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Many people are working from home these days. If you are one of them, you may be reading this at your kitchen counter or the dining room table. Your supplies and equipment may be taking up valuable real estate in a common room in the house.
Is it possible that you need to make room for your home office? There’s a sense that we can work anywhere if we have a laptop and phone, but the truth is that we are more productive and better at our jobs if we have a separate space. It’s also important to reduce the stress that we feel while working.
In an actual work environment, you’d crave an office apart. It would be natural to want your privacy and to seek a place where people couldn’t interrupt your flow. Yet at home, there’s a tendency to think you don’t deserve this. Nothing could be further from the truth.
A separate home office actually makes things better for everyone. It establishes boundaries for kids and talkative adults, helping them stay away. Most of us can’t build one, but many of us have the real estate within our homes to have one. It means we have to think creatively and find the spot in the house that gives us some measure of privacy.
What Does a Home Office Need
A home office should be big enough for a person to sit comfortably and have their work tools in easy reach. If they keep files, products or books, those should fit neatly in the area. There should be access to electricity and good lighting. Some people really need a window. Others may not feel that is necessary.
Take the Guest Room
While not everyone has a guest room if you do, why should you deny yourself a separate space for your work? If it is a matter of what to do with the furniture, perhaps there are places to shift that. It will be worth it to clear it out and perhaps rent a storage unit to give yourself a sense of peace and decrease your workday stress.
Go to the Basement
Not everyone has a basement, but if you do, there may be a perfect space down there. You may not be able to have the entire area, but this common room may not see much action when the kids are at school. They can learn that the room is off-limits until Mom or Dad finishes work for the day.
Share a Space
Sometimes there are rooms in the house that aren’t central to the action. You may have to put some decluttering tips into action to clear the way. One person claimed one end of a glassed porch. It only took a small heater during the winter and a fan during the summer to be comfortable. Yet it was out of the way. Another person moved the boxes out of the laundry room, uncovered a window, hung some artwork, and added a desk. Turning their back to the appliances, they felt like they were in an actual office. Perhaps there is something like this in your home that would suffice.
Escape to Narnia
In “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”, a well-known book and movie, the kids go through the wardrobe to a magical land called Narnia. What does that have to do with a home office? Well, if you can’t claim a room in the house, maybe you can conjure one up.
To do that, you might move a large piece of furniture creating a space behind it. That could be an actual wardrobe, bookshelves, or other tall furniture. One person found some used screens and bought them especially for the purpose. This would become your area, and it would give you a place where you could leave work behind at the end of a day. It wouldn’t have a door but hopefully, it would encourage the family to respect your work time and your work gear.
There’s so much stress in the world. We owe it to ourselves to create a place apart when working from home.