The past year has brought about a lot of changes – social distancing, virtual happy hours, remote learning, and more people than ever before working from home. If you’re one of the many who recently transitioned to a zero mile commute, you were probably happy about the thought of being able to work in your pajamas — that is, until you realized that you just don’t have the space or the setup to be able to work comfortably. Creating a functional work-from-home space will not only make your life easier, but it will also make you more productive.

The pandemic has made many employers realize that they don’t have to invest in big, expensive offices anymore and employees are happy with the freedom that comes with being able to work from home. That’s why the use of home offices is expected to continue to rise well after the pandemic is over.

Whether you’re preparing to transition to working at home, or you’ve been struggling with a makeshift office in your apartment, taking the time to create the right space can make all the difference. That’s why in today’s blog, we’re going to discuss some helpful tips on how to set up your home office. Keep reading, and if you’re looking for apartments in Hickory, NC where you can set up an office and enjoy living in a friendly community, contact The Estates at Legends to schedule a tour.   

Tip #1: Create a Dedicated Space

If you live in a small apartment or even if you share a house with other people, you may not have an extra room to set up as your home office. People rarely have empty rooms that they aren’t already using, so you might need to get a little creative when it comes to setting up your workspace. 

Whether you have a spare room, a spare corner in the basement, or just a few extra feet in your bedroom, it’s important to set aside dedicated space for your office. That way, you can keep all of your work things together so you can work more efficiently and without distraction. It also helps you get mentally prepared for work. Some people may find it hard to step away from the TV or stop doing household chores when they don’t have to leave their home to go to work. Creating your workspace gives you a place to go where you can focus on your job — even if that means you only have to travel a few feet.

Tip #2: Invest In a Comfortable Chair 

You may not realize how important it is to have a comfy chair until you have to sit in it for 8+ hours a day. This is especially true if you spend a lot of time on a computer. Trying to type, write, and perform other office tasks while sitting in bed or lying on the couch is only comfortable for a short time. After a while, your back and neck will start to hurt because of poor posture. 

Instead, invest in a well-made, ergonomically-designed chair that will allow you to sit up straight while having your feet touch the floor. You’ll also want to make sure that it’s adjustable and lines up with your desk so that your arms are at a 90-degree angle when you type.

If you have the budget, consider getting an adjustable desk. Health experts agree that whenever possible, you should alternate sitting and standing throughout the day. Sitting for long periods of time is bad for circulation and can create health problems. Having a standing desk will allow you to work from either a standing or sitting position so you can stay comfortable no matter how many hours you work during the day.

Tip #3: Make Sure You Have the Right Lighting

Lighting is something that many people don’t think about, but when you’re working, having the right light can make all the difference. First, don’t set up your computer in front of a window. Facing a sunny window while trying to see your computer is a sure way to get a headache. On the other hand, don’t work in a room that is too dark. Relying on just the brightness of your computer screen is another way to create excessive eye strain. Instead, try to use a combination of indirect natural light and a desk lamp to provide direct lighting wherever you need it most. Not only will you be able to pick out a fun and fashionable accessory to add to your room, your eyes will thank you for it!

Tip #4: Control Your Wires

You probably already have several cables in your home for your own tech — today’s electronics are convenient, but they sure make a mess when you have to power them. Trying to corral the wires and cords from your TV, gaming system, phone charger, and other devices is hard enough, but if you’re adding a computer, printer, router, modem, and other such items to your space, you have to be really diligent about keeping the cords organized. For a few dollars, you can get cord ties or clips, and for a few dollars more you can get complete cord management systems.   

Tip #5: Block Out Distractions

Working from home comes with many perks, but it also comes with many distractions. Pets, housemates, neighbors, and outside noise are just a few of the things you’ll have to contend with. Even just a minor distraction here and there can cause you to lose your train of thought, make you forget what you were doing, or just make you less productive. 

Although you may not be able to eliminate all distractions, there are few things you can do to minimize them. First, having a dedicated space away from the kitchen, living room, or other central gathering areas can help. Next, block out noise in whatever way works for you — put on some headphones and listen to some soothing background music, run a fan for ambient noise, or simply close the door.

Tip #6: Choose Accessories You Love

This final tip isn’t necessary for creating a functional home office, but it’s part of the benefit of being able to work from home. When your office is in your home, that means you can design it however you like. You’re not required to stick with the boring neutral colors that line the walls and floors of most office buildings, and you’re not required to buy mass-produced office furniture that does anything but inspire. 

nstead, take this opportunity to personalize your workspace to make it an area that you love being in. Put inspiring art on the walls, add a funky area rug, or get a modern, lime-green office chair (if that’s your style). Just make sure that the accessories you choose are a reflection of you! 

Create the Perfect Space For Your 9 to 5

For years, many employees have wished they could have the opportunity to work from home, and now, for a significant percentage of the working population, that dream is becoming a reality. Whether you live in a large house with plenty of extra room for a dedicated office space, or you’re living in a small apartment where you have to get creative with your working space, with a little planning, you can design something that really works for you.

If you’re thinking that the best way to create the perfect workspace is to first make a change in where you’re living, then we invite you to take a look at our apartments in Hickory, NC. The Estates at Legends offers six spacious floor plans to choose from, flexible lease options, and resort-style amenities to enjoy when you’re not at work. Give us a call to inquire about availability or to schedule a tour.