Working from home is slowly becoming mainstream even though the locked down being relaxed around the world. Health advisors have advised not to bring the whole staff to the office at the same time. That means you still have to work from home at least two days a week. The locked down period has made many individuals and organizations realize the upside of working from home. On the other hand we have not yet come out of the pandemic danger. We are just trying to find ways to live with it. Therefore it is safe to predict that work from home is going to be the new normal. That means you need a home office. Let me give you 5 tips to setup your own home office that you will fall in love with.
Pick the Furniture You Need
I suggest you pick your guest room or clean up the store room to setup your home office. If you try to use the living room or the dining table, you will have lot of distractions to deal with. You are just going to get annoyed and annoy your family members with this. It can be a temporary solution but not long term. Then select the furniture you need carefully. You are going to need a table which is spacious enough to keep your laptop, a multi functional photocopier, few documents, a note book, your coffee mug etc. You need a comfortable chair probably with good back support and armrest. Pick a shelf to store your documents. If you have a closet in guest room, use that. Having a nice and neat bookshelf behind your table can be a nice background for your video conferences as well. I also suggest you keep an additional comfortable chair (cushioned) and a coffee table where you can use to take a quick thinking break.
Re-decorate the Surrounding
It is best to use a warm wall color which is not too distracting. I prefer brilliant white. Make sure you do not have any unnecessary furniture, wall hangings, shoe racks, cloth hangers or even other documents and files which are not relevant to your work. It’s very important for the room to be well ventilated unless your room is air-conditioned. Open the windows and set up your work table in such a way you can see outside the window. Place your bookshelf behind the work table and chair within an easy distance to reach. Setup your comfy chair and coffee table next to the window where you have a pleasant relaxing view. Keep the door closed if you are getting disturbed by others at home, but try to keep the door open as and when possible, so that you will not feel cranky. Keep few family pictures or something you love to see on the table or hang them on the wall. It’s much better if you can also have an indoor plant to make you feel nice.
Be Fully Equipped.
It will be distracting if you have to go to your living room or kids’ room, every time you need some stationary. Have an adequate stock of stationary in your home office. A4 sheets, pens, highlighters, document folders, ruler, calculator, note books, puncher, stapler, note pads, sticky notes, a white board and marker pens are few things I can think of. This depends of the work you do. It is wise to have a durable multi function photocopier so that do not have to run to the city now and then to take copies, scan documents or to send faxes. You can do document scanning with your smart phone as well. If your work is mostly online and digitized, this won’t be necessary. Again depend on your work requirements.
Clean, Neat, Bright Room with Fragrance.
I cannot stress enough about the cleanliness. Your home office should be a place you want to spend eight to nine hour daily. In your work place you must have had cleaning staff. In your home office you are on your own. Keep it neat and clean. There is no harm on having a nice air freshener or a diffuser with your favorite essential oil. A Soothing aroma of your liking itself will make you feel like working. Pay attention to lighting of the room. Your guest room is designed as a bed room and probably the lighting would have that ambiance. Change this and make sure your room is well lit and suitable for a work environment.
Set the Ground Rules.
Now you have set up your perfect home office. It’s time to set some ground rules. Establish the concept of home office with your family members. Make sure your kids understand that once you are in your home office, you should not be disturbed. You have to set the examples. Try to dress differently before you go to your home office. This can be helpful if you need to have frequent video conferences and also it will set the mood for you and your family. Don’t have your meals in your home office. After all you are at home. There is nothing wrong taking advantage of it. Have your meals with your family and spend some time with them. This will help you to take a break from work. If you really need, keep some snacks in your home office. Also if you are coffee lover consider having a coffee maker too.
COVID-19 pandemic attacked us without giving any warning. However human beings are resilient by nature. We will always find our way. Having your own home office is becoming a necessity to face the situation and it is more likely to become a part of our lives. Best you can do is being ready. Make sure you are ten times more productive working from home. Setup your own home office and fall in love with it.
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