Working from home has its own unique set of benefits and challenges. I’ve had a home office for over 12 years and continue to relish the freedom of working in “sweats and baseball cap” when I don’t have meetings. I may be dressed comfortably, but I’m all business when working from home. The following tips were compiled to help you set up a home office that is both comfortable and work friendly.
- Location, Location, Location – If you don’t have space dedicated to a home office, allocate a specific spot that feeds your creativity and allows you to focus with minimal interruptions. Whether it’s your kitchen table or desk in a guest bedroom, create a space that enhances work performance.
- Cut the Clutter – We live in an electronic world, but papers, folders and publications are still part of everyday work. Don’t let them collect and take up valuable workspace. Make use of bins or a file cabinet to keep work organized. If this is a challenge for you, schedule time to purge files once/month or quarter.
- Plug-In – Adequate outlets are a must to keep us connected. Organize your workspace so that smartphone, laptop, printer, video monitor and other cords don’t create a wire hazard for your feet or water bottles. Repurpose a coffee mug to hold chargers when not in use.
- Virtual Meetings – Working remotely means lots of conference calls and video meetings. And that means your office space needs to be quiet and visually presentable. Turn down (or better, turn off) audio distractions. Using earbuds or headphones not only tunes out background noise but allows you to be better heard when on calls. For video conferencing, remember that everyone can see you and your work environment. Make sure your office space is tidy and not distracting.
- Protect your Posture – Working on a computer all day can create back and neck strain. Make sure that your workspace promotes good posture. Investing in a good desk chair with lumbar support is a must. Elevate your computer so that you can stand and work once or twice a day to relieve back or neck discomfort. And don’t forget to take a few five-minute breaks to walk around or stretch. Your body and mind will thank you.