Many people have been forced to work from home during the global pandemic. Working from home can be challenging without the appropriate office space, and is especially difficult for those who had not expected to be working remotely and don’t have the appropriate space to conduct their work.
What should your focus be while creating your ideal office? Where can you be most productive with the least distractions? How can you decorate to make you feel comfortable and able to concentrate on work and not be pulled away by home life?
Here are 4 easy ways you can increase productivity, efficiency, and happiness while meeting the challenges of working from home.
Step 1- Choosing a Suitable Work Space
While the kitchen table may seem like an appropriate area to be working, being in the hub of home activity can be loud, frustrating, and distracting. If your kids are playing a few feet away from you, watching loud TV, or listening to music and singing along, it may impede your ability to receive phone calls, attend zoom meetings, or simply concentrate effectively on your upcoming projects.
If there is no room with a door available to convert, try to find an area away with less foot traffic, maybe a corner of your bedroom, or an area less used in the home. The less traffic and distractions in your chosen area will allow more focused work. If your home is an open concept, choose an area away from hallways or centers of activity, to allow for focus and concentration on your tasks.
Step 2- Choosing Appropriate Furniture
There are many desk options for a home office, depending on the space you have available. For a large room to be turned into an office, a traditional desk may be easier. If you are working in the corner of a room, with limited space, an adjustable standing desk can help to give you variations and options to move and adjust your space as the day goes on.
Standing desks can also help at your home office, as they can reduce backpressure and pain, and give you a feeling of fluidity and flexibility in your workspace. The type of desk you choose can enhance comfort and productivity in your new home office.
Step 3- Decorate the Area as a Workspace
Give yourself separation from the home and work environment by adding office details to your workspace, rather than what you would have in the home.
Add some plants in your workspace to help with mood and view. If you have a window, this can help you to feel connected to the world, while maintaining your distance.
Ensure your window treatments can keep the sun out of your eyes, and the glare off your computer screen. Set your home office up the same as you would set up a normal office, so that as you enter your workspace you can leave “home” behind and focus your mind on the work tasks at hand.
Step 4- Have an Appropriate Background for Video Calls and Meetings
While what is behind you never used to be a concern, current office meetings, client consultations, and employee reviews are conducted online more and more during these uncertain times. Business is not being conducted face to face, rather screen to screen, and the image you present is important.
Ensure your coworkers and clients won’t be seeing your kitchen, child’s playroom, or family living room behind you. These areas can be very active and distracting to the people viewing them while trying to focus on work. Also, it is important to respect the privacy of the people in your home. You don’t want your camera to be facing a hallway that leads out of a bathroom or bedroom, as your family may be caught with their “pants down” so to speak, without you realizing what is being presented to the person on the other line.
By choosing an appropriate space and background, ensuring appropriate furniture and decorations, you can immerse yourself in work from the comfort of your own home, and ensure successful and productive work, free from distractions and (possibly) embarrassing moments.
By following these steps you can put yourself on the path to comfort and success in your new home office, and increase your productivity and work-life balance, even when your work takes place within your home.