Tips & Advice Fleur Howgill November 14, 2023
Whether you work from home full-time or just need a space dedicated to composing emails and paying bills, a home office can be invaluable. And a desk in a corner of the kitchen just won’t cut it!
Designating a spot in your Washington, D.C. house for your work can boost overall focus and efficiency. Setting up a home office might seem overwhelming at first, but it is entirely doable.
Here are five simple tips to help you create a home office.
1. Good lighting is key.
Good lighting can make a major difference in your home office and your enjoyment of the space. You’ll avoid eye strain, experience improved mood, and maybe even feel more energized by properly lighting your workspace. That might mean investing in a desk lamp you can adjust to direct light exactly where you need it. Or you might need even more light, such as a floor lamp, to brighten up your entire room.
2. Choose the right desk.
Before you choose a desk, think about the type of work you’ll be conducting in your home office. If you’ll be working with a lot of paper, you will need space to spread out and a place to file the papers away. If your work entails drawing, writing, or any other creative enterprise, you’ll need a large enough surface to do so. If you only need a place for your laptop, consider a smaller desk that won’t overwhelm the room.
A desk that comes with additional organization space (such as file drawers, cubbies, etc.) can help you improve your efficiency and effectiveness. Also, make sure your desk and chair height are complimentary. Ideally, your elbows will be at a 90-degree angle while working on a computer, which allows your wrists to remain straight.
3. Invest in a quality chair.
When creating a workspace in your home, consider the place you’ll be sitting. You want to be comfortable and you also need proper lumbar support, especially if you’ll be sitting for extended periods of time. Don’t settle for any cheap chair you see, but also avoid choosing style over comfort.
During your chair search, do an actual sit test. Look for chairs that are comfortable, supportive, and padded. This will allow you to sit for longer periods of time, boosting productivity. If you are someone who gets up from your chair often, you might invest in one that swivels for easier maneuvering from behind your desk.
Also, make sure your feet are able to rest flat on the floor so as not to cause extra strain on your back. If you’re living with a significant other who will also be using the space, consider a chair that can be adjusted for height. That way, everyone’s back is protected.
4. Use the right tools.
While you may be used to working with that slow computer, leaky pen, or jammed stapler, you probably aren’t being as productive as possible with them around. For maximum productivity, make sure you’re using tools that actually work as intended. It’s true that you get what you pay for, so try not to skimp when purchasing items to make your home office perfect.
If you need a filing cabinet to keep your space organized, get one. If you need a better printer, see if your company will let you upgrade. If you avoid cutting corners when it comes to your home office you’ll be more likely to create a space you love to work in. Stocking up on all the right supplies will also save you time in the long run. If everything you need is close by, you won’t have to spend time searching or running out to purchase supplies.
5. Think about your online needs.
As work habits change and the workforce continues to move towards remote positions, you’ll want to make sure your home office is Zoom or Teams ready. Invest in the very best Internet connection you can find, either high-speed Wi-Fi or powerful Ethernet.
Make sure you have the best office lighting (see tip #2). A ring light can be a remote worker’s best friend. Also, put some thought into your background since it will be on screen. An accent or wallpapered wall, a shelf full of plants and books, or some interesting wall art can show some personality without being too distracting.
Ready for a New Home Office?
We’ve got a number of listings that have the perfect work-from-home spaces. This 2-bedroom/2-bathroom condo on 16th Street (recently reduced price!) also has a bright and beautiful den area that's perfect for a home office. Or, for an ultimate Zoom backdrop, take your work call up on the large private roof terrace with stunning views of the Masonic Temple.
This stunning home in a highly desirable part of northern Virginia has 5 bedrooms (plenty of home office options there) as well as an extra 1,525 sq ft of finished basement with a separate entrance. Just imagine the possibilities!
Whether you’re hoping to buy, sell, or explore your options for a new home (and a new home office) in the Washington D.C. metro region, contact Fleur or Veronique . We can provide advice and local market expertise to find the home office of your dreams.
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