Moving Your Home Office From Temporary to Permanent

Photo by Joanna Bogacz: https://www.pexels.com/photo/interior-of-contemporary-workplace-with-chair-and-laptop-on-table-4138153/

You may have started off thinking of your home office as temporary if you began to work there during the pandemic. However, if your employer is like many across the country, your option to continue working from home may now be indefinite. There’s a very good reason for that. We learned that employees were actually more productive when working from home than they were in a communal office space. In fact, work-from-home employees were putting in an extra 1.4 days per month in work hours! 

Employees, too, were reluctant to go back to hours spent commuting and timed lunch breaks. So, now that your temporary home office set-up of a tray table and kitchen chair in the guest room will need to be brought up to actual office standards, FIND the CLIENT shares a few things to keep in mind.

Starting From Scratch

Taking on creating a home office from scratch requires some forethought, planning, research, budget considerations, and imagination.

Primarily, you want your home office to be both professional and comfortable. And, ideally, it should be separate from the rest of the house. Whether you’re converting a guest room or spare bedroom or making a major overhaul, like refurbishing a garage or basement, many of the same principles will apply. 

In the case of major overhauls, like adding windows and doors to a former basement area, or even adding an entire addition, take before and after photos and keep those receipts. If you should decide to sell later, the costs of those improvements will be factored into the overall appraisal value of your home. Appraisers look at the quality, condition, and presence, or lack of, key additions. Therefore, it’s important that any big-budget improvements be made with future buyers in mind.

If an add-on is in your plans, you’ll need to reevaluate your HVAC system as well. This can be timely if it’s time to have your HVAC system replaced. HVAC systems last around 15–20 years, so it’s wise to have yours looked at if it’s near that age. An online search can connect you to several local companies who can service or replace your current system.

Office Aesthetics 

For wall colors, most people agree that muted shades work best. Off-white, pale blue, and beige are the most common colors for office walls, though that can become tedious after prolonged intervals. Consider wallpapering one or two walls with textured wallpaper for your home office. It adds elegance to your walls with its rich, tactile texture and luxurious finish while still being calming and breaking up the monotony of monotone walls.

Light fixtures can add warmth to a room with their luminescence and style. The light itself should be diffused with a shade or bounced from the wall or ceiling. Consider investing in smart bulbs. You can set them to a timer, adjust settings and brightness levels, and even turn them on and off using just your voice.

If you need help giving your office the professional look and comfortable ambience you envision, connect with an interior decorator. In addition to great taste and outstanding service, they provide design work for every budget and style.

Plants are also a great home office touch, but be sure they can thrive by giving them enough sunlight. You can also improve the air of the room with a well-reviewed humidifier. Your new plants will certainly appreciate it. Be sure to read unbiased online reviews before making your purchase. There are dozens of options available, and you want to ensure you’re making a wise purchase.

Office Furniture

In addition to the right aesthetic, having a comfortable and ergonomically constructed chair is vital. Our spine, muscles, and nerves all depend on us being in proper alignment. Purchasing a less than ideal chair can result in poor health and lost productivity, as well as long-lasting physical consequences. 

Purchasing a sit-stand desk, or sit-stand adaptor for your present desk can also go a long way toward reducing back pain and stiffness. Teeter points out that using a standing desk can mitigate the outcomes of “sitting disease.” People who sit with poor posture put themselves at risk for a raft of health problems, including the misalignment of the spine and knees, exacerbation of arthritis, poor circulation, fatigue, headaches, and shoulder and back pain.

The future of business is moving quickly to embrace a remote workforce. Soon, going into an office will be the exception rather than the rule. It makes sense for your home office to be part of that future, too. So start by evaluating what types of changes need to be made so you can create a comfortable and professional space that benefits your work and adds value to your home. Make aesthetics a priority to bring your design visions to life. Top it off with ergonomic office furniture, and you’ll be ready to take on the world, all from the comfort of home.

Brian Farrell is a coach, helping clients achieve their personal and professional goals. He's also the creator of the "QA2 Method". For more about Brian, visit bfarrell.com