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Do you work from home sometimes? Do you want to? If so, you’re not alone. A recent survey from the staffing company Robert Half revealed that 76% of Dallas workers would be more likely to take a job if it let them telecommute. Since, as of a 2016 study from the Brookings Institute, 4.9% of Dallas workers actually do work from home (about 1 in 20), there appears to be a growing demand for the opportunity to lose the commute, but keep the paycheck.
Working from home can seem like paradise. No sick or noisy coworkers, nobody berating you for being 3 minutes late, no dress code, and the ability to listen to your music as loudly as you please. Just by avoiding the commute alone, your 60-hour work week can actually become the 40 hours it’s supposed to be. That’s a lot of regained productivity. But of course, nothing’s perfect, including working from home. Especially without a proper workstation, it can be difficult to focus and be productive. Having your own distinct workspace in your home helps minimize distractions and allows you to clearly distinguish between work time and your time. Your home office should be a place you want to go and enjoy being in, where you can feel comfortable, organized, and professional. The best way to create such a space is to dedicate an entire room to it, and fill it with custom office furniture—functional, comfortable, and sized to fit your space and needs.
How quality office furniture helps you work from home
Even though you’re at home, you’re still at work. It’s important to create a mental separation between your work life and your home life—otherwise, things can get muddy, and you’ll find yourself doing the dishes at noon or finishing your report at 10pm on Saturday. Nobody wants that. The first step is to create a temporal separation between your work life and your home life. Which means no chores until the work is done (I know, it’s tough!), and no work outside of your regular office hours.
The next step is to reinforce this temporal and mental separation with a physical separation. When you’re in your office, you’re at work; when you’re in the kitchen, you’re at home. To make this stick, your office needs to be somewhere you want to be. So, what turns your spare room into a home office you don’t mind working in? Quality office furniture.
If you’re working on your computer—and, really, there aren’t a lot of other ways to work from home—you need to somewhere to put that computer, and the kitchen table just doesn’t cut it. Investing in a good desk gives you the physical space you need to focus on your day’s assignments. It’s not just a surface for your computer, but also storage for all the office accessories you’ll want close at hand to keep your day productive—your notes, pens, staplers, paperclips, folders, printouts, speakers, etc.
Other furniture in the room, like a sideboard or a bench, can keep your printer/scanner out of the way but easily accessible while also storing bulk supplies like reams of paper. If you rely on a few reference books, binders or multimedia for your work, your sideboard can store these as well. If you rely on many, consider a bookcase. A good office will house everything you need to work, so you don’t have to go scouring your house for the items you need and get distracted.
The advantages of custom office furniture
If your desk doesn’t match your needs, if it’s too small, or doesn’t have storage, or the balancers are off and it rattles every time to put your hands to the keyboard, why even have it? Just like water flows downhill, over time, you’ll naturally find yourself working in the most comfortable and effective place in your home. If your desk is a worse place to sit than your couch, you’ll end up on the couch. Even if it’s better than your desk, the couch isn’t a good place to work; your posture will suffer and you may start to associate this once-cozy spot in your home with the demands of work. Productivity will decrease; stress will increase. The solution is a better desk.
The best way to know that your office furniture will fit your needs is to have it custom built. This allows you to be sure your desk fits you. That means no more banged knees for those of you who are on the tall side and no more awkward posture for those of you on the other end of the scale. Choosing a custom desk also ensures that it fits well in your home office. Most of the time in ranches, craftsman homes, and townhouses, the room you’ll use as your office was built to be a bedroom. Especially if it’s an older home, plugs can be in weird places, windows can be offset, and the room may be an odd shape. While an off-the-shelf desk may fit poorly, leaving awkward space or requiring creative extension cord configurations, a custom desk is certain to be an ideal match for any room.
Finally, custom, handmade desks are beautiful to use. When you sit at a desk that was built for you, to do the work you were meant to do, that’s a powerful feeling. It’s fulfilling and rewarding, and can make you feel proud and worthy. You’ll want to go to work if it means sitting at your custom desk. You’ll do your work better because you’ll feel good doing it.
Working from home can be wonderful. But in order to work from home successfully, you need to have the right setup. Working in a temporary, cramped, or unprofessional space—like your couch—can be distracting and stressful. Settling down at a custom desk in your dedicated home office, however, can make your work life feel as joyful as your home life, in part by creating a clear separation between the two. That’s a win-win, and it’s a feeling you can’t buy in a cardboard box.
How to get started
At Unruh Furniture, we believe that when you feel good about your furniture, you feel good about yourself. Investing in custom office furniture for your home is investing in your mental, physical, and emotional well-being. Schedule a visit to our Kansas City showroom to see our full line of desks and other office furniture.