Working from home during the pandemic has proven difficult for many professionals—from easy distractions to not having a decent place to work to just good 'ole cabin fever. With the question as to when most will trade in their guest bedrooms for actual office spaces still up in the air, there's no time like the present to spice up your home office. So we tapped the experts—professional event designers—to offer up their tips for an effective, productive and stylish WFH setup.
1. Create an actual office space, wherever that may be.
It's important to try to maintain some sense of normalcy when working from home, which is why event pro Andrew Roby of Andrew Roby Events, whose home office is pictured above, highlights the importance of making sure your home office still feels like you are "going to work" in the morning. "The goal for me was to create a very unique looking space that made me feel as if I was actually away from home," says Roby of the workspace he created. "The direction I wanted to take was to design a space that energized me and was tranquil for me. A space where I can have an actual desk and a small reading nook while being inspired."
2. Make your space comfortable and full of inspiration—something you might not have had at your actual office.
One perk of working from home is you can create a work area all your own, one that includes the creature comforts your in-person office likely lacked. Jessica Boskoff, founder and CEO of Twenty Three Layers, designed her space around her home library and curated the area to make sure she stayed inspired even when she needed a break from her work. "I've taken up office space in my new library, filled with tons of color-coordinated books. If I need a break from the day, I grab a design book to flip through, and it helps me clear my head."
Boskoff suggests, "Find a space that can truly be yours, a room or even a nice corner by the window," adding that "plants, new desk accessories, comfy furniture, a multipurpose cart, even a wall you can washi tape with cool images creating a mood board," are just a few ways to make your WFH space comfortable and your own.
3. Find a way to incorporate activeness into your office area.
Working from home can mean you don't have much movement in your day. Without the walk or drive to the office, interactions with co-workers or even site visits, many people's longest commute is going upstairs or to the kitchen. Therefore, it's necessary to get a little creative with how to make sure you're getting those steps in while working from home. In an effort to stay moving and alert while getting work done, Boskoff purchased a Desk Cycle 2 from Amazon. "It stays under my desk as I pedal while I work, which keeps my body moving. I love seeing the calories I'm burning, and feeling sore when I stand up!" Whether it's moving while you work, opting for a standing desk or taking walking meetings, keeping your body moving frequently can actually help lead to a more productive day.
4. Design a positive and motivating environment.
For event pros who are used to a very active workday, working from home for nearly a year now has been less than ideal, and at many times, disheartening, so you want to design a space that encourages you to stay positive. Roby, for example, says his home office helps him look toward the future and not feel discouraged by the current state of the world, adding that, "My home office allows me to not regret working from home and prevents me from hating the entire idea that I'm still in this pandemic."
Another way to make the days at home a bit more interactive and fun? Boskoff will be the first to suggest listening to music, which she uses to keep her motivated throughout the date. "I have two playlists I listen to during the day on Spotify," she says. "In the morning: 'Parisian Mornings.' At night: 'Old-School HipHop.' A good tune can really get you into your stride."
This story was originally published on Connect's sister site, BizBash.com, here.