As we all know, the pandemic fundamentally changed how we use our homes. Practically overnight, workplaces closed and working from home became the norm. Today, according to McKinsey’s American Opportunity Survey, 58% of employed respondents have the opportunity to work from home all or part of the week. The report calls this “a confirmation that there has been a major shift in the working world and in society itself.” No kidding!
Now that the novelty of working from home has worn off, this might be a good time to reevaluate your workspace. Still using a Zappos box to boost your laptop camera? How many plugs are sprouting from your electrical outlets? Are you dragging that floor lamp over to your desk every time you’re on a Zoom call? Yeah, we thought so.
It’s time to get serious about your workspace. Here are some things to consider to make your home office work harder:
Sound insulation. Sure, a spare bedroom is supposed to be quiet, but it wasn’t built to isolate the sound of a Zoom meeting or serve as a productive work area. Two layers of drywall, solid-core doors, and window treatments make a huge difference.
Better, more flexible lighting. Task lighting has always been important in home offices, but now you need flattering facial lighting, wash lights for video backgrounds, and other specialized lighting.
More electrical outlets, and better surge protection. Most spare bedrooms were designed to power a couple of lights and an alarm clock. Now you’re powering a computer (or two), several monitors, printers and scanners, a shredder, a TV, and maybe a sound system in your home office. A thoughtful electrical plan can make your home office safer, more comfortable, and more efficient.
Robust WiFi. Two simultaneous video calls will slow most home WiFi setups to a crawl. Add a teenage gamer to the mix and you might as well plug in a vintage princess phone. Installing a VPN or mesh network makes a big difference.
Comfort. Working from home should be comfortable and productive. Consider incorporating built-in desks and shelving units to help keep your work area organized and efficient. Small refrigerators, sinks, and even coffee prep areas are also popular.
The photo above is from a home office addition we recently completed. The entire first floor of the new space is dedicated to a beautiful home office with detailed built-in shelving and cabinetry. The lighting was designed to work as room, task, and wash lighting.
It’s a far cry from a cube farm in an office building, which is why having the option to work from home feels right to so many people. Let us know if we can help make your home office work harder!