No more working from the couch! Follow these simple steps to create a personalized home office.
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Advertisement

At the beginning of the pandemic, many remote workers made do with temporary workstations, whether that was the dining room table, a lap desk, or spare bedroom. But after more than a year away, workers are starting to return to corporate offices—though not all are going back full-time. According to a recent survey by Upwork, one out of every four Americans will continue working remotely this year. If you have similar plans, it's likely time to rethink your work-from-home setup. 

Now that working remotely has become a permanent solution, you'll need a permanent workspace as well. No matter what your current work-from-home space looks like or how much room you do (or don't) have, we'll walk you through setting up a home office that's both pretty and functional.

functional office space shelving
Credit: Dana Gallagher

Choose Your Workspace Wisely

The first thing you'll need to decide is where you want your workspace. If you've been working from the couch or the kitchen table, choose a permanent destination to dedicate to an office. Even if you're in a small studio apartment, you can still make it work! Choose a spare room, a corner, or a sliver of an empty wall, and set up your desk.

If you already have a desk assembled, take stock of what works and what doesn't. Maybe you're too close to a window and get easily distracted by passersby, or maybe being in close proximity to the kitchen means you're constantly getting up to grab snacks. Try setting up a new area to mitigate the challenges you've noticed so far. Now that this is a permanent arrangement, not just a quick fix, it's important to feel comfortable and productive in your workspace. 

1. Invest in High-Quality Basics

At the beginning of the pandemic, I worked from the couch. A lot. And while it was comfortable for a while, I noticed I didn't get as much done when I wasn't in a traditional office environment. Once I set up a desk and chair, it was much easier to get into "work mode" at the beginning of the day, then leave completely when I logged off for the day. 

If you don't have traditional office furniture, consider investing in a few high-quality basics. A sturdy desk and a comfortable chair are a solid investment for both your focus and your posture.

target desk set
Credit: Courtesy of Target

Matching Desk Set

You don't have to spend hundreds of dollars on a chunky desk, especially if you're working with a tight space. This sleek option is sturdy and comes in three colors, so you can match it to your existing furniture. Plus, it's lightweight enough to move around as you figure out the best space for your office setup. It's part of a set, so you can add a matching shelf, hutch, or bookcase depending on how much room you have to work with. 

Buy It: Loring Wood Writing Desk ($120, Target)

black office chair
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Ergonomic Desk Chair

If you can only splurge on one thing, invest in a good desk chair. You'll be sitting in it for 8 hours a day, and it's hard to be productive if you're uncomfortable. This option from Amazon has more than 800 5-star ratings, and reviewers rave about how comfortable it is. 

Buy It: High-Back Swivel Office Desk Chair ($154, Amazon)

2. Separate Your Workspace

In addition to finding the right place to set up your permanent workstation, you'll also want to consider how you'll separate it from your living space. If you're setting up a desk in your bedroom or living room, there are ways you can make it feel like a totally separate area so it doesn't feel like you're sleeping in your office after you log off for the day. Not only will this make your office feel less invasive in your home, but you'll likely also be more productive during the day.

wood room divider
Credit: Courtesy of Wayfair

Folding Room Divider

If you don't have an entire room to devote to your office, a classic room divider is an easy way to section off a corner of your bedroom or living room. This one comes in gold, silver, and white, and is slightly opaque to let light through.

Buy It: Solid Wood Folding Room Divider ($195, Wayfair)

blush rug
Credit: Courtesy of World Market

Area Rug

A small rug is another easy way to section off your desk from the living space. Put down a 4x6 or 5x7 rug and arrange your desk, chair, and other accessories on the rug to help you visually separate your office. This area rug comes in four sizes and features muted colors to add subtle pattern without being distracting. 

Buy It: Blush Distressed Persian Style Area Rug ($79, World Market

3. Incorporate Sneaky Storage Solutions

One of the biggest challenges with working from home is that it can be hard to separate your workday from leisure time. If your office materials are laying around in the evening, it can be tempting to pick them up out of habit while you're supposed to be relaxing at the end of the day. Simple storage solutions are an easy way to help you maintain a healthy work-life balance. At the end of the day, slide your laptop into your desk drawer and put away all materials so you're not tempted to get them back out before the next morning. 

amazon file cabinet
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Portable File Cabinet

Out of sight, out of mind is the best motto when you're deciding on office storage options. Look for something that has enough space for pens, papers, tape—anything you use regularly—so you're able to put everything away at the end of the day. This rolling wood file cabinet keeps papers out of sight, and since it's on wheels, you can move it throughout the day. If you like a lot of leg room under your desk, move it to the side during the day, then roll it under the desk when it's time to log off.

Buy It: 3-Drawer Rolling Wood File Cabinet ($90, Amazon

gold file sorter
Credit: Courtesy of World Market

Pretty File Organizer

If you don't have space for a separate drawer unit, look for stylish tabletop storage instead. This wire file organizer doubles as desk decor, but you can easily slide your planner, notebooks, and other work items into it at the end of each day so they're not cluttering up your desk. 

Buy It: Gold Wire File Holder ($20, World Market)

Comments

Be the first to comment!