With the world and the workforce changing so quickly, many employees are now finding themselves in the unique position of suddenly working from home. While the pandemic might have brought us to this unique and difficult time, employers are finding that in many cases, having their employees work from home can be beneficial and more cost effective for the employer and employee. However, in order to effectively work from home, it’s up to the employee to create a space that actually works for them. A space that is dedicated to work without the interruptions of home and family. Here are ways to make a successful office space in your home that is efficient yet comfortable.
Carefully choose the most appropriate space in your home. While some people have an extra room that can easily be turned into an office, others might have to get creative using the space they have. You might be able to convert an exercise room or spare bedroom into an office, or you might need to take space from the dining room that isn’t often used to create your office space. Before deciding where to set up, consider what you need in order to perform your job effectively and choose your space from there.
Choose an appropriate desk and comfortable chair. Make sure your computer is at eye level and your forearms are parallel to the floor when typing. In order to be ergonomically correct, you also want to be sure your feet can sit flat on the floor or on a footrest. Taking these factors into consideration from the start will help eliminate discomfort and pain later. Remember, this is your work space, and you need to be able to sit and work day in and day out without putting unnecessary pressure on your back, neck and shoulders.
Take stock of the office supplies you have on hand, and what you need. Be sure to have the every day work essentials handy so as not to have to dig for them or look for them throughout the day. If you lack space on your desk, consider setting up a small side table or adding shelves near your desk.
Consider your available storage space. While many companies are trying to transition to a paperless work space, it is often still necessary to keep paper files. Be sure to have designated draws or file cabinets for your work papers so they do not get mixed in with personal papers.
Focus on your lighting. Lighting is a very important aspect of your home office space. If you’re fortunate enough to have a window in your chosen office space, arrange your desk so it is facing the window if at all possible. The natural light is not only better for your eyes than fluorescent lighting, it is also a natural mood enhancer. Also, be sure to install lighting above your computer and reading area to reduce eye strain.
Invest in an all-in-one printer, scanner, fax. This will not only maintain efficiency but will also take up less space.
Unless you are self-employed, you employer will likely be providing remote technical support when needed. Be sure you are following company protocol in shutting down, rebooting and saving data in order to receive necessary updates and to prevent losing valuable information (and also to prevent wasting time).
Lastly, remember to take breaks. Many people who work from home find themselves working longer hours than they do when they actually work in the office. Make a set schedule to start your day and end your day on time, while making sure you are walking away from your desk for breaks and lunch. It is also important to get up and stretch and rest your eyes during the day to avoid strain and fatigue. Periodic breaks will also help you to maintain focus while working, which in turn will help increase productivity.