First off I’m hoping all of you are healthy and are doing your part and staying home right now. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone around our community and around the world who have been affected by COVID-19. A special thank you to all of our essential workers, the doctors and nurses, the grocery staff and the pharmacy team, and many more who are doing everything they can to support all of us.
With the recent COVID-19 pandemic, many people who are able to, are now working from home. It’s become our new reality. At least for now. While working from home is not a new concept for many of us, working remotely for a pro-longed period of time may be. Here are some tips to help you set up your home office and help you stay productive, stay positive and stay healthy!
Designate a Working Space & Desk
Ideally, your home office should be in a quiet area in your home where you can also have some some privacy. This is particularly important now while many of us have others in the home while we are working (children, spouse, roommates).
If you don’t have a spare room to use, dedicate an area only for work use.
In an ideal world we would all have a space where we have a designated desk space, but that’s not the case for everyone. That’s where you sometimes need to get creative and use a table, a counter top or other flat surface that you can work from.
By designating an area for work you will not only be more productive but it will also help you maintain some balance between work and life and create some boundaries for you.
Use a Comfortable Chair
Find a chair in your home that is comfortable for sitting in and working in. A comfortable chair is one of the most important aspects of an efficient home office – ergonomics and comfort count here! Some key things to consider include making sure your chair has good lumbar support for your lower back and that your feet can comfortably reach the ground while seated. Also while you are in a sitting position and looking at your computer screen, it is important that your chair height has you looking at the center of your screen. This will ensure you don’t have any neck or shoulder strain.
If possible try and find a spot to work in that has some natural light. Natural light and exposure to the outdoors can impact both your physical and mental well-being.
At a minimum, if you can’t find a spot with natural light make sure that you have enough light in your work space so that you are not squinting at the screen or getting headaches. Getting enough light can keep you healthier in the lon term and will also contribute to being more productive and happier!
Evaluate your Technology and Communication Needs
Now is the time to look at what tools you need to do your job from home and ensure you have the right technology and communication tools you need to be productive. Dedicate a phone line or a mobile phone as your work phone. Ensure you have a printer or scanner to be able to do your job. Don’t forget to install any necessary communication tools like Skype, Zoom etc. Also invest in a headset if it will make working easier for you. Or upgrade your internet service if needed.
Add the Right Desk Accessories
Finally it’s not only important to ensure your space is functional, but you also want to enjoy working in that space too. In addition to the staplers and file folders or whatever you might need to work, add some desk accessories you will enjoy looking at like pictures and frames, and desk objects that will just make you happy looking at them! I have a rock my daughter painted and a little sculpture my kids made on my desk and it makes me happy when I look at them while I work. Also think about adding a plant to your work space. Studies show that plants help to not only clean the air in our workspace but also help us stay healthy by reducing sickness and stress, be more productive, and more comfortable too!
During these uncertain times we just don’t know how long this will last or how long many of us will need to stay home or work from home. I’m hoping these tips will help you in setting up a home office that works for you during these difficult times.
Stay home, be safe, and keep healthy.