Is Your Home Office Ready For The Long-Haul?
For many of us, the home office was probably set up recently, with quite a bit of haste and little deep consideration about what was needed beyond a strong internet connection, access to our work folders and a reliable laptop or computer. We’re running on the basics. And while that will do us fine for a while, it’s worthwhile thinking about what our home office should look like for the long-term if we want to keep inspired, healthy and productive.
4 Steps to the Ideal Home Office
To effectively settle into WFH life — whether your “office” is a corner, a kitchen table or an entire room –, there are four steps every home-worker should follow to create the perfect workspace.
1. Find Your Location
You may have recently found yourself wandering your home trying to figure out which part of the house has the perfect “work vibe”. While that may sound silly, location is extremely important to keeping focussed and distraction-free. Perhaps you had a scarcely used home-office and then realised that this dark room does not inspire productivity on a full-time basis.
It’s time to either give that space a makeover — set up lighting and get rid of any clutter to ensure you’re going to stay awake and focussed –, or find a different spot to set up.
2. Honour Thy Space
Once you’ve found your spot, honour it. If you have a desk and spare room, be sure to keep that space 100% for your work. Set up your pens and whatever else you need and keep it tidy and welcoming, so it’s easy to get into work each morning.
If you don’t have the luxury of a separate space just for your work, then you can try to set up a permanent fixture somewhere and follow the guidelines above, or (if you’re just working with a laptop and not much else) you can create this space each morning when you get into you workday. Clearing it and setting it back up does wonders for the psyche to avoid feeling like your work and personal life are encroaching too much on one another.
3. Consider Ergonomics
It may not feel like a top priority just yet, however, you’re probably soon going to miss those swanky office chairs and adjustable monitors that your company spent a fortune on to keep you away from the chiropractor.
Worksafe Queensland has written an excellent, detailed page on how to set up an ergonomic workspace. These are the basics that everyone should prioritise:
- Set up your computer monitor so that you do not need to tilt or arch your head or back
- If you use a laptop, use a separate full-sized keyboard, mouse and monitor to ensure the above
- Adjust your chair to suit you, including the seat height and tilt, lumbar support and backrest position.
4. Play With Flexibility
While you’re working from home, take the opportunity to explore the productivity hacks that have been floating about in the tech world for ages. Try napping for 20-40 minutes if you’re brain-fried, try getting up every hour for a little stretch, try doing different work activities in different places if you’re not feeling the work vibes from your desk all day.
Imagine you’re at the coolest co-working space in town; you have nap pods, yoga mats and flexible seating. The traditional office is gone (for now). So why not experiment with new tactics to see what gets you operating at your best?