Every year, more and more people are working from home – and whether you’re an entrepreneur, a freelancer, or someone in a remote company like ours, you know that remote work presents some…unique challenges.
(Finding the motivation to change out of yoga pants, for example.)
We’ve written before about some of the most underrated and overrated things about working from home, but today, we’re going deep behind the scenes with our best tips for creating a home office space.
Curious what it’s really like to live that remote work lifestyle?
Want to see how your own work-from-home setup compares?
Let’s take a look at some of Team Edgar’s ACTUAL home offices – and what they can teach us about finding your own remote work sweet spot!
(Just promise you won’t judge.)
As a member of our development team, Alex has designed a workspace that facilitates the exact type of work he does every day:
An addition like a vertical monitor doesn’t necessarily make sense for anyone working from home, but that’s what makes it so useful – it’s tailored to a specific need.
(Like how the framed poster meets Alex’s need to be inspired by one of the hottest bands of the Second British Invasion. We assume.)
One of the biggest perks of working from home – and one of the easiest to forget – is that you don’t have to follow the example of a traditional office.
Your workspace doesn’t have to emulate what you’d expect to find in a cubicle, so feel free to customize it however you see fit!
Case in point: Alex also likes to switch between standing and sitting at his desk, which is why he’s outfitted his office with a chair that extends to 12 feet high.
(That sort of thing might stand out in a regular office with other people.)
We’ll see some even more unconventional office setups as we go, though – so let’s take a look!
As our QA Lead, a big part of Sarah’s job is finding and fixing pain points in new features before they’re released to our users.
It makes sense, then, that Sarah’s figured out how just one or two minor adjustments to a workspace can make it infinitely more welcoming:
When mornings started getting a little too cold for comfort, Sarah spruced up her desk with heated hand accessories that keep things toasty while she works.
It might sound simple, but that’s the point – if you don’t overthink it, even tiny upgrades can FEEL pretty remarkable!
(Her solution is also much more practical than typing with mittens on. We won’t name names, but you know who you are.)
Another member of our development team, Mike uses a remote workstation that demonstrates a serious commitment to ergonomic design:
By spreading his computer across three different heights and choosing a desk chair with approximately 400 different adjustment handles, Mike stays comfortable and supported throughout even the most intense coding sessions.
(Or when he’s researching the best places to find pescatarian-friendly poutine. Whatever, really.)
Point is, sitting at a desk all day, every day can be uncomfortable – and unlike commuting-to-the-office types who have to walk around and change positions a little more often, remote workers don’t have to take too many steps between their bed and their desk.
If something doesn’t feel good, change it!
Raising or lowering your monitor just a few inches can prevent neck strain. Moving your keyboard can relieve wrist pain. Proper back support can prevent actual injuries.
And while Mike’s office walls ensconce him in the calming green glow of a kale smoothie, he’s not the only member of our team with a strong aesthetic – see for yourself:
With arguably the most Instagrammable home office setup on our team, Tyra shows just how much a strong style can inspire your actual work.
(You might notice a certain repeating design element here.)
Tyra explains that blue is closely related to self-expression, communication, and the spirit of truth and purpose.
(The geode is also there to assist with balancing energy and maintaining a sense of calm, peace, and balance.)
Tyra’s design shows that even if your workspace is functionally the same as what you might expect in a traditional office, aesthetically it can still be a lot different – and that can make the things you do there feel a lot less like work!
Here’s another example of that idea in practice:
Tanya’s office might be functional in the same ways a traditional office would be, but its aesthetic has a lot more color and life:
Dedicated workspace for spreading out with papers and other office supplies? Check.
Computer station with one of those plastic floor things so you can roll your chair around? Check.
Wall decor paying tribute to one of the most iconic jam bands of the 1990s? Check!
You won’t find that last one in a lot of office suites, but that doesn’t mean it’s the sort of thing that’ll get in the way of your own ability to get work done.
Bold colors and creature comforts don’t make your workspace any less functional – and if they make it feel better, then they’re valuable additions!
The multi-level standing desk and split keyboard encourage healthy physical working habits, while a serious abundance of greenery keeps it from feeling too much like the command center of an intergalactic battleship.
Studies have suggested that keeping plants in your office might have a number of psychological benefits – and hey, when you work from home, it’s always nice to have something to talk to. (Just be wary if they start talking back.)
Speaking of desk plants:
More than six out of 10 US office workers eat at their desks – so technically, Sarah’s desk banana might make her workspace feel all the more authentically professional.
(And if not, at least it’s an excellent source of potassium.)
Like a few of the others we’ve seen, Sarah’s workspace shows how beneficial it can be to set up a home office dedicated exclusively to work – a place you can enter at the start of your day and leave at the end, separating the spaces where you do and do not think about work stuff.
Our next home office takes that philosophy of focusing to the next level:
Notice any distractions in this workspace?
Aside from the distinctly tasteful desktop backgrounds, Harrison’s desk space is free from distractions – like, literally any. At all.
With just two monitors, a keyboard, a mouse, and a comforting shroud of darkness, this workspace shows just how effective minimalism can be!
Home environments can be distracting. If making your workspace too home-y makes it feel too much like a non-workspace, go ahead and eliminate things that want to steal your attention!
Here’s another example of the effectiveness of minimalism:
According to the title of a book we saw once but haven’t read, there’s a life-changing magic of some kind to tidying up.
We’re note sure what kind of magic – levitation would be pretty cool – but in any case, Trevor’s minimalist workspace sure looks tidy!
No cords, no cables, no banana – where is everything, exactly?
Trevor designed his workspace so that as much as possible is kept out of sight – a solution that makes it a lot easier for him to concentrate on work, instead of on clutter.
(If you want to follow his lead, he wrote a whole blog post about how he did it.)
Of course, this type of minimalism isn’t for everyone – and that’s perfectly okay!
Let’s look at one last work-from-home setup from our team:
No matter what kind of work you do from home, it comes with a lot of unique responsibilities.
(The short version is, you’re very, VERY busy – and sometimes, it’s gonna look like it.)
For a lot of entrepreneurs, freelancers, and remote team members, Kristina’s office will probably look pretty familiar:
The reality of working from home might not always match the pristine aesthetics you see on Instagram (or earlier in this very post, even).
The best remote work setup is the one that works for YOU – regardless of whether it looks like someone else’s!
A desk with a pile of papers is no less suitable than an immaculate workspace. An office decorated with family photos or Dave Matthews posters is no more or less professional than one with bare walls!
As you can see from our own eclectic variety of work-from-home setups, there’s no right or wrong way to create a workspace that’s just right for you – if it feels good and helps you get down to business, that’s all that matters!
What about YOUR work-from-home setup?
So, fellow remote workers – what’s your workspace look like?
Got a dedicated office for fielding freelancer calls?
A wide-open space for running your own business?
Or do you prefer to just pack up a laptop and see where the day takes you?
Tell us about your own workspace in the comments below!