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How to Set Up a Functional Home Office

Create a comfortable yet professional work area, no matter how much space you may have

A home office is shown with white furniture and a blue chair

If you’ll be working from home for the foreseeable future—or even permanently—and realize that working at the kitchen table while kids, partners and pets interrupt your Zoom calls isn’t going to cut it any longer, it’s time to create a more functional—and stylish—home office. Here’s how.

  • Create a space of your own

  • Make the space work for you. Add book shelves and office supplies.

  • Make your space comfortable with laptop stands, laptop screens or a larger computer monitor.

  • Decorate your office with paint, plants, picture frames and organizers.

  • Create a work/life balance.

A space of one’s own

Not everyone has an extra room they can convert into a home office, but it’s worth finding a space of your own with some semblance of privacy, like a nook in your bedroom or living room where you can place a room divider. It’s also worth investing in a proper desk, rather than using the kitchen table or—worse yet—your bed.

Make the space work for you

For those in a tiny condo or studio apartment, make use of your vertical space. Opt for a ladder desk, which provides plenty of vertical space for books and office supplies, but won’t take up a lot of square footage. You could also convert modular shelving into a desk or use a console table (which isn’t as wide as a traditional desk), though you’ll need an adjustable-height chair for optimal comfort.

Comfort is key

If you’re spending long hours in front of a computer, it’s well worth investing in an ergonomic chair (and ergonomic keyboard and memory foam mousepad). And if you’re staring into a small laptop screen, use an adjustable laptop stand so your screen sits at eye level or connect your laptop to a larger monitor.

Pretty yet professional

Considering how much time you’ll be spending in this space, aesthetics are also important. And, if your job involves nonstop Zoom/Teams/Meet/WebEx conferences, you’ll want this space to look professional (or use a neutral room divider as a backdrop). If you don’t have a lot of natural light, invest in good lighting.

A paint job can bring new life to a drab space and plants can brighten your workspace while cleaning the air. A colourful rug isn’t just cheery, it can also absorb sound. Picture frames, containers and organizers are an inexpensive way to personalize your space; use different textures (like leather and wood) for visual interest.

Creating a work/life balance

WFH means the boundaries are blurred between our work and personal lives, and many people are putting in longer hours during the pandemic. If you don’t have an office door to shut at the end of the workday, tuck away your laptop and turn off your notifications so your home office can, once again, simply become your home.

Choose the perfect shade of paint to update your space from drab to fab at Dulux Paints, where CAA Members save 25% plus earn 3% in CAA Dollars®, or outfit your home office with offers from CAA Rewards partners. Pick up pretty desktop accessories from Indigo, where CAA Members can earn 5% in CAA Dollars® online or decor accents to spruce up any space from Bouclair, where CAA Members save an extra 5%. Shop CAA’s Rewards partners to spruce up your home office and save money at the same time.

Image credit: iStock.com/imaginima