Tips for Leveling Up Your Home Office Setup in 2023
Prior to 2020, friends and family would often express jealousy about my ability to work from home. The idea of rolling out of bed whenever you want, ditching the commute, and starting work on your own time was incredibly appealing to those who did not share the privilege.
But then, when most office jobs transitioned to remote, many of those same people began to understand the potential drawbacks of working from home. Namely, the separation (or lack thereof), of home space and workspace.
Most offices are designed around productivity and functionality. While our homes are, for the most part, designed around comfort and convenience. Blending these two design functions into one coherent whole—a home office that keeps us focused and productive without sacrificing the comfort of our homes—proved to be challenging for many people I know.
And I think that’s because they expected to perfect the process. The truth is, crafting the ideal home office setup is an ongoing process, one without a perfect, fixed end state. Periodically updating and refreshing our home office is necessary for keeping us inspired and motivated when the boundaries between our work and personal spaces begin to blur. Below are a few tips and strategies for leveling up your home office in 2023.
Invest in New Technology
Ask a Liveops agent what the most critical element of working from home is—the one thing that they can’t work without—and you’ll likely hear a variation on the same answer: a fast and reliable internet connection. This may seem like an obvious answer, but keep in mind that modems get faster and home computers become more powerful with each passing year. When we primarily work from home, these upgrades have the potential to pass us by without sound.
Recently, I was struck by how outdated my personal computer was compared to other products on the market. I recommend comparing your current home technology to recent upgrades and determining whether or not it’s time to invest in an upgrade. In terms of speed and utility, you may be lagging behind your colleagues in terms of speed and efficiency without even realizing it.
Prioritize Your Personal Aesthetic
One inarguable advantage of working from home as opposed to working in an office: you’re more likely guaranteed to work in a room with a view. Don’t underestimate the effects that natural sunlight can have on your productivity and motivation.
Similar to natural light, personalized décor, furniture, and house plants can also serve as powerful tools to offset the narrow tunnel vision that can arise from any job. Don’t neglect the “home” in your home office, and take full advantage of the freedom to transform your personal workspace into a room you would actively enjoy spending time in, even when you’re off the clock. And if you need further motivation, why not try and make the people stuck in cubicles all day shake with envy when they hear about your own personal setup?
Keep Distractions to a Minimum
If necessary, consider making your home office a social media/time-wasting app free-zone. Working from home, we’re thankfully free of supervisors looking over our shoulder. But with that level of freedom, the part of our brains that craves stimulation and dopamine can sometimes run wild. For many, this is the most challenging aspect of remote work, as our homes (and the internet in general) are filled with countless distractions, all fighting for our attention.
Unfortunately, sometimes we have to act as our own personal supervisor and remind ourselves that first and foremost, we come to our home offices to get work done. Installing productivity tools on our browsers and making sure that all of your equipment is properly organized can be helpful for staying on track, but committing to focused and productive mindset requires ongoing discipline. Engage with ways in which your immediate surroundings can help improve that sense of discipline.
Let Go of Your Idea of the "One Perfect Fit"
You can find a lot of design and style guides online (and likely within your communities as well) centered on creating the “perfect home office.” Share your own process with others who work remotely and always feel free to seek inspiration from them as well.
However, not only is every home different, but so too are the needs of home businesses. If your business requires regular meetings, physical or otherwise, consider thinking of ways to make your office more accommodating to visitors. Or if you spend most of your time at work on the computer, you may want to prioritize natural sunlight and physical books in your home office to reduce eye strain.
And if you’re feeling particularly uninspired by your entire home office in general, nothing is preventing you from doing a hard reset on your surroundings and committing to a complete overhaul. Don’t feel obligated to construct the perfect, all-purpose So long as your home office sparks continues to spark joy, inspire motivation, and keeps you organized without sacrificing your mental health, don’t be afraid to set your own rules in regard to your personal space.