Thanks to COVID-19, many of us won’t get to spend time outdoors for an extended period of time. And with the short notice, it means we’ve had to pivot on how to carry out our day-to-day work responsibilities — and for many of us, that’s now taking place from the comforts of our couch or bed. And it may or may not be working.

As many of us are settling into the new norm of #stayhome routines, it is important to make sure your space is not only conducive for productivity, but also speaks to your personal style. Because home and work are now cramped into one, you want to be able to separate where you do business, and also where you lay your head. Thankfully, there’s a way to do so, and you won’t have to break the bank in the process.

So here are a few tips to create a comfortable, convenient workspace that’ll make you happier and more productive.

Create a dedicated work area.

No, not your couch or your bed. Somewhere that is dedicated just to work — and does not double as another area of your home. This can be a corner in your living, a spare bedroom, or even a nook under the stairs. Depending on the percentage of time you will spend at a desk and on conference calls, it may make sense to even get a desk so you can zone in on your work during the day. Your couch and bed are oftentimes too comfortable for you to maximize on the amount of work you need to do, and you may catch yourself napping or taking more frequent breaks throughout the day. With a desk, you can simulate an office environment, and give your work “sprints” so that you feel just like you’re at the office. Remember, this is your work space, so it doesn’t have to be a traditional desk. If you prefer a standing desk or FluidStance to limit your time sitting all day, those are always options as well.

Add some greenery.

Because we won’t get to spend much time outdoors over the next few weeks, this is a great way to bring nature to you.  Freshen up the air in your home office with a plant, such as UrbanStems. Not only do plants have positive health benefits, studies show a little greenery goes a long way in boosting productivity and happiness. 

Lighten it up.

Who wants to work in a dull, boring workspace? The best part about creating your home workspace is that every element you don’t like at your work office, you can change at home. If you’re used to dim, fixtured lighting at your desk, give yourself an extra boost by opening up the windows in your home for natural lighting. In addition, make sure your home lighting or desk lamp is lit as well. Not only will all of this brighten your mood, but it can make a huge difference in mood, alertness, reducing eye strain and increasing productivity.

Make it functional.

Your home workspace should be as functional as it is chic. Because many of us are working with limited space in our homes, you’ll want to add shelves, drawers and multi-use storage as not to add additional clutter to what is already a busy space.

Add a personal touch.

Love bright and bold colors as part of your decorating personality? Want to light a few candles? Have photos that you want to line your desk of you and your family? Been wanting to put up a poster of Malcolm X but don’t want to be that Black girl at work? You can finally do it all. Use this time to make work more tolerable by making it all about you. Not only will you feel better while you’re working, but being more comfortable and happy while you’re working will make you more productive.

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