15 Dec 2020

Optimizing Your Home Space for Working From Home


Your home office can either be a sanctuary that inspires productivity or a chaotic, cluttered corner that hinders your work. To get the former, you have to take charge of the area.

Optimizing your home space for working from home can make you more efficient at your remote job. You’ll be happy to start the day at your new and improved workspace, getting a boost in happiness and productivity. If it’s time to revamp your home office or you’re shifting from an in-office job to an at-home one, discover how with this guide.

How to Optimize Your Space for Working From Home

To improve the layout for your remote work area, you need to spend a bit of time with the space. Perfect your work-from-home office setup with these tips.

1. Separate Work From Your Living Space

Remote work makes it difficult to set your work life apart from your home life, since your office is part of your house. Dedicating one room to be your home office is the best way to separate your job from your personal life. But what if you don’t have enough room to sequester your workspace from your living space?

You can still divide work from home if your office space is part of your living room, bedroom, dining room or another place in your home. Start by designating a specific corner that you go to only when you work. You might even want to put up a physical boundary around the area, like a folding screen. Eventually, you’ll mentally connect that spot with your work. Other than setting up a home office for remote work, you can also separate your job from your personal life by:

  • Getting dressed for work and changing into leisure clothes once the workday is over.
  • Not eating at your desk, even during work hours.
  • Not doing other work at your desk, unless it’s the only place you can use your computer.

2. Work in a Well-Lit Space

You may not have many options for setting up your home workspace. If you have a bit of flexibility, try to choose a room or area with lots of natural light. That’ll help you feel awake and happy as you work. Of course, some days are cloudy, so even with a naturally lit room, you’ll need some extra lighting.

If your remote work involves looking at small print or intricate details, consider a desk lamp. Those who aren’t fans of harsh light can opt for floor lamps or chandeliers that fill the whole room.

3. Have Enough Space at Your Desk

You don’t want to feel cramped at your desk space. You need enough room to spread out, but how much space you need will depend on your job. If you’re often consulting files, organizing papers or drafting ideas in physical books, extra space will be valuable. Even if you work on the computer all day, you’ll want room for your keyboard, mouse and monitors. If you’re in a small area, ensure the desk doesn’t overtake your work-from-home office setup.

4. Rearrange Your Home Office

An efficient home office layout will help you be more productive throughout the day and maximize the space you work in. Whether you work in the corner of a room or have a dedicated home office, rearrange the furniture as you need.

Consider how you go about your workday. Do you often need to reference books or papers that you keep on shelves? Put that furniture as close to your desk as possible.

You should also think about any distracting elements of your layout. If you have plenty of furniture or large pieces in your office, they may feel imposing. Or, those pieces could take up valuable real estate you could’ve dedicated to a roomier desk. Rearrange these items or take them out of your workspace if you can.

5. Declutter Your Workspace

Having a large desk doesn’t mean you should fill every inch of it with stuff. Clutter becomes a major distraction as you work. You’ll feel overwhelmed by piles of papers and scattered office supplies. Cut back on what you keep in your desk to declutter your workspace and your mind. You can add plenty of storage options and solutions to your work-from-home setup to help you get organized.

  • Filing cabinets neatly conceal all your papers, work or personal.
  • Desk caddies let you prioritize what writing utensils and stationery you keep on your desk.
  • A shredder and small trash can let you toss papers you don’t need anymore.

If you like a work setup with family photos or trinkets, try to keep them minimal, as well. Add a small shelf near your desk for knickknacks and hang snapshots on the wall to free up workspace.

6. Invest in an Ergonomic Office Chair

When you spend most of your day at a desk, you want to be comfortable. An ergonomic office chair will optimize your home workspace. It’ll give you the back and neck support you need while you’re working and promote the proper posture. You may also consider getting a convertible standing desk if you like to alternate between sitting and standing up as you work.

7. Add Soundproofing Materials

If others living in your house tend to disturb you during your workday or outside noises interrupt your concentration, add soundproofing. Even without those distractions, you may find the sounds you make as you work echo around your space. No matter the noises you don’t want to deal with, use soundproofing solutions to help.

  • Carpeting or throw rugs help dampen sounds from the story below you and the room you’re in.
  • Upholstered surfaces, pillows and blankets also diminish echoes from surrounding noises.
  • Soundproofing wall panels cut back on sounds you hear from rooms adjacent to your home office setup for remote work.

8. Bring the Outside In

Even when you’re not in an office, work can be stressful at times. Bring nature indoors to give your home office space fresh air and turn it into a more relaxing environment. Have a small plant at your desk or a houseplant in the corner. Not only will those green touches make you feel happier and more relaxed, but they can also boost your productivity.

Not a plant person? No problem. Position your desk near a window to let you take in the views of outside. If you don’t have a window in your home office space or don’t live near natural scenery, use images of mountains, beaches, forests or waterfalls. Paintings and photos of nature offer just as much of a relaxing effect as looking at the real thing.

9. Play With Scents

Another way to alter the psychological effects of your workspace is with scent. Candles, wax melters or essential oil diffusers provide scents that can do anything from calm you to boost your productivity or mood. That’s because our sense of smell has a significant role in our working abilities and emotions.

You may have to experiment with various scents to find what optimizes your workspace and your mood the best. What fragrances you try will depend on the psychological and emotional results you’re looking for, but you could consider:


  • Vanilla and lavender often provide a feeling of calm.
  • Sweet and dessert-inspired scents may make you happier.
  • Orange and other citrus scents can give you an energy boost.

When in doubt, pick a favorite candle or wear cologne or perfume you like. Your favorite scents will have a positive impact on your mood, and that could boost your productivity.

10. Work From a Quality Computer

Odds are, you’re using a computer for some element of your remote work. If that’s the case, you don’t want to deal with slow load times and lag. Upgrade your digital setup with a new computer. You won’t need anything too fancy if you’re mostly answering emails, but if your work involves specialized software, you’ll want to explore powerful options to keep up with your work demand.

Another secret to a quality computer setup is multiple monitors. You’ll work more efficiently when you have more virtual desktop space to separate your windows. Ensure your desk is large enough for two or three screens before making the upgrade.

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