BLACKBERRY TOWNSHIP – After she was furloughed from her job as a professional corporate interior designer due to the coronavirus pandemic, Lisa Anderson of Blackberry Township started her own business Intentional Workspaces LLC, Interior Design/Decorators.
“I felt similar to most people during COVID-19 … a mindset that it was temporary,” Anderson said. “I think we are all learning that this is a more permanent situation.”
As she pondered whether she would be hired back, Anderson decided to put her 30 years of experience to work for her and started her business in June.
Its focus – ironically – is developing a comfortable, dedicated space for people working from home.
“A lot of people working from on their dining room tables are not set up to be effective at their job and work comfortably,” Anderson said. “I feel like people need help and I want to get the word out to help them to have a proper office.”
Anderson and her husband already had a room in their home in the Mill Creek subdivision that was set up for work – but not for both of them at once, as they worked from home on different days, she said.
So she redesigned a portion of their home’s living room to be the office for her new business.
“Everything I do is electronic. I do all of my design drawings and presentations electronically,” Anderson said. “I offer a full scope of design services. I take dimensions of the home, I do corporate offices. But also my focus right now is to address this need to help people make a work space for themselves.”
Her research showed that a business can save $11,000 a year for one employee to work part-time from home.
And an employee can save $4,000 a year working part-time from home, she said.
“Corporations are realizing that people can work from home efficiently,” Anderson said.
In the past, employers probably worried that an employee would not be working the whole time they are at home, or that they would not be focused, she said.
“The pandemic has proven that to be wrong. People are efficient working from home,” Anderson said. “The sweet spot is working from home two to three days a week with the office more of a ‘hub’ the other days.”
Creating a space within a space for the at-home worker means having a permanent spot where all the files, books and tools are stored instead of packing and unpacking work items from the dining room table, she said.
Now with students likely going to a hybrid of learning electronically as well as in-person, Anderson said it’s also a good idea to designate a specific area for the students to do their work.
“They still have to focus on and participate in some kind of learning activity,” Anderson said. “They are producing a product. Their product is learning.”
Though she misses her former job – she loved the work and her coworkers – but after a few months of furlough, Anderson realized she had to take control of her own life.
“When 9/11 happened, the world changed forever,” Anderson said. “Now the work world is forever changed also.”
More information about Intentional Workspaces, LLC is available online at www.intentionalworkspaces.com or by calling Anderson at 708-878-1054.