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How the Pandemic Altered American Homes
Home Design in the "New Normal"

It has been three months since the world was forced to a widespread timeout by the coronavirus pandemic. Many people are still getting used to the new lifestyle that was imposed on them by the virus. What experts are planning now always not just to end the crisis but also now to adapt to the new normal.
 

Many experts are still optimistic. With general themes being work from home settings, online schooling, and being more vigilant in setting up home storage.

The Home Office Workstation

 

<img src=&quot;officedeskandchair.jpg&quot; alt=&quot;Aspen Home Oxford Whiskey Brown Office Chair.&quot;>

The pandemic resulted in the biggest work from home setting that was ever done in the history of man. The effects are evident on the internet, in terms of work patterns shifting to the new normal. People are accessing their work resources online, parents looking for study materials for their kids also on the internet, and people are now getting used to connecting with their friends and co-workers using unconventional means.

The unique cloud-based technology is now widely used throughout the world. Since this is so it's time to consider some of the ways but you can finally have your home and office set up in one of the rooms in your home or in an unused space in your habitat.
 

Let's accept this. Working from home can be a struggle at some point because of the many distractions as well as temptations that the home office offers. While there are benefits to a work from home setting such as savings on transportation and gas, saving on food, reduced travel time, and the comfort of working even in your pajamas; it is a fact that productivity can be greatly hampered in the home setting.
 

So how can you make your home and office setting a place of productivity?

Limit the Distractions

 

Just like in a normal office setting, you need to have brain breaks now and then. This may be a few minutes of reading books, playing a game on your smartphone, or listening to music. These are short rewards that should be a part of your home office setting but placed somewhere where you will not be constantly tempted to stare at them for longer hours.
 

Some of the most effective means to eliminate distractions while working in your home office include getting dressed, creating a batch of tasks that you will do throughout the day, and posting your schedule in a conspicuous area in your home office workstation so that you are constantly reminded of your tasks.
 

You also have to define your distractions. Once you pinpoint these distractions it will be easier to knock them out and concentrate on your work. If you're stuck in thinking that the kitchen is currently chaotic, then have that cleaned before going to your home office. Always having the thought that you will clean the kitchen afterward will be a major distraction throughout the day.

Set Rules with Smartphone Use

 

One of the biggest distractions for remote workers is checking their social media accounts on their phones.  With the boss at bay, it is easy to pick up the smartphone, check Facebook or IG, and then you can easily waste 20 minutes away.
 

If you are easily distracted by your phone during your work hours it is recommended that you put it on vibrate or totally turn it off so that you will not be distracted by notifications.  
 

Find a way that you can manage calls, emails, and text messages during the day. Set aside time to answer emails or text messages.
 

Try to use visual tools such as a notepad or a whiteboard. This will help you understand your work in a different light. Do not be trapped on your computer screen when you do work plans. Create a bigger picture and use more tools other than your laptop.

Set Up an Exercise Equipment

 

Invest in a set of light weights, resistance bands, or even a treadmill. Set them up near your home office workstation. You can spend your short breaks exercising and you can energize and refocus. You will need this energy throughout the day so it won’t hurt to have exercise equipment within reach.
 

Get rid of clutter and make a habit of purging paper files, coffee cups, and knick-knacks that no longer serve a purpose. If.you seasonally use some files and office tools, then see to it that you have a storage unit for these things.
 

Always work with a purpose. Know your tasks for the day then cross them off as you go.
 

There will always be people who will distract you while you are working but you have to remind them gently that while you are home, you're still working and that you need to politely but adamantly disengage during these hours.   

Invest in Fine Office Furniture

 

Here is a fine office furniture starter list that can help you set up your work zone in no time. You can eventually expand your work zone according to your productivity requirements.

 
<img src=&quot;deskandchair.jpg&quot; alt=&quot;Universal Furniture RoughHouse Desk & Hutch.&quot;

The Right Work Table or Office Desk

Depending on the type of business or work that you are in, you should be able to determine an office desk or a shared work table that works best in your setting. 

Whether you prefer to stand or sit, bear in mind that a quality table and desk will last for a long time and that you also need to consider aspects such as its height, width, length, and how it harmonizes with the rest of the surroundings.
 

A Sturdy Office Chair

 

Another important element in a home office is your desk chair. Consider the number of hours that you will spend in it and if you have a team that works with you, make sure that the chairs are comfortable and durable. Check also that the chair suits your functional and body requirements.
 

Guest chairs and conference tables are often a part of home office planning. But in the new normal where people just convene online, the most important thing, for now, is for you to have a comfy desk and chair. 

Enough Storage

 

You could make do with a desk with drawers if you're just working on your own. If you need more storage space, you can add a filing cabinet, some bookshelves, or even a long credenza that will offer ample space for all of your files. To find these essential home office elements, you would need an authority home furnishings company that you can buy from.

