Working from home is no longer a novel concept, but if your at-home workspace hasn’t changed much over the past couple of years, it might be time for an upgrade. Especially after a busy end to 2022 (and hopefully some relaxing time off around the holidays), you may be in need of some fresh home office ideas to get you inspired and excited about working again. In the spirit of a January refresh, we’ve rounded up eight tips from the pros to help make your WFH space shine in 2023. With these home office ideas, we’re betting you’ll feel a little more excited to sit down and tackle everything on your to-do list this year.
Switch Up Your WFH Location
Maybe you’re in need of a change of scenery after literal years of working from the same spot. “Find an area with a beautiful view, great light, or terrific furniture,” advised professional organizer Heidi Solomon of POSH Boston. “Really think about what energizes you,” she added. “Create a space that makes your heart sing. You, and subsequently your work, will benefit.” Consider moving your desk from the bedroom into the living room or switching around your furniture arrangement to give your workspace some fresh perspective.
Make Use of Closed Storage
It’s time to stop letting your desk serve as a dropzone for clutter. So how do you ensure that your desktop doesn’t become overwhelmed with supplies? “Make use of available closet space or cabinet storage for non-essentials that shouldn’t be cluttering your workspace,” suggested Jen Van Buskirk of The Neat Boutique.
Invest in some bins, baskets, and a label maker to create an aesthetically pleasing setup for extra supplies. Not only will this make it easier to find things, but it can also positively impact your productivity. “Removing visual clutter from your desk helps minimize distractions and gives you space to do your work,” shared Dana Gilgrist of How Neat by Dana.
File Papers Like a Pro
Yes, you can file papers neatly without investing in a clunky filing cabinet. Although plenty of paperwork and projects are handled digitally these days, you’ll likely still want to keep some printed-out documents on hand. “Consider using bins on a bookshelf close to your desk to store active projects in,” Gilgrist advised. “Label a bin with the project name and bring the bin over to your desk when it’s time to work on the project.” Gilgrist also likes using hanging clipboards or letter trays for this purpose.
Have Fun With Color
Plenty of commercial office spaces are dull and dreary, but your WFH spot definitely doesn’t have to be bland for you to be productive. “Don’t underestimate the importance of plant life and colors that speak to you to complete your space,” Van Buskirk said. Head to the plant store and pick up a new green friend to spruce up your desk. For some color, consider painting an accent wall in a peppy hue that can double as a chic Zoom background.
Grab Some Stylish Supplies
Remember how much fun it was to go back-to-school shopping and stock up on gel pens and colorful supplies as a kid? Well, you can do that now, too. Pick out some office essentials that will get you excited to start the day: new pens, a personalized notebook, or a pretty mouse pad may help do the trick.
Focus on Fragrance
New year, new work-from-home scent! Grab a candle that helps you feel relaxed and energized and keep it on your desk. Lighting it each morning as you start the day will become a soothing ritual. This is something that definitely wouldn’t fly in an actual office building, so be sure to revel in this cozy WFH perk.
Fill a Drawer With Little Pick Me Ups
One of the perks of working from home is that everything you need is just a few steps away. That said, maybe you’re tired of running downstairs to grab a granola bar at 3 pm every day or searching your apartment for gum after lunch. Why not dedicate one of your desk drawers to housing these essentials? Fill it with gum or mints, non-perishable snacks, lip balm, lotion, and other items you frequently reach for during the workday. These will really come in handy when busy days roll around!
Evaluate Your Lighting Situation
Is your current desk lamp just not doing it for you? Or maybe the light streaming in from the window gets too bright in the afternoons, making it difficult to see your computer screen. Remember that good lighting is key when working. If you need to spend some time searching online for a new lamp or pair of curtains, do it! You’ll thank yourself when you no longer have to squint at your screen or turn on an overhead light just to see what you’re working on.