Since the COVID-19 pandemic, several companies have made the transition to a remote working style for employees. For both companies and employees, it’s still an adjustment requiring time and patience. Not only are employees improving their communication skills, but they’re also settling into their home office.
This article provides helpful tips on designing your living room for remote work, maintaining a productive work environment, and several design strategies to maximize your home, whether it’s big or small.
Photo by Ken Tomita (Pexel)
Tips on Designing Your Living Room for Remote Work
Before you make any changes to your living room space, here are some things to remember.
Personalize Your Working Space
Since you’re integrating a new working space in your home, it should showcase your personality. In fact, research suggests that if we have more control over our time and space, we will feel more empowered and productive.
Your workspace preferences and inspiration may not be the same as the next person’s. When you add your personality to the workspace, it will make your work session much more enjoyable.
Start by incorporating your favorite colors, textures, and design styles into your furniture and decor. Add in pictures of you, your friends, and your loved ones. Glancing at these memories throughout the day will make you smile, motivate you to work harder, and create a space where you can be productive.
Maintain Separation Between “Work” and “Play”
Employees who work from home sometimes struggle with being productive in a stress-free environment they associate with comfort and relaxation. Therefore, you must have a working space that makes you feel “in the zone.”
Integrate a separating design feature in your working space, such as:
- A bookshelf
- A lamp
- Side tables
Any item that defines and delineates the space will be effective.
Create a Space That Encourages Movement
You could own the most ergonomic chair in the world. However, sitting for consecutive hours isn’t ideal for a healthy lifestyle. Several offices will encourage team members to take walks, stretch their legs, and keep their bodies moving. You should apply the same concept to your work-from-home space.
When you design your living room for the remote working age, keep the space open and clutter-free.
As you progress through the day, your living space should encourage you to get up, stand, and stretch your body. Perhaps you could add in bands, weights, or other items for light stretching or exercises.
If you don’t get a chance to take breaks during working hours, consider purchasing a standing desk. These desks are often convertible, allowing you to change them into regular desks when you get tired.
Leverage Storage Opportunities
As you build out your remote working space, this area should never encroach or interfere with your living space. Minimizing the overflow of work books and materials allows you to keep a clutter-free zone for after hours.
As you brainstorm storage ideas, keep the ideas practical, but also tailor them to your unique lifestyle. Try investing in docking drawers, cabinets, or other compact spaces to put your valuables.
Photo by Luca Bravo (Unsplash)
Set Up Plants or Flowers for Added Beauty and Mental Strength
Humans have a deep desire to connect with nature. Unfortunately, most office spaces don’t leverage the power of plants or nature.
Adding greenery to your living room working space will have several benefits and positive outcomes. In fact, a NASA study indicated that plants remove up to 87% of toxins in a room within 24 hours.
Some other benefits of a plant-filled room include the following.
Plants have a calming and relaxing effect on your spirits, allowing you to find more passion and energy for your work.
Plants will help increase knowledge retention because your environment is psychologically engaging.
More Attractive Space
Plants will make your working space more aesthetic in general, allowing you and your guests to enjoy the living room even more.
Because plants absorb carbon dioxide and mix it with water and light, you will receive more natural energy from plants being in the living room.
It’s important to note that not all plants thrive in the workplace. There are several factors to consider, including:
- Daylight availability
- How much water they need
- Humidity requirements
- Soil requirements
If you get a plant that requires more water, you should try to work from home consistently.
Integrate Natural Light
Exposing your eyes to natural light in the morning is critical for sustained energy, elevated mood, and productivity. According to Cornell University Professor Dr. Alan Hedge, optimizing natural light in any workspace will decrease eye strain by 51% and lower headaches by 63%.
Hopefully, your living room has windows and natural light opportunities. However, you can set up your working space in a way that attracts the most natural light. Identify the pockets of your living room that get the most sun, especially in the morning.
Respect Other People’s Space
This concept only applies to people who share a space with a roommate, children, or a spouse. The remote working design you choose should also respect the other person’s space.
This mindset is especially true if other people in your home also have a remote job. Before you rearrange your living room, talk through a strategy with the other individual to ensure there’s no tension.
Get Comfortable Furniture
While we often want to purchase the most aesthetically pleasing office chair on the market, this may not always be the best course of action. Comfort needs to be your primary concern when looking for furniture.
What’s the point in buying a beautiful chair if you can’t bear to sit on it for more than an hour or if it hurts your back? Shop for furniture that’s functional, ergonomic, and beautiful.
Test out furniture at the store before you buy it, look for adjustable items, and read customer reviews before you buy your office furniture.
