If you have ever thought about WFH or working from home, you may have worried that you would waste a lot of time. The chance that you will daydream or become drawn to clean the windows instead of getting that project completed might seem high.
Being able to work from home efficiently is partly about routines and discipline but a lot to do with the layout of your home office environment. While we can’t do too much to help you to shower and get dressed before your Zoom meeting, we can help you set up a space that will appear professional.
Here we offer some of the best tips and ideas – and help you avoid some of the most common mistakes.
Shaping your space
Before you can make decisions about your office space, you need to decide how it will be used. If you are the only person going into the room, then you can make it as comfortable and cosy as you like. However, if you are going to meet with clients or you are going to be on conference calls, you are going to need to appear professional. Before you can decide on the equipment and set up, you have to consider how formal the space will have to be.
When people first start working from home, people make many mistakes. For instance, people think they can work with the television on or radio blaring out. Separating home fun and relaxation from your workspace will make you more efficient.
People also tend to forget storage space and choose a room that will be far too small in the long run. Doing anything on the cheap with your home office will be a false saving. For instance, working with inferior technology will lead to inefficiencies.
Now you have made some decisions about the type of work you will be doing, and you have worked to avoid making those common mistakes, you can start to consider the design finery for your space.
Choose a room away from where you live. A table in the corner of your lounge might seem a good idea, but why ruin your living space and why make your working life hard. You need somewhere where you can get some privacy and lock the cat out when it insists on walking over your keyboard. Don’t choose your crummiest space. Give yourself a chance of liking being in this room.
Then, you should start with your basic needs. You will need a desk, a laptop, and a chair. You will probably need a printer and a phone of some kind. You should also consider the specific equipment for your work, such as a drafting table for an artist. Be clear on your needs and get these objects first.
Get yourself some storage units. You do not want to disappear under a sea of paperwork. You may have chosen the smallest room in the house, so you will need to be smart with your storage choices. Make use of every part of the room and get furniture that does more than one thing.
You also need to consider the lighting. Too much artificial light can lead to headaches and low mood. So, first, consider how natural light can pour into the room. You should then look to buy high-quality light, so you can get a boost of energy while you work.
Go ergonomic! Poor posture and repetitive actions can cause you physical stress. So, the best chair, a desk at the right height, and a mat for your wrist are essential. If you have professional equipment, you will also have the right mentality when you start to work. The best way to prompt a working mindset is to get dressed in the right clothes, the next best way is to go to a room that makes you feel like you are at work.
More than anything – make your office space somewhere where you can enjoy being. Put out some of those decorative items that will make it a pleasant place to be.
Some essential principles
To make working from home work, you need to remember some crucial points:
- Decide on how you will use your space and get the essentials
- Keep your home life and your work life separate
- Find ways to make your working life feel professional by designing it to be a little formal and to take away some of the day-to-day distractions
- Establish your work routines
- End you word at a set time – and don’t take work out of your workspace.