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6 home-office ideas that will actually take some 'work' out of 'work-from-home'

The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred many offices to close temporarily and otherwise sending millions of employees home to work from there. Its a big change that doesnt look like its going to revert, even as pandemic restrictions ultimately lift. While many offices have reopened and life is slowly returning to normal, employees are still experiencing the added flexibility that working from home offers. As of September 2021, 45 percent of full-time employees in the U.S. were still telecommuting at least part-time.

If youre working remotely for the foreseeable future and using a makeshift space, its high time to upgrade your home-office situation so that it better suits your needs. With the collective advice of our expert agents, you can make strategic decisions that will help you maximize your productivity and actually enjoy sitting down (or standing up) at your desk every morning. Consider using these six tips to make your home office work for you. 

1. Utilize smart storage

One of the many benefits of working from home is organizing your space in the best way for your working style. Whether that means dozens of reference books or materials, or keeping hard copies of all your documents in file folders, there is no right or wrong when it comes to your personal work preferences. Make sure you use smart storage solutions that give you easy access to the materials you need: The easier the access, the more efficient youll be. From stylish bookshelves and sleek file cabinets to desk-drawer organizers and rolling utility carts, find pieces that not only work with your dcor style but also give your space a highly practical edge.

modern home office natural light

2. Prioritize natural light

The No. 1 attribute that employees look for in an office? Natural light. And for good reason: Lack of natural light can lead to feeling tired and gloomy, which in turn decreases productivity. When youre laying out your home office, keep this in mind and try to place your desk facing, adjacent to or perpendicular to a window. That way, youll get the benefits of the natural light and have immediate access to an outside view, which can help you stay positive, focused and inspired throughout the day. 

3. Invest in a standing desk

An uncomfortable chair and a work surface that isnt the optimal height 28 to 30 inches is ideal for typing and writing can force you to hunch over your keyboard or slouch (Neither are good at all). But a standing desk? It can increase your productivity throughout the day. On average, workers with standing desks take fewer and shorter breaks, increasing their total work time. A standing desk also helps you avoid uncomfortable desk chairs that can negatively affect your posture and your musculoskeletal health.

Insider tip: A less-costly option than an entire desk that raises and lowers is a standing-desk converter, also known as a riser or topper. These clever devices sit on top of a desk and consist of shelf-like surfaces for your monitor and keyboard. Pneumatic or mechanical lifts allow you to raise and lower the whole setup, easily, for standing or sitting.

modern home office standing desk

4. Perk things up with plants

Plants add a bright pop of greenery and life to your office but they dont just have aesthetic benefits. Surrounding yourself with plants has been proven to help minimize concentration problems and decrease fatigue and headaches, making plants both beautiful and practical accessories for your home office. For greenery that is also easy to care for, go for a paddle plant, a pothos or a jade plant.

5. Choose your colors wisely

Colors such as gray, white and purple have been shown to cause sadness and depression, but other colors can actually make you more productive. Calming blues and greens have been shown to increase both efficiency and focus, making them a smart option for your home office, to help you get more done. Yellow, on the other hand, can help spark innovation, making it a smart hue for those in creative fields think writing, design, fashion, advertising, marketing to help foster ingenuity. 

6. Incorporate your favorite scent

Essential oils, candles and other scented goods can help give you the boost you need to keep your productivity high throughout the day. Peppermint is proven to make you feel more alert and to deliver enhanced energy, making it the ideal option for tackling your to-do list. Lavender, chamomile and neroli can help eliminate stress and reduce anxiety, making them practical aromas to infuse before a big presentation or after a stressful project. Rosemary also helps improve concentration and focus, making it a must-have for long work days. 

Amp up your home office

Whether youre moving into a new space and have a blank home office to work with or are looking to upgrde your current setup, leveraging these tips can help you stay more productive throughout the day and crush your to-do list. 

If youre looking to upgrade not only your office but your entire home, Briggs Freeman Sothebys International Realty has some of the best agents in the business to help you find your dream home. Get started today!

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