Create two work zones: a desk for analytical tasks and a spot by the window for creative ones, suggests Melissa Smith from the Association of Virtual Assistants. Help define the spaces with a divider, rug, paint or wallpaper—or use string lights on the “fun” side and desk lighting on the other.
Is working from the couch not working out anymore? Because the business world seems to be a blend of working from home and going into the office, your home office should make it easy to transition between each location.
“Be intentional about creating the kind of space that makes you productive,” says Laurel Farrer, founder of the Remote Work Association. “It’s your chance to think, I can decorate the way I want. I can hang up pictures that make me laugh. I can do what is best for me and my work.”
With home office space often at a premium, you’ll want to choose products that serve multiple functions. Here are items that save on space while promoting productivity and comfort.
Personalize bookcases with picture frames, plants and other decor. Some have cut-outs in the back to run power cords for your coffee maker or voice assistant.
A dry erase board on wheels
Move the board closer when inspiration strikes, or use it as a divider if you’re in a room used by other family members.
All-in-one printer, fax machine and scanner
Bring home one of the major conveniences of the office: wireless printing and scanning. “I can’t imagine cluttering my office with several devices. And the price is not much more,” says Melissa Smith, founder and CEO of the Association of Virtual Assistants.
A filing cabinet with a padded seat
With a filing cabinet that includes a padded seat, you get seating, storage and a decorative element—in one compact piece.
Space-saving nesting tables
When space is limited, you’ll want flexibility for your tabletop surface. “Nesting tables can be spread out and can change the layout of the room,” Smith says.
Great for standing desks, a mat protects your floors and can help increase innovation. “Changing the surface of your floor forces you to go off autopilot, and any time you do this you become more creative,” Smith says.
Noise-canceling headphones are a must, especially if you have kids or pets. Those that feature a USB port and Bluetooth let you connect to two devices at once.
Toggling back and forth between easily viewable items with dual monitors can boost productivity.
Sit/stand desk or riser
Sit/stand desks or risers let you easily move between sitting and standing throughout the day.
Ergonomic chair with wheels
“A chair is the thing you shouldn’t skimp on,” Smith says. Find an ergonomic chair that accommodates your body type with adjustable armrests, seat and headrest, and lumbar support.