We’re starting the new year with a new abbreviation. “WFH” is now in the lexicon, thanks to many of us spending most of the previous year sheltering in place. Even the Wall Street Journal has used it in headlines. It means work-from-home.
In some homes, the kitchen table is now the classroom, and the guest room is a brand-new home office. Whether you are running your own business from home or just trying to stay focused on your job, working from home can have all sorts of challenges. This includes having your kids at home doing homework and studying as they do remote learning.
While many of us grew up doing homework around the kitchen table, in today’s world of video meetings and online classes, that scenario is not always practical.
A workstation in a sunny room with a door that can shut is always ideal if you need silence for video meetings, phone calls, or just focus for the task at hand. Even a desk or table in a bedroom is preferable to working at a kitchen table. If you can position your desk in front of a window, it will give you ample light for working, at least during the daytime.
Speaking of lighting – layer your lighting as much as possible. The variety of table lamps and task lighting is phenomenal and can come with just the right base to fit a personal interest or hobby. That will give additional lighting for video calls on those gray days or after sunset.
If there are two adults working at home, separate rooms may be difficult. Separate workstations in the same room are doable if there is some division. If a room is large enough, two workstations could be placed so that when both are occupied, the occupants are somewhat back-to-back. Using a screen as a room divider can help. Dividers made of cork, fabric or leather will absorb some noise. If it’s a smaller room, one large work table could enable two, three or even four older children to work at the same time. Remember study hall?
You don’t often have many choices in furnishings at the company office. Not so at home. There are so many options for office desks that, with some help from a professional, you can find one that will satisfy your work needs, and fit your space, design preference and lifestyle. You can adjust height, be stylish and trendy, and even make a statement.
Similarly, chair options are plentiful. Ergonomic chairs often have backrests that can be raised and lowered, as well as moved forward and backward to eliminate bending or stretching. Firm lumbar support may be an issue if you are sitting for long stretches. If you are sitting for long hours in a chair, it’s worth it to make the added investment in quality seating.
Storage solutions are another common issue. If space is at a premium, you may need a desk with its own storage. However, if you do have the space, there are fabulous options for furnishings that will do the job.
There is no “typical” home office style. It’s all your choice.