More companies have opened up to remote jobs in the wake of the global pandemic. With such advancements comes more opportunities for people to take advantage of more flexible working options.
Employers need the same amount of work productivity as those working from the office. Whether you have found your dream job or not, and you have a space that you could convert into a home office, here are tips to get you started to create a good office environment right from home.
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Select A Dedicated Space
Some people are lucky to have an extra room to set up their office space, making it easy to seclude themselves from the rest of the home occupants. However, not having an extra room should not cause you to worry since you can separate a small section of a large room into your home office.
Do not let an awkward and unusable space like landings or hallways deter you from setting up one. It can be an unused corner, under the staircase, attic, dining room, etc. The essential thing is to set up a permanent separation from the rest of the home activities to help you focus and keep your mind at work.
Have A Floor Plan
Just like you would plan out your wider home, you should also think about how to layout your home office. If you are frequently welcoming clients into your home office, ensure that it is welcoming, easy to clean, and durable.
Many home offices have vinyl, wood, or laminate flooring. You have a wide range of design possibilities that you can choose from that suit your budget. Above all, pick the perfect floors that easily blend with your style.
You will not need to do further privacy enhancements if you already have a dedicated space. However, if you have secluded a small area in the corner of a big room in your home, you will need to add some measures to prevent distractions.
Privacy dividers will come in handy for such a setup. If you have clients visiting you, that will also be an ideal meeting spot instead of the living room.
It is no wonder that most people who sit at desks all day suffer from long-term spine problems. The origin of this breeds from using the wrong furniture to do your job. It is easy to want to save up and pick up one of the dining table chairs, but that is certainly not an appropriate move.
Invest in comfortable ergonomic office furniture that offers a comfy working position and keeps your back aligned. While looking for an office chair, look out for the following factors:
- Seat Height – It should be adjustable, and the height should range from around 16-21 inches off the floor to allow the feet on the floor.
- Offer Lumbar support – It should support the spine’s natural curve to prevent stress to the spine and pelvis.
- Armrest – This allows your shoulders to relax and reduces overall arm movement.
- Wheels – This helps you navigate better
- Material – Should have enough padding to enhance comfortability.
The same applies when choosing a working desk. Consider the following things before picking one:
- Type of work, especially if you will be sitting or standing most of the time
Ensure that your health is well-taken care of when selecting your office furniture. Remember that your comfort is equal to your job productivity.
Plan for Visitors
Will you have client visits in your usual work routine? If so, you should separate your office from the living room, if possible, to prevent distractions. If your space allows, purchase comfy upholstered chairs and a coffee table to hold your meetings.
Alternatively, you can add two chairs that you can easily pull to your desk to hold those meetings. If you have many clients stopping by, set up a waiting area away from the busy areas of the other home occupants with comfortable seating and enjoyable material like books to divert attention as they wait for you.
Plan for Storage
Storage is a significant challenge for most office setups due to limited space. However, this is not a reason for allowing clutter or leaving sensitive documents lying around.
First, consider your day-to-day workflow and where everything gets stored once you have finished working with it. Most remote jobs only need a laptop, a few office supplies, and a few paper files.
Like the office, ensure that your home office space has a lockable cabinet for sensitive documents, especially if it’s a shared space. If you have limited space, maximize on other storage options like utilizing vertical storage, buying furniture with built-in storage spaces, digitizing paper storage, etc.
The main rule is to ensure that your work desk is always clear of any clutter, and the only things that should be on your desk are related to your work. If possible, dedicate a small area for your work items only. Doing this shows organization and prevents the rest of the household occupants from interfering with your work items.
Add Good Lighting
Despite using laptops or computers to get the work done, you still need sufficient lighting. First, if possible, position your desk near the window to get as much natural light as you can during the day and liven up your space.
It would be best if you never strained as you work since it makes you unproductive. If your office space does not get sufficient lighting, include mirrors to reflect more light into your room.
Alternatively, if your office space lets in too much light, consider using clever window treatment methods to reduce the light glare. These days, you can seamlessly add blinds or shutters to existing windows to help you control the light. Besides, they are also a stylish addition compared to curtains since they do not make the wall look too dark.
Overhead ceiling lighting should provide overall good general lighting during the night to the room. You can add a pair of floor lamps placed in the dark corners of the room to add extra light to your space. A desk lamp can also come in handy when you need additional lighting for your desk.
Overall, a good electrician should survey the room where you need to add extra lighting and ensure that whichever type of lighting you opt for is not harsh to the eyes.
Manage The Cords
It is unlikely that you will not use technology to run your job for most remote jobs. Therefore, it is easy to make the room messy with hanging cords from your Wi-Fi router, charges, printers, etc. However, with the technological advancements, it is possible to take control of this right from the start by doing these things:
- Buy a wireless printer and mouse.
- Opt for the wireless router- If you get a wired router, ensure that the installation specialist adds some cord covers to them.
- Add grommet holes in the back corners of your desk to hide and direct the cords from electronic devices to outlets below.
Going cableless from the beginning may be costly, but it enhances neatness and prevents unnecessary safety hazards.
Add Personal Touches
Unlike your boss’s office space, here you have the freedom to add whatever enhancements that you feel match your taste. More so, think about what inspires you or affects your level of motivation.
You can add a favorite piece of art of a lovely painting or, with an inspirational quote, add a unique paint color, plants, photos, etc. Besides that, you can also add visual interest to the floors by adding an extra layer of carpeting to add a pop of color. If this décor fits perfectly in your space and does not make it look cluttered, then why not use it?
Add Heating Solutions
We only think of the cold during the cold seasons, but if you have decided to focus on remote jobs, this only means that you are in this for the long term.
Therefore, you need long-term solutions. If you converted the garage, attic, or basement into your office space, you would need efficient and pocket-friendly solutions primarily for the cold seasons.
Electric radiators are most suited in setups that do not have plumbing or heat sources. Choose a modern radiator that senses when the windows are shut or open and adjust accordingly. You will not need a specialist to mount it up, making it another cost-effective solution.
Have A Backup of Supplies
Planning for all the things you need in your home office will save you from unexpected extra costs in the future. Ensure that you have additional office supplies of small but frequently used essential accessories like pens, paper clips, folders, printer ink, staple, etc.
Stocking up on these supplies is cost-effective, especially from an office specialty store. Repurpose mugs, cups, or vases to store your utility items. Most importantly, do not forget to have power surge protectors and backup discs in case of a power outage.
Setting up a home office can be challenging and expensive. However, you will not have to worry about your productivity if the setup is done right from its onset.
About the Author
Jenn Walker is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast, and avid beachgoer operating out of Southern New Jersey.