Working from home has become very common in the last two years, and it shows no signs of slowing down. With that said, many new and longtime remote workers still find it challenging to set up an area that allows them to truly focus.
We’re here to help you meet those challenges. If you work from home and are looking for ways to improve your space, below are 20 ideas to enhance your home office.
How To Improve Your Home Office Space
Get a comfortable chair
There’s nothing that takes my focus away from work like back pain. I will not be able to get anything done if I think about how uncomfortable I am all the time.
Additionally, getting a chair that isn’t right for your body can affect your overall health, so I made a point to spend a lot of time researching what chair would be ideal for me. There are endless options of ergonomic chairs online; if you can try them in person, even better.
Nate Fineberg, Founder & CEO, Group 6 Interactive
Reduce noise levels
I’m fortunate to have an office space in a very quiet part of my home, but not every house layout is like this. Previously, I had to re-arrange things and move my desk around because my office faced the street and traffic noise was just maddening.
With that said, I had to let go of the idea of using the actual spare room as an office and move to the other side of the house so I could concentrate. It was a little inconvenient, but it definitely paid off.
Anya Doddapaneni, Outreach Specialist, First Page
When I declutter my office, it feels like I also declutter my mind. There isn’t a pile of paperwork in front of me to distract me from all of my other projects. Most of the time, the paperwork is nothing but bills or credit card offers.
Any extra paper, envelopes, pens, and pencils are stored with my other supplies. This makes my office look more spacious. I can think more clearly and will be more productive.
Erin Neumann, Founder, Sacred Space Organizing
Get good lighting
A dark room will easily make me sleepy, which can make me start procrastinating by scrolling the news online. Once I open the blinds and turn the lights on, my brain wakes up, and I can start my workday.
Bad lighting could also be bad for your eyes, so I make sure that my office space lighting is ideal, which also includes the monitors. Monitors that are too bright usually give me a headache, and those set too low can make me squint. The trick is to find the sweet spot where your eyes are comfortable looking at them for a long time.
Shaun Connell, Founder, Rental Property Calculator
Make your office off-limits
Just because I work from home doesn’t mean that we are all hanging out together around my desk. I’m very strict when it comes to office hours, so I’m not chit-chatting all day with my family.
Even though I love the casual talk with them, I need to set some hours where I can work uninterrupted. I then schedule breaks where anyone can come in to hang out for a little bit. Balance is everything.
Amy Bos, Founder, Mediumchat
Stock up on supplies
Every month I make a list of all supplies I use daily or weekly. I ensure that I have everything already in stock or run to the store to get more. There’s no bigger productivity killer than constantly walking away from your desk to buy an item here and there, like paper, pens, markers, mailing supplies, even healthy snacks.
The plan is not to spend hours of each week buying office things at random. It’s all about being intentional, so I’m not running around buying stuff all the time.
Lanny Tuchmayer, Director of Operations, Bergel Magence LLP
Buy a shredder
This has two purposes for me. It helps me declutter while also getting rid of mail that could be used for identity theft.
The last thing I need is for someone to use my business name for some shady stuff or to apply for credit cards and then ruin my credit. If I want to have a home office, I need to treat it like one and make privacy protection a priority.
I make a point to shred anything I don’t need, then send it to the recycle bin.
Shane Liuw, General Manager, First Page Digital
Set your hours
I can’t begin to tell you how tempting it is to work after dinner until late at night. It’s important to decompress and take breaks even if you love your job. With that said, I set hours for my work so I don’t slave away every day.
Even if my hours are not exactly the same every day, I try to stick with something similar to 9-5. Sometimes I need to force myself to “clock out,” so my brain can recharge and I can rest and spend time with loved ones.
Andreas Velling, Operations Manager, Fractory
Make it smell good
Whether you like lavender, eucalyptus, or citrus, there’s no denying that a nice-smelling office becomes more pleasant.
I want to “want” to be in my office, so I diffuse some oils in the morning for a few minutes to motivate me to start working.
Diffusing oils has helped with stress management and avoiding the afternoon slump. The trick is to do it for just a few minutes so it doesn’t smell too strong. If essential oils are not your thing, air fresheners are a great option.
Paul Thornton, Marketing Manager, Go Rentals
Get dressed for work
It has been a longtime dream of mine to work on my PJs. Unfortunately, this was not helping me get ready to start my day. I procrastinated a lot and did not complete projects as quickly as I did before.
Then I started dressing up in the morning, just like I would if I went into an actual office. This strategy helped motivate me, and I also saved time getting ready later in the day when I had to meet with clients. Last-minute appointments were no longer a problem.
