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More Than a House: An Office

July 18, 2020

This is the first in a series of blogs from Lifestyles Building that will explore how family dynamics and the ways we use our homes are changing in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Follow along on our blog page for upcoming posts. 

With companies across the country allowing employees to work remotely, many homeowners scrambled to find a space that was video-friendly and somewhat distraction-free. 

It may have been the kitchen table for a few weeks and the couch or a favorite recliner for a few more. But now, with experts predicting work-from-home becoming more of a norm, it’s time to make a space that fits your long term needs. Our Symphony Farms team compiled this quick guide to help you get started.

Stay out of Traffic

If possible, you will want to avoid high-traffic areas like the kitchen and living room where family members and furry friends tend to invite themselves to conference calls. A back bedroom or flex room is an ideal fit, but really any option that provides a little seclusion will work. 

The priority should be finding a sturdy writing surface or place to set up your computer and then a comfy chair. Your back will thank you for the support even if the couch is a lot more tempting. Plus, it will help signal the start and end of the day when the hours start blending together. 

Make it Functional

It’s way too easy to fill up a desktop. Especially if you have a secondary monitor or a landline that you use throughout the day. 

If you are limited on space, build up rather than out. Use the wall to hang shelves or add a shelving unit to keep your space clean and organized. Avoid using the tabletop of your desk as a space to pile papers, projects or unnecessary materials. Consider adding a trash can or recycling bin too so your seltzers don’t linger throughout the week.

Do you need access to a lot of files or paperwork? Use your filing cabinets as desk legs and place a tabletop or flat surface over top as a make-shift desk. This will allow you to save space while being fully functional as well. 

If you need to be more creative, think about the resources you have back at the office that help you. Are there trade magazines or books you look to for inspiration? Do you plan out assignments on a whiteboard? 

Mirroring some of the more useful elements of your traditional office will make the transition a little easier. 

Add Some Personality

A boring workspace makes it so much more difficult to concentrate and be productive. Pick a few favorite decorations -- whether it’s photos of the family or a soothing candle -- and some neutral art for the background if you’re frequently invited to video calls. 

Setting up near a window where you can admire your garden or closer to the coffeemaker are a few advantages of the home office too. Especially if you are used to a cubicle and are enjoying your newfound control.

Set a Schedule

This isn’t as office-related, but it’s vital for your success at home. It’s easy to get into a groove while you’re working if there isn’t office chatter breaking up the day. 

Make sure to set times for a stretch, a quick walk with the dog or maybe a quick errand. There is probably time during your regular lunch break for any of those and a change of pace might get you refocused for the rest of the afternoon too.  

If your current home isn’t making the cut, Lifestyles Building can help you find a better fit with dedicated office space. Review floor plans and schedule an appointment today to tour move-in-ready homes in Gardner.  

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