How To Set Up the Perfect Home Office for Remote Work
In a post-pandemic world, working remotely is more prominent than ever. What may have originally seemed like a short-term solution may now be the new norm for many types of employment. Makeshift home offices will likely not make the cut long-term in terms of staying organized, productive, and healthy. To retain an at-home work atmosphere that is supportive of both productivity and well-being, ensure your space is set up for success in the following areas:
- Prioritize and Pick a Space
While pulling a chair up to the kitchen table may have made sense as a temporary work solution during the initial Covid-19 lockdowns, it is likely not a viable way to stay on top of your priorities in the long haul. Identify the elements that are most important to your personal productivity and pick a dedicated workspace to eliminate the potential for distraction.
- Separate Home and Work Matters
The most crucial, and perhaps the most difficult, part of staying on-task while working remotely is to stop yourself from getting sidetracked by home-related matters. Not only will your location matter in this regard, but also the separation between your personal and work-related documents. To prevent getting caught up rummaging through bills or reminiscing on birthday cards, compartmentalize your work environment accordingly.
- Support Your Team with Software
The structure of your online workspace is equally as vital to your success as the organization of your physical office. Coworker collaborations that occur in a virtual work environment can be a lot less fruitful than face-to-face interactions if you lack the proper tools. Utilizing fitting software solutions will allow you to work together in a way that is not only comparable to, but may exceed your in-person team-working abilities.
- Equip and Stock Your Office
To set yourself up for comfort and efficiency, ensure you get all the necessary equipment. Start off by equipping your workspace with cabinets, a calendar, and a desk and chair that support good posture. A strong wifi connection is a must, and you may also want to get noise-canceling headphones if others will be in your home throughout the day. To secure your data, employ surge protectors, an uninterruptible power supply, and an external hard drive. It is also smart to stock up on office supplies, so you’ll never have to stop in the middle of a roll.
- Choose a Supportive Color Scheme
To help yourself stay ‘in the zone’ day-in and day-out, determine what kind of push you generally need and choose paint and decor in colors that facilitate it. While colors like blue and green will help you stay centered and calm, yellow elicits a more energized and optimistic vibe. Brighter colors, such as red or orange, are generally a little too intense for a home office, as they are known to distract and put people on edge.
- Optimize Your Lighting and Temperature
Lighting and temperature are particularly influential to the atmosphere of a space. If you are in the process of remodeling or renovating your home, you may want to opt for a bigger window to let in more light, or potentially swap out your siding for one that will keep your office at the perfect temperature. Although natural light has been found to be most conducive to a full day of well-mannered productivity, it may be necessary to use artificial lighting in certain spaces. If this is the case, avoid fluorescent bulbs as they can cause drowsiness.
- Maintain Your Mood and Inspiration
To elevate your mind state and inspire yourself to keep moving forward at a steady pace, set the mood of your office up for personal success. Remote workers who are buying or building a new home should make finding or designing an uplifting and functional home office space a high priority. If you need to make do with what you already have, motivating music and mementos are a great way to stay on top of your game.
- Dress for Success Daily
It has been proven that the clothes we wear affect the way we feel, so to evoke an air of professionalism, dress yourself for success on a daily basis. It may be tempting to lounge around in your pajamas when you are working in your own home, but it would be a better idea to buy comfy clothes that are suitable for a surprise video call from clients or corporate. Look at it this way: You are likely saving a whole lot of time by foregoing a daily commute, so the least you can do is get dressed!
- Stay Serene with Greenery
By bringing a little nature to your office, you can reduce your exposure to both toxic external substances and harmful internal secretions such as cortisol. Studies have shown that the presence of plants in your work environment will not only have you breathing cleaner, more richly oxygenated air, but also reduce your stress levels. It is best to choose types that require minimal care so they don’t steal attention away from your work.
- Support Your Spine
Your career should support your livelihood, thus it defeats its own purpose if it takes a toll on your health. To combat aches and pains, furnish your office with ergonomic, adjustable furniture. In particular, pay close attention to how the height of your table and the curvature of your chair affect your spine’s positioning. In addition to reducing strain on your body, take good care of your eyes by using anti-glare screen protectors and wearing eyewear that blocks the damaging effects of blue light.
- Stock Up on Snacks
A stock of water and healthy snacks in your office will help support both your workload and physical well-being. Keep quick and nutritious foods on hand to ensure you don’t forget to eat, keep your mind fueled for optimal productivity, and save precious time. Hydration is perhaps the most important part of overall health and vitality, so keeping a steady supply of clean water is a must. To avoid a mid-day slump, try to limit your intake of sugary drinks and caffeine and instead encourage yourself to take advantage of this water source by making it as convenient to access as possible.
- Keep Track of Time
Whether you tend to get lost in your work or lost in what is supposed to be a quick look at Facebook, keeping track of time is especially essential when you are working from home. Some ideas to combat this would be to keep a clock in view and set various timers to make sure you take breaks and keep them at an acceptable length. Statistics suggest that remote workers tend to work longer hours than those in a traditional office, so to prevent burnout, set limits for yourself and stick to them.
As we enter a new era of remote work, it is important to foster personal work environments that are both healthy and helpful to our careers. Make the most of your newfound freedom by setting up your ideal office space in the comfort of your own home.