Organize Your Work from Home Office
A recent Gartner survey revealed that 80% of business leaders anticipate that their staffs will continue to work from home after the pandemic. What everyone has discovered is that it is less expensive to allow employees to work from home (no overhead) and they are still just as productive if not more so. Many are happier with the work-life balance it allows, especially if their children are still distance learning. While the bed or sofa might have worked for a while, if you’re going to continue working from home, you will need to organize your work from home office so that it works for you.
One of the most important success factors in working from home long-term is to have a space dedicated to it – a space that you can walk away from, especially at the end of your work day. You can use your garage, basement, a spare room, or even transform an unused formal dining room into your office space if you need to. Just don’t encroach on your bedroom or living room, where you really need to be able to escape from your work and have respite.
Ergonomically Correct Furniture
Check with your company – a lot of organizations are providing their employees with funds to outfit their home offices with the furniture and equipment they need. If they aren’t helping you fund the home office, you may be able to find used furniture or repurpose furniture you already have. If more people are working from home, there are going to be a lot of businesses with excess desks, chairs, and equipment you should be able to obtain inexpensively.
Give Yourself Room to Work
There is a temptation to carve out just a small corner of a room for work, and if you, your spouse, and your kids are all working and studying from home, that may be a necessity. But if you have the ability to create an open space with sunlight and room to move around, you should do it. Consider lighting – and how the position of your desk will affect the lighting you may need for Zoom calls and other online collaboration. Make sure you have shelf space and a large enough workspace to easily do what you need to do. Give yourself room to get up and stretch.
The Tech Stuff
You don’t just need internet access to work from home effectively and safely. You need a VPN, a secure network, a firewall, malware detection, virus protection, and multi-factor authentication for apps and software you use for work. Some of this security may come from your employer, but if it doesn’t, you should consider getting it anyway to protect your own personal data and identity. You’ll need a way to backup files if you are storing business files on your computer; and you’ll need to make sure the microphone and camera on your laptop are sufficient for the Zoom calls you will likely be a part of. Talk to an IT expert to make sure your system is secure and sufficient.
Don’t Let Your Office Become a Storage Room
It’s easy to allow your office space to serve multiple functions. Perhaps it’s an easy place to dump the laundry until it gets folded, or there’s extra space in the room to store holiday decor. Resist the urge to allow that, and force yourself to find homes for the things you think need stored in the office space. You can be productive working from home, but not if the space is cluttered with items that distract you from what you need to do.
If you’re struggling to find a space or need help to organize your work from home office, we’re happy to help. Just give us a call or fill out our contact form.