Sam Browne, Founder, FINDABAND
Add some greenery
Plants are a great addition to any working area. They are minimalist, they purify the air, and they look great, often adding a pop of color.
You can buy small, low-maintenance potted plants for really cheap prices. Since I don’t always remember to water them, it worked perfectly for my office.
They’re also a great addition to your desk as background decor if you do a lot of Zoom meetings.
Kenneth Byrd, Co-founder, Curl Centric
Invest in fast and reliable equipment
If my internet is slow or fails, then I can’t work. It was important to me to invest in good and reliable equipment like a solid internet connection and a good router.
My best work depends on how reliable my equipment and tools are, and if I want to produce quality results, I need to be able to work fast. This has ensured I get things done by a deadline, which is important to retaining clients.
It might not be cheap, but that’s the cost of doing business.
Daniel Hedegaard, Head of Press, Cool Parcel
Get an extra monitor
I was blown away by how much faster and more efficient I was when I added an extra monitor to my workspace. I can go from one tab to another without clicking 100 times to find what I need.
I keep each screen on whatever platform or software I need and complete my work much faster.
After I got the extra monitor, I realized I had no idea how I was even able to work with just one screen.
Steve Pogson, Founder, FirstPier
Set the right temperature
I remember working for a company with a very cold office. I was constantly focusing on keeping myself warm, and that extra work would also make me extra tired. The opposite is also true. Since I started working from home, I decided to set a comfortable temperature for myself.
This has helped me keep the office at a normal, cool temperature without the chills, which in turn helps me stay awake during work hours. Being uncomfortable because the space is too hot or cold will not help me get things done.
Will Donnelly, Co-Founder, Lottie
Check the space
Not everyone has the luxury of a spacious home office. This was also my case, so before I went on a shopping spree for office furniture, I took a good look at how much I really needed. The reason for this was that I wanted to have space still to walk around without bumping into things.
Too many pieces of furniture actually made my office look messy and cluttered because of the lack of space. If you have a smaller space, just go with the “less is more” mindset.
Dr. Ritesh Jain, Co-Founder, WhatASleep!
Add some decor
Just because it’s an office doesn’t mean it needs to look cold and boring. Bold colors make me feel more energized, so I added a few art pieces to bring my office to life.
It really doesn’t matter what industry you’re in; creative or not, find something that speaks to you and add it to your wall or desk.
It’s amazing how much more personality my office has now since I added some wall art.
Kyle Patel, Founder, Bit Lux Travel
Invest in a good headset
For some, a headset might be an unnecessary and expensive gadget. For me, it provides noise cancelation and clear sound, and is just a great tool to help me focus. If you work on the phone a lot like me, investing in a good headset is imperative.
Working from home means that I don’t always have peace and quiet and need to be able to work through family chaos. I hear my calls much better, and the person on the other side barely hears anyone talking in the background.
Dr. Kristina Hendija, Editor, Beardoholic
Create a snack drawer
Protein bars, trail mixes, and sometimes a little chocolate are all necessary in order to keep your day going. Traditional offices have them because they know it’s good for morale if you treat your employees while they work hard for you. This is why I adopted the same strategy for myself in my own business.
It’s important for me to keep my health in mind, so I keep the sweets to a minimum. However, taking a short break for healthy snacks can give you a nice little energy boost and also help productivity.
Jay Bats, Co-Founder, Content Base
Have a Zoom-ready background
I do a lot of Zoom meetings during my work hours, so I invested in a good background in my home office. There are easy do-it-yourself and inexpensive ways to add a little something to your blank white walls, but the most important part is that it needs to look professional.
I’m not into the digital backgrounds that you can add during meetings, so I actually went for a minimalist — but still very nice — wallpaper. Most importantly, just removing any random items that could be in sight during videos, even on your desk, would be a major improvement.
Howard Birnbaum, Magik Flame
Create some separation
When I moved into my new place, I was disappointed to see that my office space had no doors and no way to install one. It was just an entryway. This was quickly resolved by adding one of those room dividers.
It’s not noise-canceling in any way, but it does give a sense of isolation. Not having to look at the rest of the house while working made me feel more like I was at an actual office and not my kitchen table. The divider can even add to your home decor if you go for a fancier one.
Dan Scalco, Owner, Food Box HQ
Recommendation: Search room dividers on Amazon
Whether you love working from home or are new to the idea, it’s undeniable that its convenience can also come with challenges. Motivation and discipline are among the biggest struggles, often because your space feels so familiar — it becomes hard to switch to work mode.
Regardless of how you feel about it, make sure your home office workspace is comfortable and inviting. You’ll feel excited when you have your own little corner to get things done.