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Picture This…

It's 2020 and you've all but worn a hole in your dining room chair; every night you have to sweep away a stack of papers to make way for a meal. Or your legs might be permanently burned from sitting on the couch as your laptop overheats in your lap. Finding a quiet corner to take a conference call? Good luck. Your new "coworkers" are distance learning, on their own meetings, barking (Fido is a really hard worker), and your calls are just adding to the fray. Sleeping spaces are occupied all-day and all night.

Take your pick from these subpar options; any one of them might hit a little too close to home.

At this point, it's probably been months since you've made your way into the office and if you're still working though your workflow from home, you're probably well past-due for an upgrade. Shape your living space into a workspace that's fit for the flow to make for a positively productive home office. It's partially intuitive, partially tedious, but 100% worth it for whatever way you work.

The Bare Necessities

Pop quiz! What makes an office an office? We're going beyond "makeshift" and moving towards "ideal," here. Whatever defines your workspace, it starts with furniture that you can build a room around. There's still some things to consider while you're making the most of any size of space:

Desking

Seating

Storage

Desks come in all shapes and sizes but first you need the right size for your space. Whether that's an L-desk, corner desk, writing desk, or standing desk is up to you and your measuring tape, but a dedicated workspace is absolutely necessary for workday productivity. "Making it work" isn't a great solution for the long-haul.

We've all heard "sitting is the new smoking" by now and that's not too far from the truth. No matter where your workspace winds up, choose an office chair that has been designed to handle the long haul. In this arena, ergonomics and comfort are more important than sleek and stylish designs.

Especially at home, you're drawing a tenuous balance between work and play. Concealed storage keeps your workday separate from leisure time. If you're not quite paperless, file storage can keep you orderly while some employees can probably get away with a few simple and stylish supply drawers.

Diving Deeper: Delightful Desks

Make sure to measure before you look for your dream desk:

Table Desks

Storage Desks

Adjustable Desks

Simple and straight-forward, it's a table that's the right depth and right height for working. Best paired with your choice of storage.

With built-in drawers, these eschew (some of) the need for separate storage, offering a place to store supplies and sometimes files.

What goes up can also go down! Height-adjustable desks accommodate a sitting, standing, or somewhere in-between posture.

 

L-Desks

Corner Desks

Executive Desks

In offices, they're usually a stately staple, but at home an L-desk can take advantage of an underutilized corner while providing a lot of workspace.

The little brother of an L-desk is a corner desk, often a little more compact in size and designed specifically to butt-up against two walls.

The "extra" option. If executive is in the name, this is fit for a larger, dedicated home office space with a lot of room to roam.

Let's Talk About Corner Desks...

…Who doesn't love a well-used corner space? Corner desks are often more compact than their L-desk brethren and often have slopes at the workspace to encourage a diagonal sitting position. This is ideal for maximizing unused spaces or nooks within your house that might look unbalanced with a typical table desk.

Diving Deeper: Spectacular Seating

A superior sit starts with the right features:

Types of Tilt

Fabric Choices

"Ergonomics"

Standard tilt keeps the seat and back at a 45-degree angle, knee tilt alleviates this with a tilt that starts at the front of the chair, and synchro tilt is the king of comfort-- this provides a 2-to-1 ratio that keeps your feet comfortably on the floor.

Fabric might be fitting for your décor scheme, but durable polyurethane is easier to clean. Leather is luxurious and mesh provides cool comfort for warmer workspaces. The options are endless.

It's a big word with even bigger impact. Ergonomic adjustments, such as seat depth, arm adjustments, tilt, adjustable headrests, or back support, establish the comfort of a chair.

 

Active Seating

Lumbar Support

Big & Tall? Short & Small?

Fidget-friendly seating is an emerging trend that provides wiggling capabilities for those who struggle with sitting still.

Sometimes it's simply the design of the chair, other times it's an adjustment (or even auto-adjustment) that supports your back for great posture.

Suit your stature with a chair that's designed to fit your measurements, usually noted in the title and description of a chair.

Ergonomics: Why?

An ergonomically-minded workspace is essential for both WFH and at-work workstations. You may have settled for a kitchen chair or gone for a chic seat that pulls the room together, but if there isn't enough support, you're going to feel the effects down the line.
 

Diving Deeper: Stylish Storage

There's no reason why you can't be filing and styling:

Pedestals

Hutches

Bookcases

Particularly within small spaces, a pedestal can be a real lifesaver. These oft-mobile, out-of-the-way units feature a few drawers for must-have supplies and maybe a few files.

While executive desks may be frequently paired with grandiose hutches, a lot of residential furniture has more subtle tabletop options that do double-duty as a monitor stand.

Embodying the intersection between the home and the office, bookcases are great for décor and more. Add extra organization with chic and stylish storage bins


 

Mixed Storage

Built-In Drawers

Wall Shelves

Sometimes you want to put things on display while other times it's best behind closed doors. Grab a mixed  storage option to get the best of both worlds.

Did you go with a desk with drawers? If so, that convenient storage solution can take care of the most basic supply storage.

