- The number of professionals choosing or being told to work from home is rising because of the coronavirus pandemic.
- Setting up a functional, appealing workspace can help you maintain your sanity and stay focused on your to-do list during this trying time.
- We asked experienced work-from-homers for a peek into their unique office spaces.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
As the panic surrounding the coronavirus outbreak spreads, the number of professionals choosing – or being told – to work from home as a preventive measure is rising. Even before the pandemic struck, remote work had been accelerating in the US, with about 24% of all working Americans doing their jobs remotely at least part of the time, according to data from the Bureau of Labour Statistics.
Whether you’ve always had a remote job or find yourself suddenly telecommuting in the midst of a pandemic, setting up a functional, appealing workspace can help you maintain your sanity and stay focused on your to-do list. Business Insider connected with seasoned remote workers across many industries who have set up unique and comfortable home office spaces. Here’s a look into their set-ups to give you inspiration for creating your own.
1. Amy Bieber in Murrieta, California — Writer
“I love that my space has inspiration everywhere. I have some of my favourite stories framed in my line of sight while I’m working at the computer. I also love that it has so much storage space. I designed it that way to minimise clutter, and yet I still find a way to make it cluttered. Go figure.”
2. Amy Bieber’s writing nook
“This is my other home office space. The farm doors that open up to my writing area are a unique feature. The whole style matches nicely and I’m quite content working from home in here.”
3. Dr. H. Tad Troutman, PhD in Blue Point, NY — Psychologist
“Aside from the flexibility and convenience of working at home, I like the way my office is set up, especially the desk. It’s a two-sided desk with two networked computers so it’s very easy to have someone working with me.”
4. Rachael Young in Ohio — Blogger and interior designer
“I planned on being a stay-at-home mum after leaving my job at Apple in California, but found myself missing design and needing a creative outlet. My home became just that. I recently started a new blog, where I’m using my skills as a designer to upgrade our builder-grade home. My husband helps equally in all of our projects. This cosy area is in our master bedroom, and it’s one of the most used areas in our home. This is my office to write in.”
5. Jennifer Hamady in Washington, DC — Voice coach/therapist and writer
“I set my space up like this because movement and flow are both so important in my writing and working with clients. As such, everything in the space moves. My chair swivels, so that I can play the piano or guitar, speak with clients, or gain a new perspective when desired. The desk, keyboard and instruments are always shifting as well. That said, my focus is often toward the windows, as keeping my focus outside helps to reinforce that outward shift within myself as well.”
6. Joanna Chodorowska in North Wales, PA — Nutrition therapy coach
“My office is a safe place for my clients to share their innermost ‘secrets’ so they can free themselves of the issue they’re struggling with. I created my workspace to be comfortable, rather than a therapy space where I’m behind a desk. Yes, I have a desk, yet I rarely work with clients from there.”
7. Natasha Nyanin in New York City — Writer
“I live in a minuscule-sized studio apartment. I love that I was able to carve out a small space dedicated to my craft. There was a lot of intention put into designing this space. I wanted it to be a sort of a fantasy area that serves a practical purpose. And I wanted the area to make me look forward to working, to draw me into the ritual of not only writing, but sitting to think and ideate. I relied heavily on my Etsy addiction for sourcing the main feature, the desk, but also for smaller pieces like the original lithographs from the 70s and my English brass inkwell from the 1890s. For me, I find it to be a classic writing nook with quirky details and thus an homage to my own eclectic nature.”
8. Randee Dawn in Brooklyn, NY — Journalist and author
“I find my work space to be special because it’s actually the master bedroom, which I commandeered when I saw how giant my desk was. It wouldn’t fit in any other room of our house. It’s painted in my favourite shades of blue, and I’m surrounded by books and artwork that keep me inspired. I was able to salvage an old mirror and place it atop my dresser, which really opens up the space and lends it a touch of class. The desk itself is motorised. I can adjust it up and down for when I want to use my treadmill – while writing!”
