Working from home has become the “new norm” since Covid-19 spread across the globe. With so many people forced to work from remote locations, more people than ever before are converting an area in their house into a place of work. Recent studies have shown that over 65 percent of people are more productive working remotely, so even when the pandemic is over, a lot of businesses will encourage their employees to work from home.
Working in a healthy environment is important, so you will want to be able to create a space that helps you get your workload done without feeling distracted. If there isn’t already an office in your home, you will want to find the perfect place to set up. Having the proper equipment on hand that allows you to get your remote work done is also crucial.
What Type of Desks and Chairs Do I Need?
If your office equipment looks modern, it doesn’t mean it is comfortable. If you haven’t yet spent your hard-earned money on new office equipment, keep in mind that you will be spending hours staring at screens in the office. Having the right equipment will help you increase productivity.
- Chair: Some people will spend almost half of their day sitting on their office chair, so you will want to invest in a chair that you find comfortable. Although it might be tempting to invest in a cheaper model online, consider purchasing a chair from your local furniture or office store instead. This will give you the opportunity to try the chair before you buy it. You can pick up a standard office chair for as little as $50, but you might want to consider pushing the boat out a little further. At the end of the day, you will be sitting on it for hours almost every single day. That doesn’t mean you have to invest in a high-end model for over $1,000, but purchasing a quality chair might prove to be a worthwhile investment.
- Standing Desk: Sitting down for extended periods can have a terrible impact on your health, which is why so many people are investing in standing desks. These are tall desks that allow you to work while you are standing. If you want to go down this road, try to find a standing desk where you can adjust the height. High-end models sometimes can convert into a sit-down desk too. If you want to save some cash, consider making a standing desk yourself. You can use old wood or metal, get some power tools from websites like MontiPower, and make your own stand-up desk for a fraction of the price of commercial models.
To reduce the risk of damage while sitting at your desk for long hours, you should take a break and stretch every forty minutes or so. Make sure that both your back and your neck are straight when sitting or standing at your desk, plus, your arms must be parallel to the floor. Keep in mind that slouching can have a devastating impact on your physical health.
How To Choose A Workspace
If you have a limited amount of space in your home, you might not have many options available. If you live in a bigger house, try to find an area that lets you do the following:
- Make conference calls in private: Business calls are very important, so you will want to be able to speak with someone in silence. Find a peaceful area where you won’t get distracted.
- Meetings: Is there an area in your room where you could welcome people for private meetings?
- Can small children and pets gain access to the room?
- Is there a lot of storage in the room?
If you are constantly changing places where you work from inside your home, you can expect to be less productive. A well-ventilated room with the appropriate temperature control will do the trick. Preferably, find an area in the building that gets lots of natural light. If you get plenty of natural light during the day, you will sleep better at nighttime, which will help you stay positive and full of energy throughout a long day of work. If the room isn’t in an area where there is no natural light, consider investing in some LED lights.
Papers, pens, and other bits and pieces can create clutter in your work area, which can impact productivity. If you find yourself rearranging your office on a regular basis, it’s probably time you invest or make some storage areas. Having everything organized will allow you to find your favorite pen, the stapler, or your smartphone almost immediately. Every item should be stored in a specific place, so drawers, shelves, and baskets are a must.
You don’t have to spend a fortune on new storage areas. Instead, why not get some old wood and make a shelf yourself, or find an old sheet of metal, (you might need to clean it first and do some mill scale removal) and set it up in your new office.
If everything in your office is organized correctly, you won’t have to spend too long looking for things, instead, you can focus on your workload. If you are moving into an office in your home that you or somebody else used in the past, it might be worth starting from scratch. Clear everything out of the office, even if there are items you will be using in your new office, and start again.
Organize a Family Meeting
Although many workers have found themselves more productive working from home, others have found it challenging. Most family members aren’t used to people working in their house, so you might want to consider setting down some ground rules. If you are making an important call, the last thing you will want is young children making noise or someone listening to loud music. Here are a few things you should discuss with your family before you start working from your new home office:
- Who takes care of the children: If both you and your partner are working from home, consider alternating care for the kids. The same goes for walking and feeding the dog, or taking care of an elderly family member.
- Do not disturb: Explain to the children that you need to focus on your work at all times, so they must not disturb you during working hours.
- Nap times for young children: You might be able to schedule important phone calls and video meetings at the same time your child is taking his or her nap. By doing so, you will be able to work in complete silence.
Work can be challenging, especially if your kids are constantly disturbing you. However, your children can help you around the office from time to time. Ask them to help you clear your desk, or clean the floor.
Being organized will help you stay productive during work hours. If there is a mountain of paperwork beside your desk, or you are sitting on uncomfortable chairs, you can’t expect to make a lot of progress. Luckily, you are not alone during these unprecedented times, so there is lots of office equipment readily available that can be used at home.
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