The growing importance of an “at home office” – clutter and lighting

Like many of us during the COVID-19 pandemic, I find myself at home more and specifically sitting at my “computer space”. I hesitate to call it my “office” because after spending so much time here recently, it doesn’t feel like a place to “work”. That was not its design purpose initially. It was a place of relaxation, playing a game, or catching up on daily events. So, now I am beginning to visualize a space to do both and give substance to the “at home office” design.

Some assumptions first. Some of these items will be discussed more in depth in future writings.

If you are working from home, then some of the basics are a must. Reliable internet, decent climate control, at least the beginnings of a desk and your space that you want to update. I’m sorry, but the kitchen table is not the place to setup. If you don’t have a dedicated home office space, then maybe a corner of a room, just preferably, not your bedroom. Necessity is the mother of invention and innovation. So start with a clear goal and some ideas on where in your available space you want to be.

My space doesn’t have doors or even 4 walls as the east wall of my space is open to the stairs. Complete isolation isn’t required. It may cut down on some of the distractions, but so far the openness of my space hasn’t been an issue. What I found to be the biggest issue was clutter. Bills, cables, unfinished projects, phone chargers, nerf guns for that kid drive by nerfing they find so much fun while you are on a video chat with the boss….I didn’t realize how much “stuff” I had that I don’t really want or need. Stuffing it back into a drawer or on a shelf will not help and will only add to distractions. Time to clean out the space.

My first true addition was LED lighting strategically placed around my space instead of using the overhead lighting. Overhead lighting creates shadows and glare as it always is “behind” me. LED light placed behind and above the monitor is useful during video conferencing and can provide just the right amount of light when needed. There are many options online. I chose a simple, cut-able, LED strip with HomeKit integration on Amazon. The integration allows customized color and brightness from my phone for any situation. Installed on the bottom of a shelve, it gives plenty of soft lighting and illumination without glare on my monitor. There are plenty of ways to enhance and change the lighting for your personal use and needs.

Simple LED lighting will make a huge difference.

WOW!!! I started this article with a simple goal of writing about updating and some beginning ideas on creating an at home office. I quickly found out how much would need to go a single post and will expand this into a series with input from others who are going through these same exercises. More to come…..

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