During COVID-19, many of us are working from our home offices. Here are our top tips to reinvent your new office to better work for you.

The COVID-19 pandemic has completely transformed office culture globally. While many professions still require frontline workers to be onsite, including most healthcare, factory, grocery, and restaurant workers, many other industries have already shifted completely to remote working. These industries even include companies that were traditionally “office-centric” and are now seeing the benefits of a remote workforce.

Employers are not the only ones experiencing and embracing the shift either. According to a Gallup poll, half of Americans who now work remotely said they want to continue doing so even after restrictions on business.

However, as companies allow employees to work remotely (and many have even announced their permanent transition into a remote-first workplace), it is time to invest some thought into reinventing our makeshift home offices.

While home offices of the past might have been a luxury, it’s more important than ever to ensure you have a workplace that helps you to work your best.

Here are a few tips and ideas we put together to help you rethink your workspace at home:

1. Carve out an area of your home dedicated to work.

If you live in a metropolitan area, you are most likely to be living or cohabitating in a small apartment or a room. While it might feel impossible to fit a desk into an already-cramped space, there are some creative ways to include a new surface area dedicated to work.

For example, this moveable, window-mounted standing desk by Deskview takes up zero floor space and lets you take advantage of the incredible window view, especially if you live in a high-rise building.

The balance has also put together a list of various types of desks you can consider depending on your living space in this article.

Photo courtesy of Deskview.

2. Keep important items within your reach

If you don’t yet have a designated work area or desk, chances are that your office supplies are also scattered throughout your apartment and you can never find them when you need them. Having things organized within your reach also helps free up headspace so that you can focus on being productive.

To help save you some time, here’s a checklist of Home Office Essentials we put together so that you no longer have to put your meeting on hold as you scramble around to find a piece of paper for notetaking.

You can download the PDF version of this checklist on the PrintWithMe Activity Center which contains many other free printable resources that could help you stay focused and get creative as well.

3. Go green with your home office.

We seldom consider the environmental footprint we can create when it comes to designing conventional office spaces. Now, we get to be more intentional about curating a workspace at home that is both pleasant and environmentally-conscious.

A few simple ways to make your space greener include:

  • Beautify your space with low-maintenance plants.
  • Unplug your electronics when they are not in use.
  • Source eco-friendly alternatives and brands such as PrintWithMe. (Read our Green Policy)

4. Make your background camera-ready for all your Zoom meetings.

Today, remote workers are no stranger to video conferencing and Zoom meetings. Most of us did not have a video conferencing background in mind when we move into our current space but the times have changed.

If you’re still taking your meetings with wet towels or a kitchen in your background, here’s a pro tip–buy a portable green screen or simply find a white background and then apply one of these Zoom backgrounds from Unsplash.

Lighting and a quality webcam are key to getting crisp video–a simple selfie ring light like this one and an affordable webcam will definitely help you stand out from the (virtual) crowd in your next webinar.

5. Make sure to prioritize work-life balance and separation.

It is much harder to create separation from work when we are basically living and working from the same environment. However, it is crucial that we create boundaries that minimize distractions when you need to stay focused and encourage us to step away from work when it comes time to relax and play.

While not everyone has the luxury of dedicating a separate room for work, there are many innovative divider ideas to help create those mental boundaries which are equally impactful.

From adding a rug to create separation to repurposing a closet, designing a functional working nook only takes creativity. Check out this article by Apartment Therapy on how to fit your workspace into a small living room.

The remote work culture is only here to stay. We hope that this article can help you make the best out of the new normal and enjoy the flexibility and many other perks that come with it.

Comment below and let us know if you have any tips on how to make your space work!