The Study from Home Setup

 

The University of Washington has already announced its transition from traditional classes to online classes because of the Covid-19 outbreak. Studying from home is a real challenge because just like a home office setup, there are many distractions including the pets, TV, the refrigerator, the bed, and even some family members. Limited access to computer equipment as well as other technical problems could create a barrier to online education. It will take motivation to stay productive.
 

Here are some tips but you can embrace the new study setup –
 

1.  Dedicate a learning space that is separate from the sleeping area and the social areas. Try to study in the same spot each day because research shows that a person's recall of information is greatly improved when done in the same environment. Inform your family members but you are studying so that they can adjust their behavior around you.
 

2.  Check Canvas or your email regularly to stay abreast of changes and announcements. Make a list of the technology requirements and get in touch with tech support if you need assistance.
 

3.  Just like working from home, you need to create a routine for your study. Establish a morning ritual such as bathing and getting dressed and then eating your breakfast before studying. Take 15-minute breaks so that you remain alert and engaged throughout your study hours.
 

4.  Lastly, find a desk and chair . Give you ample support and comfort. 

Pantry Ideas

 

The Food Network published an article on completing the checklist for the pantry, refrigerator, and freezer.
 

According to them, having a well-stocked fridge and pantry is much like having savings in the bank. Food is basic supplies that you have on hand so you're always prepared to cook family meals or even last minute dinners for guests.
 

But in the new normal, this checklist grows even longer. There are general foods that you can buy though it is up to you to determine your family's essentials. If you do not like peanut butter then there's no point in buying a jar.
 

Pantry basics include fine salts, vegetable oil, black peppercorns, apple cider vinegar, sherry or balsamic vinegar, and rice vinegar.  
 

Baking supplies include all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar, chocolate chips or chocolate bars, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and evaporated milk.
 

You can also keep stocks of granulated sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, agave syrup, and confectioner’s sugar.
 

As for rice and grains, keep stocks of brown rice, long-grain white rice, quinoa, couscous, polenta, and even breadcrumbs.
 

Have a dedicated space for snacks and cereals such as tortillas, at cells, dried fruits, seeds, almond butter, breakfast cereals, applesauce, and good old rolled oats.
 

Canned goods that you can include are chicken broth, beans, vegetables, salsa, tomato paste, tomatoes, tuna, and roasted red pepper.
 

Include some dried spices and herbs such as bay leaves, cajun seasoning, cayenne pepper,  red pepper, curry, dill seed, granulated garlic, oregano, paprika, rosemary, sesame seed, thyme, and whole nutmeg.
 

You can also store dairy and eggs in your refrigerator. By cartons of milk and make sure to check their expiration dates, also unsalted butter, mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan (preferably a wedge), and a tray of eggs.

You may implement the first-in, first-out method in storing fresh produce. You can store apples, bananas, avocados, bell peppers, carrots, broccoli, lemons, scallions, garlic, ginger, potatoes, parsley, onions, tomatoes, and even green leaves.

Your freezer is your new best friend since it will store a huge amount of meats and doughs.

Store ground beef, skinless and boneless chicken breasts, bacon, fruits, baguette, sandwich breads, nuts, vanilla ice cream, pizza dough, and puff pastry.

The Hottest Pantry Ideas

There are many stylish ways to set up your kitchen pantry in a manner that is fit for your lovely home.

First, you can transfer foods from their original packaging into canisters and jars that have been specifically labeled for your pantry.

Go retro. Just like books, you can also create racks upon racks of food items and if you're feeling up for it, you can even install a sliding ladder to access items that are beyond your reach.  

Store spices in a concealed storage space. Any closed cabinet would be a perfect spice storage unit.

Paint your pantry with a bold color. Why not try Pantone Color of the Year for 2020 which is Classic Blue. Even the tiniest space will look more dramatic with this bold color. If you are not willing to experiment with discolored just yet small doses for starters.

Please don't skimp on pretty lighting. You can have a chandelier installed in your kitchen pantry so that that space looks more glitzy and glamorous.

Infuse some decor into your pantry so that that small space shows your big personality. Find eye-catching stuff such as mini artwork, potted plants, and colored containers.

 

Find all available spaces where you can store your spices and other food items. Even a kitchen island can serve as a storage space for most of your kitchen supplies.

What about a backsplash? You can transform your pantry by adding a sophisticated backsplash on one wall.

You can also go for white subway tiles or be bold with more colorful tiles.

You can opt for minimalism or go big it's up to you.

Conclusion

Whether you like it or not, this is now the new norm. People prefer to stay at home so that they remain safe together with their families. So it pays to invest in your home office and study room as early as now. And you should also seriously consider the foods and beverages that you will include in your pantry. The more prepared you are the better.


#homeandoffice #homeofficeworkstation #fineofficefurniture #pantryideas 



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