ABOUT THE AUTHOR | Cristina Villalón is the Co-Founder and Lead Designer at Álvarez-Díaz & Villalón. She directs both the Interior Design and Visual Merchandising divisions while overseeing all decisions made on a day-to-day basis at the firm.
To reduce the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are working remotely.
Working from home can have its set of challenges. Here are some tips to set yourself up for success:
1. FIND THE PERFECT SPACE
Find a space in your home where you can setup and commit to working in that space every day. Try to pick a spot with plenty of natural light. Studies show that natural light boosts productivity. Ideally, this space should be private and free of distractions. But this could be asking for too much. At a minimum, you should have a flat surface and a chair. Once you have chosen the perfect spot, make sure you have all your essentials close by.
2. CAN’T FIND A SPOT? LET’S MAKE ONE!
Necessity is the mother of all invention, they say. If you do not have a desk or spot you can take over, it is time to get creative! Take a cue from my daughters who had to create their own work areas once distance learning was implemented. Suddenly forced to homeschool, it was important to each of them that they had their own areas.
Stacked cardboard boxes, lego bins, and baskets were creatively repurposed to create workstations. Don’t overthink it! Find something you can use as a desk or repurpose furniture into a desk. A console can make a great desk! Work with what you have!
3. SET UP THE TECHNOLOGY
Now that you are home 24/7, your first call should be to your internet service provider. A good, rapid connection is the foundation you need to work remotely and will save you a lot of grief and frustration. If your company has an IT department, reach out and make sure you have all the platforms, operating systems and programs you need to communicate with your team installed on your computer.
Now is a great time to be thankful for YouTube. There’s pretty much a tutorial there for everything. Spend some time getting familiar with these remote platforms. Be patient with yourself. Everything takes getting used to. Before you know it, you’ll be a pro!
4. DECORATE WITH JOY
Personalize your work-from-home area with items that bring you JOY. You have total control here. Decorate your workspace with your favorite photos, accessories or books that inspire you. Add natural elements like flowers or plants to reduce stress and boost your mood. Place your desk facing outside if you have views of nature. Lighting scented candles is also a great to help you relax and focus.
5. ORGANIZE YOUR SPACE: USE THE WALLS!
Keep your work-from-home space clean and organized. Having a cluttered space will only add unnecessary stress and anxiety. If you are short on desk space, find a way to utilize the walls. From shelving for supplies to a fold out desk. Use the whole area. Keep in mind that whenever you have a virtual video meeting, everyone participating in the meeting will be able to see your background. This is your chance to show off your personal style!
Establishing a work-from-home area that works for you will brighten up your days. All you need is a little imagination and some organization. Own your new reality and have FUN!