The popularity of working from home has been growing over the last couple of decades as technology has made it so much easier to do so. People who work from home (even before Covid-19) can be found in almost every job sector. Many of them, myself included, are self-employed and can work wherever and however they want, but with this pandemic more and more employees are being given permission to work from home, and now many companies are even requiring them to do so. It’s not uncommon for people to become depressed when they are suddenly forced to work from home.
I’ve seen quite a few articles that provide tips on working from home, lists of great work-from-home accessories, ideas on how to make your home office a more productive work environment, or information on the importance of good home office ergonomics. However, the point of this article is to help you determine the ideal place within your home to set up shop in order to make working from home more pleasurable. I find that when I like my work environment, I’m not thinking about other things that I could or should be doing; I’m happy to keep working, so I can stay put.
Ignore those articles that suggest you can’t be productive in an environment that is too nice (such as overlooking the beach or a golf course) because there is too much temptation to do something other than work. Maybe this would be the case if you are trying to work on vacation, but if you are talking about your home office, I totally disagree with this concept. I used to own an oceanfront condo with spectacular views. People who came to visit would always ask how I ever managed to get anything done. But the reality is that when you see something every day, the novelty wears off. I don’t feel like I have to run down to the beach because the beach will be there tomorrow and the day after that.
No matter where you live, the list below can help you decide the best spot in your home to set up your work space.
So if you’re lucky enough to have a great view from your home, take advantage of it. Even if that means setting up a desk in the middle of the living room! Most people don’t have a spectacular view of a golf course or a lake, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a good work-from-home view. Perhaps you really like part of your backyard; if that view makes you happy then go with it!
2. Sunny / Good Lighting
Most people find a sunny environment a cheery one. It’s actually a well documented fact that sunshine helps boost your mood. Consider working in a room with lots of windows. Keep in mind that windows and glass doors that open up to covered porches don’t provide as much light as windows/doors that don’t face a porch.
If you live in the north then consider a room that is warmer than most. And if you live in the south, go for the coolest spot in the house. Maybe that’s the room that gets the best AC flow, the room away from exterior doors, or the room away from the kitchen. And if you live in a location where you are hot in the summer and cold in the winter, don’t be afraid to move your workspace to different locations within your home depending on the time of year. Make a point of having your work as virtual as possible so you can just pick up your computer and move it without worrying about your files and other stuff.
I find that if the weather is pleasant, a nice breeze makes me happy. Do you have a space in your house that has good cross-ventilation? Just be sure you don’t pick a wind tunnel where you will be forever picking papers off the floor. If you can’t get a good breeze from outside, then consider using a fan.
5. Pleasant Sounds
Does one side of your house face a noisy road? If so, consider your options on the other side of the house. Perhaps you have a bird feeder that is popular with your feathered friends? Consider working near the closest window that offers the most pleasing sounds. If you find all of the outdoor sounds unpleasant, try a desktop fountain, or maybe it’s time to invest in a good pair of headphones and play your favorite sounds or music.
6. Special Feature
Any reason that makes you prefer a particular room in your house is a good reason to spend your whole day there! If you don’t feel that way about any particular room then pick a room and make it special. Choose furniture or a paint color that you love, put fresh picked flowers nearby, hang photos of people you love, or place an object nearby that has special meaning to you.
Find your happy place and enjoy your work day!