How to set up your home office while working remotely


Stefan Kanev

23 July 2021


Hannah reclines in her gaming chair, stretching her arms up. The neon lights of her newly built PC spread a soft glow around the gloomy room with closed curtains. It’s so hot. A drop of sweat starts its journey between her shoulder blades and down her spine. It’s hard to focus. Hannah takes a look around her bedroom: the still messy bed awaiting her attention, the three empty cans from the last binge series watching keeping each other company beside the bed, the green sock peeking from one of the drawers. Hannah sighs, gets up and goes to the balcony for some fresh air. She has so much more code to write but she can’t focus with her current set up. “How can I improve the way I work?” she thinks lazily, while re-tying her pony tail. Then the Aha! moment comes, brought by a gust of scorching summer wind. Why sit in her gaming den writing code, when she can redecorate and rearrange her place and make it look more like a working station. Here are some of Hannah’s ideas:

It doesn’t need to be interior design magazine worthy.

In order to be more productive, Hannah needs a place where to work on her laptop, so she doesn’t get distracted by the sheer awesomeness of her gaming PC. Simply placing her laptop on the dining table doesn’t seem to fit the purpose. She wants a change but has no idea how to do it. Pinterest should be the answer. Soon, she finds out that there are so many ideas there, that the number, and sadly, the budget are mindboggling.

Then Hannah turns to her partner, Jeremy. He’s frighteningly smart, borderline math genius, who teaches physics at the university. He always has solutions to problems, no matter mathematical or not. He also loves efficiency and doing the things right. Jeremy, true to his nature, sees one of the unused closets worthy of renovation. With his help, Hannah puts there a small working desk and her favourite gaming chair. “The place should be repainted soon” thinks she. “And I’ll frame the picture of us together at the beach bar and hang it here.” she smiles.

This way, she’ll be able to physically divide her coding job and her everyday life and be more productive.

It doesn’t need to be shiny and expensive.

Yes, Hannah earns good money from her remote job. However, spending that on new furniture seems excessive. She can travel and visit interesting places instead. She suddenly remembers about a Facebook ad, advertising a garage sale nearby. When the day comes, she goes together with Jeremy to the place. It turns out that the people organizing it are a nice elderly couple, who are selling almost everything they own so they can travel. Hannah is amazed. There is so much useful stuff that she can get almost for free.

A folding wooden bureau. A comfy wooden chair with peculiarly curved back, engraved with ducks, cats, bears and grape vines. A standard lamp with long tassels. All of them bearing the patina of time, with small brass elements peaking from here and there. All of them are so different from the general concept of her apartment. All of them so cheap, that she spent half her budget on them. They also remind her of her childhood and her parents’ house.

Installing all of these in the newly painted closet turns out to be relatively easy. Now the place looks like a totally different dimension, devoted to silence, serenity and productivity.

It needs to be different.

Hannah acted out of intuition, while setting up her home office. However, as the time passed, she understood why what she did was actually a good decision. While working in the ex-closet, which now resembles an old school gentlemen’s club, Hannah is isolated from her world. Every time she sits on the chair in front of the laptop she transitions to a new reality, where the gaming and streaming adventures are long gone. A reality, focused on productivity, fast smart coding and completed in time tasks.

Why? It works in the same way, like her previous job: she leaves home, travels to the office, does her job and comes back. She does the same nowadays at her remote job. However, without leaving her apartment. At least not physically.

Are you working remotely, or planning to do so in the near future?

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