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Home Office Design Mistakes To Avoid

Working from home has never been a foreign concept, but for many of us, it has never really been an option, either. Now here we are, setting up home offices.

For many people, the first makeshift home offices we threw together after abruptly learning we’d be working from home were pretty sad. As time goes on, we find that an unstable surface isn’t ideal for a computer, and a kitchen stool isn’t going to work for a desk chair. Our bodies will let us know pretty quickly whether or not a setup is working.

Additionally, without the proper space, it can be a challenge to clear your mind and focus on work rather than the messy house, the needy pets, and the (are they always this loud) other members of your family. Knowing which home office design mistakes to avoid will allow you to set up a space that works for your body and mind, helping you maintain productivity and start to enjoy the perks of WFH life. Several factors contribute to an environment that’s conducive to work and productivity. Remaining vigilant in efforts to maintain these features will aid in the WFH process.

Not Dedicating a Space

Often, as people explore how to work from home, they realize quickly that neither the bedroom nor the family room is ideal, as these spaces tend to be far too laidback. However, some homes have formal living rooms or dining rooms that were previously only useful for entertaining.

If you have one of these unused spaces, they are worth transforming to fit your work needs. Even if you have limited space, try to maintain some distance from resting areas and other people in the home. It’s easy to take working more lightly when you’re in a more relaxed environment, but it’s still work, and you need a dedicated space to do it.

Allowing Too Many Distractions

Distractions vary, depending on the person. Some can lose themselves in their phones, scrolling aimlessly, while others find outside sounds incredibly disruptive. Avoid these distractions when possible. Pinpoint the things that can send you off course. Once you can identify the most distracting things, you can eliminate them or block them out.

Not Soundproofing When Possible

Soundproofing isn’t always an option in terms of actually padding a room. However, you can simplify the whole concept with the use of noise-canceling headphones. Additional easy options for reducing noise are adding window treatments, area rugs, and upholstered furniture to absorb sound.

Acoustic panels, soundproofing foam, sound machines, fans, or even air purifiers can contribute to a more serene workspace for very little cost. Many people make the mistake of not accounting for the surrounding sounds that will come up in a day.

Having Inadequate Lighting

Lighting solutions make more of a difference than you may have guessed. Subpar lighting in a dark room can cause eye strain, making you feel more tired and worn out. Consider LED bulbs in overhead fixtures, and add table lamps when necessary to dim or shadowy areas. Any light that makes you feel cozy and sleepy needs to go immediately.

Failing To Find a Balance Between Professional and Personal

In past years, many people have set their home offices up to look like real offices. That is not quite the trend we’ve moved into. Your home office is where you spend a lot of waking time, so find a balance between comfort and professionalism. Failing to find one can make things difficult.

Decorate your space with a little bit of creativity that helps you feel comfortable while is still professional enough to feel like you’re at work. Choose a reliable desk and a sturdy chair. However, don’t skimp on comfort when choosing the pieces you’ll be working with. Stiff and unpleasant office furniture can cause discomfort and be a source of unnecessary distraction, so be intentional and generous with your items.

Considering these home office design mistakes to avoid will aid in the setup and design of your space away from work. There are so many benefits to working from home, such as not commuting or having to brave inclement weather. However, it can be easy to get disconnected or approach work with a less serious tone than is necessary. Taking strides to ensure that your WFH environment is setting you up for comfort and success will help make the transition easier.


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Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a travel host and writer with a popular travel show, The Design Tourist, and a companion lifestyle blog. As a widely published travel journalist and content creator, Karen is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association. She also serves as the Design and Travel editor of the national lifestyle magazine, LaPalme. Karen believes that every destination has a story to tell through its local art, architecture, culture, and craft. This immersive creative exploration begins with authentic accommodations where the narrative of place unfolds through art, accessories, accouterments, furnishings, fixtures, and food. 

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