As the landscape of our workplace has changed drastically throughout 2020 and the pandemic that took us all by surprise, home office (remote) work options have skyrocketed. In the beginning, this seemed a temporary inconvenience that has long since started to become the new normal for many. If you are one of those working from home now or facing this potential shortly, here are a few tips to remember for setting up this workplace to ensure productivity, work/life balance, and the most stimulating conditions possible for you to continue happily working from home.
Home Office – Keep It Separate
Designating a separate space from normal living areas is super critical when deciding how best to accommodate working from home. Ideally, if possible, you should designate a quiet, separate room or space that can be closed off from distractions. Pets, kids schooled from home, others in the home watching television, playing music, or life going on around all can pose distractions from the work to be done. Having this space separate from the living portion of your home makes it feel more “going to work” versus just trying to fit in work around everything else and puts you in a work frame of mind. This also helps sets up a routine of working in that space and resting or distancing from work in other areas of the home.
Now that all your work and not just overflow from the workweek is done in a home office be sure you have all the technology considerations covered. Ensure that proper back up to the cloud or other harddrive devices are in place for any and all work you do at home. You are responsible in many cases for those duties that your IT department administered for you previously. Additionally, ensure that any and all access and use of technology provided is clear when starting to work from home to ensure that you are well within compliance still. All nondisclosure, internet surfing, and other such policies remain in effect, and companies have new tools for monitoring available to them.
Also, a second monitor, if possible, is lifesaving for many who spend long hours on these devices. Headphones to be able to block out noises and participate in meetings via online platforms. Finally, not just data but ensure all those tools have a power backup, as this is Florida, and storms can arise, causing intermittent issues. Many that have clients in other regions are expecting business to continue as normal, regardless of the weather. Additionally, these devices ensure that you can finish what you are working on and minimize damage to machines by turning off correctly.
Decorations and Furniture
That old wooden kitchen chair might not be the most favorable place to spend eight hours a day, five days a week. Proper support, comfort in a good supportive chair is critical. Finally, just like offices and cubicles in traditional offices, plants, decorations, and a window with a view are all little adds to your space that can make time spent within your workspace more favorable and make you want to be there continuously. You want to enjoy going to your new office and be prepared to work the hours you once did from a traditional space.
As many navigate the joys and the pitfalls of working from a home office versus larger office buildings of the past, ensuring you spend time setting up this space is critical. Proper furniture and the correct technology are the most critical foundations of your space. Finally, remember working from home can be hard psychologically, so take advantage of virtual meetings, team chats, or even the ability to alternate work spots for a beach to ensure this new style of work continues to allow you to thrive during this period of new normal.
Photos courtesy Pixaby