Does Your Home Office Inspire You to Excellence, or Just to Exit?
Home Office the Right Way
Despite the world’s best efforts, it seems like Covid-19 is set to become an endemic reality in most countries.
Add to this the social surge championing remote working and the effects of the Great Resignation being felt around the world making employers anxious about skills retention. Honestly, it seems like working from home will become the norm for many of us. (At least partially)
Now might be the time to take steps to make this work in your home. With remote working becoming more permanent, you can no longer simply have your laptop plugged in at the kitchen table, spending back-breaking days hunched in front of it on a hard dining room chair.
Revisit the Home Office
In days gone by when the internet did not exist (shudder!) many homes did have an area that was dedicated to administrative, academic, and intellectual work. Homes needed a collection of encyclopaedias, a desk and a dedicated spot for the wall-mounted telephone.
Now we need a space for the laptop and cell phone chargers, a place for the Wi-Fi extender and a ring light to ensure that you don’t give your colleagues nightmares on Zoom or Teams calls.
Just like most homes no longer have libraries, most homes don’t have space for a dedicated home office. Here are some things you can do to make working from home less of a backache-and-isolation thing and more of a health-boost-and-motivation thing.
How to Set Up a Sensible Workspace
Spot your space
The far end of the kitchen, a corner of the living room, a spare room or even a spot under the stairs or on the landing can easily be converted into a permanent home office.
Do you need a big space for multiple monitors as well as a writing area? Or will a smaller workspace on a landing or pushed against a wall suffice?
Whether you have a wall plug that’s right next to you, or you need to use an extension cord, ensure that you have the necessary connections that are dedicated to your workspace and won’t be “stolen” by plug and lead thieves.
Plug into success
Go through your spare cable drawer (you know the one we’re talking about) and get a spare cell phone charger that’s always plugged in at your workspace.
We cannot stress this enough: FIND A GOOD CHAIR. Most aches and pains come from not sitting in the right position and not having your chair, desk and own dimensions are ergonomically matched up.
Cancel the chaos
Stock up on some noise-cancelling headphones. Whether it’s the neighbour’s dog, the lawnmower or your own family, sometimes you need to drown out the background noise to do your best work.
Have good lighting. This can be natural light or electric. If you spend a lot of time doing video calls or conferences with clients, invest in a proper ring-light. (It’s not just for You-Tubers and Tik-Tokkers!) Good lighting makes a real difference in how you appear to others, especially through the digital world of screens and lenses.
Soak it up
Stay hydrated. Just because you can get up at any time and get a drink doesn’t mean you do, and without the normal flow and lure of office water cooler chats, it’s easy to become dehydrated during the workday. Get a reusable water bottle and set hydration goals for yourself throughout the day.
Make your mark
Working from home is fun, though it can be isolating. Find something that gives you joy and place it within view of your workspace. A candle, a small pot plant or even a framed picture from your last pre-covid office party can make a difference. Think about how you personalised your desk at work and do that here.
Working Towards the Future
One day we’ll be able to return to a world without masks and we might even have full movie theatres and full stadiums again. But for now, let’s embrace the empty offices and all the benefits of working from home.