In the midst of the new coronavirus pandemic, many companies are implementing voluntary or mandatory work-from-home policies. That means lots of us are dealing with an unusual challenge: working from home for the first time, full-time.
Even if you’ve done it before, working from home because of coronavirus might feel like a whole new world: It’s probably sudden. The next challenge is to have the work vibe at home. So for that, you need to have your Home Office ready.
A well-designed home office can make all the difference between getting that one thing done and napping for 2 hours. You need to put together that productive zone rather than just dropping a desk near an outlet.
While you may not be able to follow every ideal recommendation, these home office design tips show how everything from lights and plants to good tech etiquette and organizational techniques can keep you productive in your home office during this pandemic.
Find Your Hot Spot
For some, finding a dedicated workspace could be a challenge.
But you need a space you can use only for work. That can even just be a specific seat to the corner in the bedroom. The key is separating your workspace from your relaxing space. That helps condition you to focus when in that specific environment.
Keeping Organized, Clean, and Supplied
Just as with any room in the house, you’ll need to figure out your storage and organization for your home office so you have the peace of mind to work productively.
Having a dedicated set of work supplies means you don’t have to go searching.
Give Yourself a Green Light
During this lockdown period & fear of going out, your exposure to the outside world or the greenery is limited.
You don’t need to rely on technology alone to enable your workspace.
Bringing nature into your home can make a big difference as well. Plants help give life to the space and remind us that there is a living, breathing world outside of work that exists whether the work gets done or not.
Every 20 minutes, make sure to look away from the screen to something that is 20 feet away for 20 seconds—and greenery can provide that perfect break
Blues and greens, most commonly found in nature, have been proven to decrease stress levels, creating a calming work environment.
Home Office Power Tools
Keep your workspace at home similar to what you have at the office, replicating the experience as best as possible. That helps to create some comfort and reduces distraction.
Think of technology as part of your home office’s toolset. This may be the noise-canceling headphones that can be effective in blocking out street noise and loud neighbors or having a full-sized monitor or smart speakers to run your dedicated “Focus” playlist or a favorite soothing classical composer.
Stand, By Me—Or Don’t, But Remember Ergonomics
There are simple steps you can take to ensure your ergonomic health doesn’t suffer when you work from home.
Laptop users are especially prone to poor posture and wrist position, so the addition of a laptop stand or the use of an external keyboard and mouse could reduce chronic pain.
If you do choose to sit, picking the proper height for your chair and desk can mean healthier days.
Don’t Get Too Cozy
Finding the elusive balance between getting comfy and getting completely suctioned into the couch is a tricky but essential distinction. FastCompany suggests adding a dedicated comfy chair in the home office for breaks.
A TV can be distracting, and so too can a comfy couch. Your space should be comfortable enough to work in for long hours, but not so comfortable that you can’t escape a nap.
Putting your desk a foot away from your warm and cozy bed might be your only option, but be sure to stay strong and resist the urge to jump back under the covers.
But Do Make Yourself At Home
Above all else, the key to producing the right workspace for you is keeping it personal. What works for one person may not work for another, and testing out a few new ideas can help you unlock the perfect combination of creativity and productivity. Your office is your space, so make sure it feels that way.