Still Working From Home? Here are Some Great Ideas for Your Home Office

 

Working from home has always been a dream for many people. Making your own hours, being able to schedule work time and family time from the comfort of home… it was a perk that, until recently, most companies just didn’t offer.

All of that changed, of course, with the arrival of a worldwide pandemic. Many companies were forced to allow their employees to work from home. In fact, these companies are beginning to realize that allowing their employees to work from home not only saves them money in the long run, but makes the employee happy and, therefore, more loyal and productive.

As for the employee, most have never worked from home before, so they might not have been as prepared as they could’ve been when it comes to setting up a home office. Having an office space where you can work effectively doesn’t mean you need to add a room or convert part of the basement. It can be easy and inexpensive.

If you’re still using a chair at the kitchen counter, or a laptop on your actual lap, here are some helpful suggestions.

Look for the natural lighting – Natural light is easier on the eyes and lamp light. Move a desk or table closer to the window to allow you to embrace the natural light and still be able to look up and enjoy a change of view now and then.

Be conscious of ergonomics – The kitchen chair or and recliner may sound comfortable for work, but neither offers proper support for your back or overall posture. A good, supportive chair with a small footrest would be ideal. Also, make sure you’re not looking down at your computer screen, as this will put stress on your neck. Have your screen at eye level, even if it means putting a few hardcover books under your screen.

Make it mellow – Move the pile of household bills or that basket of laundry to another location. Move the printer to another room. Make your space as comfortable and focus-friendly as you can. A potted plant can add some welcome greenery (most help clean the air, too!), and a few photos of family can make your space more enjoyable.

Take regular breaks – You would at work, wouldn’t you? Being home, you might be tempted to not look at the clock and just keep plugging away. But breaks are important, not only for your mind, but for your body, if you’ve been sitting in one position for too long. Get up, stretch, walk around the house (or, even better, go for a walk and breathe in some fresh air). Breaks are important to take your mind off the work, if only for a little while.

Keep things handy – Office supplies, coffee, whatever! If you use it or consume it during the work day, keep plenty handy. No one wants to have to stop to run to the office supply store or the grocery store if they’re on a deadline. By knowing what you’ll need for your day’s work in advance, there will be no need to panic.

If, however, you do have the time, money and space to renovate a room into a working home office, there are few things to consider. First you much make a plan. Decide which room or space would make the best workspace for you.

Before adding the suggestions above, you’ll need to think about slightly more-expensive changes, like possibly adding new LED lighting (especially if natural light isn’t available), picking out a wall paint color (if it’s a small space, neutral tones are always best; anything bold or bright can be a distraction); and even new flooring (you’ll want something that’s easy to clean, and that allows furniture or chairs to move around easily).

Creating a dedicated room or space to your home office will allow you more focus and fewer distractions. It will also help in keeping a separation between “work” life and “home” life, even while they happen to exist under the same roof.

About Ann Luongo

Ann Luongo is the Marketing Writer and Lifestyle Reporter for CapeCod.com, and has been writing for Cape Cod and South Shore publications for over 15 years.



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