9. Susann Cokal in Virginia — Freelance writer and author
“In my new house, I have a different way of working – sort of spreading my ideas in three dimensions around the space. I can’t teach anymore because of health, and my home more and more is like the inside of my brain. (Sounds crazy? I do have a husband, so I’m not totally bonkers, I think.) But, I love my writing office.”
10. Emily Mack in Miami Beach, FL — Creative writer and wellness coach
“What I like most about my space is that I can be surrounded by views of nature. When I choose to sit at my table and bar stools, I can put all my relevant materials out and they stimulate my creativity.”
11. Brandi Larsen in Lakewood, Ohio — Business owner, writer, speaker, and inclusive creative coach
“One of the best parts is that it’s separated enough from the house that I can work in peace, and close enough that I can investigate if I hear something out-of-the-ordinary. I love the home office space we created in our attic. I work here from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. (I’m in it now) and it’s cosy and warm and exactly what I need to get lots of work done in a short amount of time. There are some cool elements to the space – old school science tables for desks; the interior of a faux-fireplace; natural light that overlooks a neighbour’s bird feeder and flowers.”
12. Carol Heffernan Oshkosh in Wisconsin — Writer for a marketing firm
“I’ve never designed a space exclusively for myself (always have had my husband’s and kids’ preferences and needs in mind as well), so I love that this office is all me.”
13. Dr Barbara Carey-Shaw PhD in Brookhaven, NY — Psychologist
“I like the quiet personal energy my home office offers to each of my patients and it allows me to add my therapeutic touch to the process by sharing my energy. I love how comfortable my patients and their families are in the waiting room and how at times they use it to talk, do homework or just hang on their iPads. I also love how cosy, soothing and safe people say my treatment room is.”
14. Megan Lane in Wading River, NY — Freelance writer
“I find it to be more comfortable to sprawl out on my couch and write, as opposed to sitting upright in a chair at a desk – you know, a traditional office space. My 9-year-old daughter’s school is currently shut down as a result of the coronavirus. She and I can pull the couch out and rest our feet. We love to snuggle together while I work from home. She cozies up beside me and either watches TV or draws me pictures.”
15. Ambika Devi in Treasure Coast, FL — Indie publisher, astrologer, coach, meditation jedi master, and international speaker
“I am a passionate multi-preneur, working from my phone, pad, and computers. When I’m home, my mission control is two giant BenQ monitors with thousands of colours, a Logitech Pro Camera, and if I am recording a Blue Nessie Mic. I love my big desk and oversized chair as I often sit cross-legged. The unique and somewhat eccentric vibes motivate me. My room has a slider so when the light is coming in I use a virtual background for Zoom Meetings.”
16. Jonathan Maberry in California — Suspense writer, anthology editor, executive producer and creator of Netflix’s Series ‘V-Wars’
The pumpkin, macabre toys and bloody hand would provide inspiration for any suspense author. Jonathan has won awards and is proud to be a New York Times’ best-selling author.
17. Elizabeth Hinnant in Atlanta, Georgia — Freelance writer
“I am only able to leave the house once every two weeks or so due to chronic illness, so I wanted to set up a place that felt comfortable, creative, and designed just for me. Working from a daybed with a giant pile of pillows lets me write without exhausting myself. My friend and I splattered paint on my wall last year. I’m really fond of how it turned out.”
18. Svea Vikander in Guovdageaidnu, Norway — Writer, journalist, craftsman, and MA student
“What I find most special about this home office is the light. The big windows and the snow outside make it feel both cosy and bright, and isn’t that what we all want? There’s a lot of wildlife up here, and I can see interesting things from my windows when my mind wanders.”
19. Alexandra Lucas in Washington state — Freelance writer
“I set my office up in such a way that there is a feminist and pagan vibe to it, with small statues of Hecate and Inanna and feminist posters.”
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