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The Easy and Evolving Work-From-Home Office

By Susan Christian

When the pandemic hit and we were forced to stay at home, we all thought it would be over in a few months. Unfortunately, we are now starting into our six month with no end in sight and, like most of us working from home, my Work-From-Home (WFH) office space has “evolved” over the last five months. 

Short-Term Solutions vs Realistic Long-Term Needs

Ironically, I had a home office space with shelving that I set up in a closet in my husband’s office in our house several years ago. It was great for organizing my household papers, office supplies and miscellaneous books, but since I never had to do my job from home, I hadn’t experienced the problems associated with two people working from home during a pandemic. I still think it can be a great solution (like this great closet office photo featured in Contemporist.com), but as I have learned, it will only work if the work-from-home” must haves” have been considered.

Office in a closet Photo

My Work From Home Evolution

When we were first locked-down and I realized that both of us in the same space wasn’t going to work, I set up shop on the dining room table. I liked being in close proximity to my husband during those initial stressful days and his office was a room right next the dining room. I could spread out on the dining room table, and since nobody was coming over to our house, I didn’t need to worry about the mess I created.

That worked for a month or so…and then the Google Meet, Zoom conference calls and webinars started for both of us. Proximity, although reassuring, wasn’t working when both of us were on video calls. In addition, I was growing tired of the clutter on the dining room table. I realized it was time to start looking elsewhere for a quiet WFH space to call my own. 

My next landing spot for my WFH office was a bedroom upstairs. I had a small drop-leaf table that would work perfectly for a desk. It even had two small drawers to hold my miscellaneous day-to-day office “stuff.” I brought my office chair, put the table by a window, added a power strip, a lamp and I was good to go…at least for a while.

This week we were excited by the news that our son, who lives in Florida is driving up for a visit. Great news, but unfortunately my WFH office is in his old bedroom. Since I know all three of us will be in WFH mode during the week he’s here, it was time to come up with Plan “C” for the WFH office situation. Luckily, we have another bedroom with another window and so yesterday afternoon was spent moving into my third iteration of a WFH office. This the best space (or at least so far). It’s quieter, I can look out two windows instead of one, and since it’s on the shady side of the house…it’s a bit cooler.  

Easy Home Office Photo

Work From Home Office Must Haves

My WFH journey evolved as my expectations and needs evolved, but what I have learned from this experience is that it really doesn’t take much to create a WFH office space. All you need are a few key elements:

  • A quiet space:  Where you can conduct phone/video calls and not compete with other people in the home
  • Table/desk:  Big enough to accommodate your computer, a pad of paper for writing, and room for a cup of coffee and maybe a plate for a snack or your lunch.
  • Comfortable chair:  I started with a dining chair. That didn’t last long! I had to get a more comfortable office chair. 
  • Good lighting:  A desk lamp or floor lamp is a must. If you can park your desk in front of a window that is even better.
  • A power strip:  Laptop, phone, ear buds/headphones (really helpful with video conference calls) are easier to access if they can be plugged into one location.
  • Place to spread out:  I covered great-great-grandmother Witmer’s quilt on the bed next to me with towels to protect it from misc office fallout and it’s the perfect space to sort notes, layout presentations, lay my briefcase on for easy access and to put my feet up on! 
  • A garbage can

Creative Ideas from Others on How to Set up Your Evolving Home Office:

Throughout my WFH office space evolution I spent time looking online for creative ideas for home offices that are easy and inexpensive. There are so many great ideas out there, but here are a few that really stuck with me:

Custom Murphy bed closed in craft room

Custom Murphy bed Photo Open

I am hopeful that this will not only inspire – but also help you create your perfect WFH space.

If you are looking for something more than an easy fix for your home office needs, we can help and we’d love to start the conversation.