When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, 60 percent of the US workforce shifted to working from home. However, some workers were not prepared for the change. The transition required workers to adapt their homes to meet their remote working needs.
Basically, there are a lot of things that go into creating the “perfect” workspace. Keep in mind that working at home has both positive and negative effects. So, you should aim to capitalize on the positive aspects to create an environment that supports productivity and seamless virtual communications.
Here is how you can make your home great for remote work.
1. Carve Out Your Home Office Space
The first thing is to decide where you’ll set up your workspace. Depending on your home’s size, different areas make the ideal candidates for your office space. This includes a spare corner, bedroom, kitchen, dining room, attic space, basement, and converted garage.
If your budget allows, you can also consider adding another room to your house. This will enable you to create a personalized space that best suits your work needs. You can design the addition the way you wish. However, such additions are ideal for high-income professionals.
Whatever space you consider, take the time to plan the room. The floor plan should take into account different details, such as cable outlets, windows, your sitting direction.
2. Equip Your Workspace
Take the time to list the essentials you use during your typical workday. You’ll need to buy some of these supplies. In this case, you can inquire from your employer to know whether they cover the cost of office supplies if you’re working from home.
Otherwise, some of the office supplies you need include an office computer, printer, papers, communication systems, and filing system. You’ll also need surge protectors to protect your computers from damaging electrical surges, a safe for securing important documents, and good lighting.
More importantly, you need a strong internet connection for seamless online communications and quick access to online accounts.
3. Invest in Comfort
Just like working in a typical office, you’ll be spending a lot of time on your work desk. As such, it makes sense to find a comfortable desk and chair.
Aim to find a good ergonomically correct chair, particularly if your work involves sitting for more extended periods. Sitting in a comfortable chair all day can affect your body stiffness and even lead to back pain. Be sure to find one with adjustable height to allow you to set the ideal height for your desk.
Depending on your work needs, you can opt for a traditional desk or work station. While they serve the same purpose, a workstation provides enough space for all your office supplies. It can eliminate the need for a filing system as it comes with built-in cabinets. Regardless of your option, remember to get one that’s designed for office use.
4. Always Take Enough Rest
Sitting in a chair nearly all day, even if it’s in your home, can be draining. As such, it’s advisable to take breaks and rest. You can simply take a walk or play with your kids or pets to take your mind off work.
Taking a power nap can also leave you feeling more alert and energized. Be sure to have a good back pain mattress, which is vital if you spend most of your day sitting. A good nap can be about 40 to 45 minutes, and it helps boost your performance by up to 34 percent.
5. Eliminate Distractors
One of the common negatives of working from home is distractions. If you have kids and pets, you need to know how to control them. They will always require your attention, so that’s something you need to keep in mind.
Audio and visual distractors, such as social media, online videos, and loud noises, can reduce your concentration, leading to missed deadlines and delayed work. There are tools, such as Freedom, Stay focused, and Limit, that can limit your use of social media and other online services.
You should also set boundaries. For example, you can always lock your office door to indicate that you’re busy. Keeping your phone in silent mode is also advisable.
Working from home can be an exciting experience for first-timers. You get to work in your pajamas in the comfort of your home. But this also comes with responsibility, given that there are many distractions at home, including kids, pets, guests, and possibly noise.
Therefore, you need to focus on creating a workspace that facilitates optimal productivity and performance. Find a great spot in your home, such as a corner or basement, to set up the office. Get a comfortable office chair and desk, and always have enough breaks to re-energize and improve alertness.