

2.  Personalizing Your Space

Make your office feel like your space. From the furniture to the plant life, there is a lot you can do to customize your area to fit your work style and aesthetic.

  • Paint the walls: Colors have myriad effects that impact the way we feel and operate. For example, blue and green provide a calming sensation, yellow is tied with energy and optimism, and red creates a sense of urgency.
  • Add some plants: Get in touch with your green thumb by adding some plants to your office. Research shows that having some greenery in your office can boost productivity and job satisfaction. If you’re looking for low maintenance, go with a snake plant, spider plant, and aloe vera.
  • Consider the smell: Rosemary, vetiver, coffee, lemon, jasmine, citrus, cinnamon, and peppermint are smells that increase alertness and improve memory and productivity. Decorative wax warmers are also great for creating these smells and personalizing your space.
  • Include calendars: To increase productivity and stay on track, try fleshing out your schedule by adding a calendar to your home office. Not only will a plan mounted on your wall help you stay organized, but it will also help you prepare for the week ahead.

Because you’re working from home, act on your creativity. You have much more design freedom with a home office than a cubicle or company desk.

Office with shelving

3.  Installing “Smart” Storage

From saving time finding supplies to optimizing your space for new furniture, storage is an essential part of your office. You can maximize vertical space by:

  • Home office desk and storage
  • Investing in built-in shelving and cabinetry
  • Purchasing bookshelves, file cabinets, and magazine racks
  • Installing floating shelves
  • Hanging any plants from the ceiling
  • Stacking drawers and bins

Other storage tips and tricks include:

  • Incorporating a pegboard
  • Creating a filing system
  • Reusing household items to hold supplies
  • Purchasing a rolling storage drawer
  • Having a clean wire management system

Woman standing at a standing desk

4.  Buying the Right Furniture

Furniture can make or break your office space, especially if there is a limited amount of room. If you have a smaller work-from-home space, invest in foldable furniture to maximize every square inch. You will also want to purchase furniture that is comfortable to rest in for prolonged periods of time. Here are some questions you should ask yourself before making a purchase:

  • What is my budget?
  • How much room is available?
  • How much will I use this space in a day?

Remember that you have much more flexibility in choosing your home’s furniture while you are working remotely. Consider investing in:

  • Standing desks: Texas A&M University notes that “users of stand-capable desks were 45 percent more productive on a daily basis compared to their seated counterparts.”
  • Quality office chairs: The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) has stated that “lower back pain is common among office workers with the one-year prevalence ranging from 23 percent to 38 percent.”

A woman sitting in a home office with great natural lighting

5.  Choosing the Best Lighting

Lighting can significantly affect your productivity. From obscuring your eyesight to blocking what’s on your computer screen, poorly placed lamps and glare from windows can often get in the way of work. However, if you can set up shop in a room with natural light, do it. NC State University states that natural light:

  • Boosts your body’s vitamin D storage
  • Leads to higher productivity
  • Benefits vision
  • Helps you sleep
  • Improves your mood

If it’s too bright, invest in sheer curtains for a minimal, decorative effect or blackout curtains to block all light, depending on your needs. You may also choose to opt for multifunctional lamps and other types of indirect lighting.

Conversely, if you’re stuck in a room without any natural light, consider remodeling your home office and adding a few windows into the design. You can also add the right lighting for you during the process, whether it be lights, track lights, or overhead LEDs.

Very clean home office space

6.  Keeping Up With Cleaning

Given that you have designed one of the rooms in your home for office work, ensure that you keep up with cleaning. It can be easy to feel distracted or overwhelmed when your space is cluttered with loose paperwork, supplies, and furniture that’s astray. 

Additionally, you should only use your home office when you are working; otherwise, you may begin to feel your office has become your living space, leading to more disorganization and even feelings of unhappiness.

Making the Most with Maleno

Whether you like the idea of working remotely or you're taking extra precautions during the pandemic, Maleno believes that there’s a greater purpose for every room in your home. If you're having trouble making the most out of your office, contact Maleno to get a free consultation on a home office renovation.

Contributed by Matt Flowers

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