The at home atmosphere is more conducive for adding wall-mounted vertical storage. Take advantage of this elevate space to keep clutter at bay.

Aim for "Inspired"

"Perfect" Doesn't Always Make Perfect

When you're browsing catalogs or eyeing up blogs, it's easy to envision your space in the perfectly propped, effortlessly chic interior design of a professional photo. When you're balancing your budget and assembling your needs… Maybe "perfection" isn't within reach.

The choices you make go beyond a photograph. The aesthetic you desire and the items you can't live without might be at odds, so a few careful concessions can maximize what you're capable of:

Trade This for That

Mid-Century Marvelous → It's tough to go top-to-bottom within the ever-trending MCM style. Keep a clean, uncluttered, and minimalist background with a few stand-out statement pieces that feature the splayed legs, blond wood, and skillful slopes of both Scandinavian and mid-century modern design.

Super Simple → So taking MCM out of the equation, a truly minimalist space is often deeply focused on the form and function of your furniture. Since other design items aren't of much concern, make the most of your budget by investing in storage solutions that can keep necessary supplies uncluttered and visibly out-of-the-way. Shop collections that have everything you need to furnish your office or mix-and-match well-coordinating finishes.

Maximalist Impact → #inspo often goes wild, combining maybe-a-little-impractical décor decisions that you know might break the bank. If you're going for this "more is more" appeal, look for second-hand supplies or delightful discounts to add visual noise while keeping a little cap space for more important purchases.

Leave It for Later → Rome wasn't built in a day and, well, your office might be a work-in-progress for a little while. Start with the necessities that you can't live without and aim for the pieces that will make you the most productive, such as a chair that's fit for the long-haul and a desk that has everything you need. The rest? Pencil it in for later.

Do Double-Duty?

Pro: Double-duty furniture can expand the possibilities of your workspace, giving you a place to work to pursue hobbies outside of the workday. Make sure that these supplies can be stored out-of-the-way during business hours to limit distractions. This could also look like a workspace that masquerades as another piece of furniture during the day, though this may make it difficult to set up in the morning.

Con: While you're WFH for the long-haul, it's important to have a dedicated space for "work" so that it doesn't take an emotional toll on your day-to-day. If your space allows it, keep a dedicated working desk that doesn't clash with other activities. At the same time, be mindful of what this space might be used for once you're back in the office and any possibilities for future use.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind?

Or, At Least, Out-of-the Way

Why should murphy beds have all the fun? Folding furniture is a great space-saving solution, giving you the option to truly separate your space from the workday. Secretary desks are an expandable stationary option while wall-mounted folding solutions are collapsible treat. Gate leg tables have convenient fold out workspaces with legs that swing into place to create an on-demand desk.

As with any shifting solution, it's important to establish dedicated storage so that your workday tools aren't scattered throughout your space after business hours. A mobile pedestal is a great movable solution that can be adjusted as needed or opt for a decorative cabinet that can always stay in the area.

All About Acoustics

You Talk Too Much (Just Kidding!)

Soundproofing solutions are a must for shared households. There's a lot of ways to mitigate noise to keep everybody working well while working from home:

  • Invest in Headphones: Sometimes, it's just about noise-cancelling headphones for all. Especially when there's an integrated microphone for taking meetings, active noise cancellation can keep two people in close proximity without conversations bleeding over.
  • Leverage Layout: Intuitive space planning saves the day. Keep desks facing towards walls with acoustic panels or soft fabrics to keep conversations muffled. Wear headphones so the other end of the call isn't projected into the middle of the room.
  • Be Wary of Windows: Glass and other shiny surfaces are known for reflecting sound, so direct your dialogue away from panes of glass or mirrored surfaces. The same goes for any art or photographs behind glass frames.
  • Decorative Deflection: Aside from tasteful curtain panels, using fabric or canvas prints in lieu of acoustic panels can add an aesthetic twist to noise cancellation. Facing a busy bookshelf with a ton of tomes can also absorb any extra sounds with ease.
  • Simple Separation: Sometimes, it's best to just stay in separate areas. Designate a "conference room" away from your regular workstation that's well-suited for calls and conversations whenever the time arises. Make sure to communicate any upcoming meetings with others in your shared space and consider a backup area if a multi-person household has two calls going at once.

You're Due for an Upgrade

If you've made it this far, it has probably been a good long while since you've seen your corporate office. None of us expected the COVID-19 crisis to last this long and as days turned to weeks and weeks to months, there isn't an end in sight.

The scramble to create a workable workstation may have led to a few hasty purchases or tenuously-assembled workarounds, but that's just not going to cut it forever.

If you haven't already, we truly urge you: think about the impact that your workspace has on your wellbeing and workplace success. Think about the lasting impact on your physical health due to an ergonomically-unfriendly chair or the impracticality of a not-quite-the-right-size desk. Think about the lasting impact on your mental health that a hard-to-navigate, needlessly cluttered, and deeply disorganized workspace can have after a while.
 

We're here to help. It doesn't stop with these workspace tips and tricks. Reach out to our sales team, explore our website, follow us on social media, or contact us in any way to see how we can work with you and your space to make working from home work for you.

 

 

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