The Evolution of the Home Office

As the popularity of remote work has reached new heights in recent years, the needs of homeowners are changing. Home offices and workspaces have never been higher on buyers’ priority lists and sellers are finding ways to make their homes appeal to a remote working audience. So, what does this mean for the home office moving forward? How will it continue to evolve? Only time will tell. In the meantime, it’s more important than ever to curate a home office that fits your needs.

The Evolution of the Home Office

Whether you have a proper home office or work at a chair in your kitchen nook, what’s important is that you create a dedicated space for your work. This allows you to focus by limiting distractions that may arise from other areas of the house. It also brings a sense of work-life balance to your home by physically separating the spaces. Even if your space is limited, design your workspace to feel like its own designated spot by facing it away from an open room or pointing your workstation toward a window.

Continued Remote Work

For those who have worked remotely and will continue to do so, you’ve likely gotten a grasp of how your home workspace can best fit your unique needs. Perhaps you decided to ditch the desk chair for a yoga ball or switched out that old desk lamp for a therapy light. But now that remote work has become your long-term reality, it’s time to think about how the space will fit your long-term needs.

Gone are the days of your home workspace being an afterthought. Working from home long-term means that your home office is now one of the most-used spaces in the house, so it’s important to keep it organized. Declutter the space with efficiency and productivity in mind, prioritizing the items that are essential for your job. We work well when we feel well, and an organized space can help reduce anxiety and work-related stress.

As your remote work continues, it may be time to make investments that you were previously on the fence about making. Whether it’s a second monitor, a supportive floor mat under your chair, a new design on your wall for your Zoom background, or a standing desk, now that you’ll be working from home for the foreseeable future, it’s important that your home office provides you with all the tools you’ll need while inspiring you to do your best work. 

Returning to In-Person Work

For those whose days of a fully remote work schedule are coming to an end, your home office needs will evolve, so it’s important that the space reflects those changes.

  • Full-Time: Returning to in-person work full-time means your home office will be vacant for extended periods of the day. Because you won’t be using it nearly as much, you have the freedom to either keep it as is or convert the room into something else. If you’ve dreamt of having a game room, a home gym, a playroom for the kids, or creating your version of a home theater, this is the perfect opportunity to do so.
  • Part-Time / Hybrid / Flex: A hybrid or flex work schedule allows for flexibility with your home office. Paring down your workspace and transferring some equipment to your desk at work will help you declutter. Outfit both workspaces to fit your needs to avoid lugging equipment back and forth. For example, if one location is primarily meant for attending meetings and the other is for working on projects, you can curate each space accordingly.

 

For more information on how remote work can change your needs as a homeowner, read our blog on The Remote Worker’s Home Buying Process.

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Upgrading Your Work From Home Space

We don’t need to tell you that COVID-19 drastically changed the way we live and work. An estimated 58% of Americans are now working remotely, and it has had an impact on how we use the space in our homes. Home offices, once a luxury, are now in high demand as working from home became the new normal over the past year. That being said, is your home office operating at its highest potential? Let’s look at some ways to upgrade your home office and turn it into the workspace of your dreams.

The New Normal

It’s been almost a year since millions of employees started working remotely, so we are all familiar with the concept of a home office and working from home. While some have space to spare, not everyone has a dedicated room in their home or apartment to turn into an office. Whether you have a setup that would make Google HQ jealous or you’re currently borrowing your teenager’s closet to conduct Zoom meetings, it is important to prioritize the functionality of your space. Take advantage of every inch you have to give yourself a comfortable working environment.

With functionality top of mind, here are some crucial things to consider when revamping or creating your home office.

Create a Dedicated Space

It can be difficult living and working within the same couple hundred square feet. For the sake of maintaining some semblance of work-life balance, create a space dedicated to work and only work. Set all of your work equipment in a singular area and keep it there. Use dividers, doors, or your desk to mark off the area you’ve made.

Those who have been working from home for years have said that creating a designated workspace is one of the best things you can do for your mental health and overall wellbeing. A separation of work and home communicates to your brain that one area of your home is a place to work, and the other is a place to live – which can reduce work-related anxiety.

Make Your Windows Count

Setting up your desk under or near a window can do wonders for your creativity and productivity. If you can avoid it, don’t position your desk toward a wall. If you don’t have windows available, be sure to turn your desk outward, toward your room. This position will give your eyes the ability to bounce around the room instead of staring at a blank wall, which can be just as draining as it is boring.

Even if your desk is set up near a window, remember to head outside every so often. It’s all too easy to sit at your computer for hours at a time without standing up and enjoying some sunshine. Give yourself set breaks to soak in some vitamin D, whether you take your lunch outside or simply sneak some fresh air between meetings.

Some WFH Must-Haves

Enough of the basics. Here are some must-haves that will brighten your office space and make you excited to “go to work”.

  • A therapy light can have a positive impact on your mood and energy by simulating natural light. Set one up on your desk to increase alertness and improve your sleep.
  • Save your back with an ergonomic chair made for longer periods of sitting. This will help reduce back pain and improve your posture.
  • Standing desks are another back-saver that will save you from sitting for eight hours a day. Seen to increase activity and overall health, standing desks can change how you work for the better.
  • A full-size keyboard provides all the keys necessary to get the job done, including a number pad and function keys. Tenkeyless keyboards (keyboards without a number pad) are gaining popularity, but full-size keyboards remain on top due to their ease of use and practicality.
  • Mini humidifiers are an effective way to combat dry air, giving you happy lungs, sinuses, and skin. Put one on your desk to increase the humidity in your space.
  • Working on screens all day exposes you to blue light, which can negatively impact your sleep and overall mood. Get a pair of blue light glasses to combat these rays.

 

With  many of us still working from home for the foreseeable future, it’s more important than ever that your workspace serves your unique needs. Make your area work for you to improve your productivity and personal wellbeing. At the end of the day, we’re all human, and we work best when we’re feeling our best.

 

Disclaimer: This is a guest post written by the real estate experts at The CE Shop. The CE Shop is the leading provider of online real estate education with convenient courses available in all 50 states and D.C. To find out more about The CE Shop and the resources they provide, visit www.TheCEShop.com.

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