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Tips for Modernizing Your Home Office

By Tom Barber

President, Home Builders Association of North Central Lakes

The pandemic transformed the way Americans lived and worked. While public health restrictions are lifting, many people may continue to work from home at least part of the time. More than half (54%) of employed adults whose job responsibilities can be done from home say they’d want to work from home all or most of the time when the coronavirus outbreak is over, according to a recent Pew Research survey.

If your temporary workspace has become permanent, there are several easy ways to modernize your space for productivity and comfort.

Manage Your Acoustics. Sound waves carry through the air and maybe a distraction throughout the day. Not all soundproofing techniques completely eliminate noise but there are a few simple ways to reduce it. If your home office has tile or hardwood floors, adding rugs to your work area can help prevent sound from moving around the room. Installing a door sweep on the bottom of your door can help reduce noise coming into your home office when your door is closed.

Organize Your Essentials. To improve the professional look and feel of your workspace, make sure you have adequate storage for reference materials and other frequently used items. If your home office is in a small space, consider adding vertical storage. If you need a more dynamic storage solution, consider adding built-in shelving. A professional remodeler can help you achieve your home office organizational goals.

Upgrade Your Lighting. A mix of natural and artificial lights can boost your mood and productivity. If your home office space doesn’t have a natural light source, it’s best to add task lighting at your workstation to help boost your energy and avoid eye strain. A well-lit space is essential but make sure it doesn’t interfere with the work you are trying to accomplish. Position your computer monitor to avoid a glare coming in from a window or overhead light.

Create a Professional Backdrop. Video calls and teleconferences have made individuals more aware of the space they are working in and presenting to their clients or colleagues. Tastefully displayed items such as plants, diplomas, books, or art can project a professional aesthetic. Avoid positioning yourself while on a video call in front of clutter or a window without the blinds or shades drawn. The clutter can be a distraction and natural light in your background can conflict with your computer or web cam lighting adjustments.

Declutter Your Space. An unkept workstation can be distracting and reduce your productivity if you spend time trying to look for items in and around your desk. One of the biggest items of clutter in a home office is paper, so a simple filing solution can clear some of the space. Keep the top five items you use on a daily basis while you’re working from home within reach. If you have too many items, it might be time to get a bigger desk or relocate your workspace.

For help to find a remodeler to help you create the perfect office space, go to:

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