Photo by Hutomo Abrianto (Pexel)
Best Living Room Design Ideas for Remote Work
If you’re searching for living room design ideas, here are some creative ways you can maintain a productive working environment from home.
Put Your Office Behind the Couch
Typing on our laptop from the couch is comfortable. However, it can get too comfortable sometimes, leading to decreased focus and drowsiness. One way to maintain productivity is to incorporate a behind-the-couch office.
Snuggling a table and small chair to the backside will accomplish a couple of things. First, it’s a compact option that will save space. It’s unlikely that the area behind your couch is getting used anyway.
Another bonus with the behind-the-couch office is the flexibility. While you work at this new office throughout the week, you can convert it into a visitor-friendly space.
Move the chair to another spot in the house, and then use the table for other purposes besides work. When you live in a space with limited wall space, a behind-the-couch office will help accommodate changing needs.
Integrated Storage Desk
If your house or apartment has stacked, built-in shelves within the living room, you have a prime working space opportunity. With the help of some creativity, you can form a storage-friendly nook for reading, writing, or typing.
This solution is perfect for professionals who already have a messy desk. The sectioned-off areas will enable you to be more organized. The small space will also make it a more strategic choice to keep or get rid of old paperwork or supplies.
This living room desk hack is also a space-saver. Rather than carving out unnecessary floor space for a table, chair, and bookshelf, you can store your supplies and notebooks on vertical shelves above your desk.
If the closet has a swinging door, you can also hang file cabinets, magazine holders, or other motivational decorations to add some personality to your working space.
Nook in the Corner Office
If your living room space allows for it, you can position a mini table and chair in an unused spot in the living room. This working space option will also divide the larger living room space into two areas. Doing so will allow you to mentally settle into your work while enjoying the space of the rest of the house.
Intermixing work and play is critical for success in any field. This at-home office setup will enable you to easily transition from a day of projects into a well-defined peaceful space.
Apart from the table and chair, you can input a desk lamp to define the space. If you would like to further differentiate the area, a standing floor lamp can help you organize your working space from the rest of the living room area.
Book Bound Office
To contribute to the work-life balance theme, boundaries are critical for your at-home working space. Is there a better separator than a stack of books? The book boundary office will provide a unique divide between your focus and chill zones.
Whether it’s books, movies, or DVDs, this option can also add a nice design aspect to the home or apartment.
This living room divider trend is rising. According to Etsy, searches for room dividers increased by 134% in 2021.
Depending on your home’s design, you can set up one or two vertical book arrangements. If the office is in a corner, a circle or square desk will be perfect to achieve separation. You could also apply this arrangement to a flat, horizontal wall.
As mentioned earlier, a standing desk is a fantastic addition to any home office space. A standing desk workstation is a versatile option, making it perfect for a remote working area in the living room.
If you need to rest and work from a sitting position, you can convert the desk. If you’d like to get some movement in, you can set the standing option for your height. You can also transition the desk into a regular table when you’re not working.
Explore Forgotten Spaces
When you’re accustomed to using certain areas of your house, you may forget about some useful working spaces. These neglected areas could include the space between the window and your side table, underneath the staircase, a nook, or a section of wall with no fixtures or plants.
Before you set the area up, ensure that you remove any obstacles, hazards, or unused furniture.
Utilize Already-Existing, Built-in Workspaces
Whether you realize it or not, there might already be spaces where you can begin your remote work. Perhaps your table or shelf is the perfect height for a standing desk. There could also be some other flat surfaces for writing or laptop work.
If you’re tight on space in your apartment or home, you could strategize on how to optimize these areas. Not only will you have a functional living room, but you will also have the flexibility to work where you want.
Rearrange the Living Room Space
So far, all the design options involve tailoring to the existing space. But what if you redesigned the current furniture to encourage a remote work environment?
There are several combinations you can deploy to achieve your ideal remote working environment. The primary goal is to revamp the space to make a spot for your desk or working area.
The first step is to slide your soft couch to the largest wall in the living room. If your space allows, move it to a corner. Next, remove any additional tables and chairs from the room. Doing these two things will prepare the room for a desk and create an open concept.
Final Thoughts: The Ultimate Remote Office Space
As you can see, there are several avenues of inspiration to go down when designing your remote working space.
While there are many alternatives and options, you should always create an environment that increases your productivity, is designed to your aesthetic, harnesses natural light, maintains a work-life balance, and respects the space of others around you.
You deserve to have a home that encourages productivity and relaxation. You can achieve both by applying several of the principles from this article.