How to make home office trends work to your advantage

How to make home office trends work to your advantage

Independent travel advisors have been ahead of the curve – for years, it turns out.

That’s because they’ve been working from home, doing the work / life juggle, and have mastered the art of creating an ‘office space’ anywhere.

The pandemic changed all of that of course, with employees of all stripes working from home. And that’s great for us, as it means that others have turned their attention to what we already know is needed for the perfect space.

According to a survey by office supply giant Staples, half of Canadians who work from home say they need an office upgrade.

Since getting a new perspective, even in our own personal work space, can help improve your outlook (I would redecorate every few months if I could), here are a few ideas on how you can switch things up in your ‘world headquarters’:

1) A good ergonomic chair. If you are spending hours at your desk, you want to be sure you are doing your back a favour. An ergonomic chair, designed for comfort and support, is not a luxury but a necessity.

2) An adjustable standing desk. Speaking of sitting, it turns out it’s actually bad for us and we should move around more. A desk that can shift from sitting height to standing will give you and your circulation a break.

3) You will never look at your partner, your child, or your cat as much as you look at what’s behind your computer screen.  Switch it up with a bulletin board (magnetic or with push pins) you can change to feature reminders, motivational thoughts or inspirational photos.

4) If you are a super-visual person, consider installing a dry erase board on one wall (or even painting it with chalkboard paint) to help you plan timelines or itinerary components. One advisor we know uses hers to track the status of clients’ bookings.

5) Headphones. Love ’em or hate ’em, Zoom and Teams calls are here to stay. Headphones will ensure you hear loud and clear (and send an unspoken but effective ‘do not disturb’ message to others around you ).

6) An adjustable lamp. More than décor, a lamp will provide excellent working light and lend a warm, more ‘human’ atmosphere. Remember to position it behind your screen for a flattering look on video chats. Oh, and don’t get fluorescent light bulbs – they’re rarely flattering!

And of course if money is no object, the sky’s the limit. For home-based workers who have the space (and piles of cash), there’s always the option of a YardPod, a customizable prefab backyard working space. Ideal for drawing a tangible line between work life and home life, a YardPod measures 108 square feet, comes with a heated floor and looks like a very cool garden shed in, say, Finland. You may have to re-examine your fee schedule, though: a YardPod, from ultra-chic Toronto design firm Syllable Inc., starts at $38,000. (Or you could check out the latest Canadian Tire flyer for a more affordable shed-style option!)