2020 is the year of working from home. With the coronavirus pandemic restricting all travel, and workplaces shutting their doors across the country, millions of people have been forced to work remotely until the government allows them to return to the office.
For many people, this is almost a blessing in disguise. Some personality types thrive on the freedom and flexibility that comes with remote working. You can start and finish work according to your own schedule, you can be around your family all day, you save money on train fares, and you don’t have a micromanaging boss breathing down your neck. There are many benefits to working from home, but for some people, it’s not such an attractive option. Many workers rely on the structure, deadlines and close management that comes with working in an office and struggle to motivate themselves to work on their own terms. Additionally, they might live with flatmates or noisy children who make focused work an impossibility.
Whether you love or hate working from home, one thing is universal. You need an adequate workspace to do so effectively. If your work environment is disorganised, uncomfortable, and full of distractions, you will not be as productive as you’d like to be. Since the trend of remote working is likely to continue after COVID-19 is no longer a threat, you will want to have the perfect home office set-up to ensure you can continue to work well when not in the office.
With this in mind, here is a guide for anyone who works remotely to create the perfect home office.
Find the right space
First things first, you will need to allocate an area of your home to become your designated workspace. Although sitting up in your bed with a laptop on your knees might be comfortable, it’s not going to put you in the right frame of mind for getting work done. This step will ultimately depend on the size and layout of your house, as well as the other people you live with. Perhaps you have a room that is already designated as a study, or maybe you will just set up shop at the dining room table. If you have the time and the budget, you could even convert a garage or attic into a fully-equipped home office. If you’re going down this route, check out this guide to loft conversions for tips. What is crucial is that you pick the area of your home with the fewest distractions and least impact on other members of the household.
Invest in the right equipment
Now that you have your space, you will need to fill it with furniture and office equipment. The two most important things you will need are a chair and a desk. You will be sitting in your chair for several hours a day, so it needs to be comfortable. Of course, you could use whatever chairs you have in your home, but if they are the wrong height or don’t offer adequate support, it is worthwhile to invest in an ergonomic office chair for optimum comfort. Your desk should also be the perfect height for you to write or work at your computer. Depending on your line of work, you will also have to invest in any technology, hardware, or software you need to do your job.
Keep it organised
You don’t want your workspace to be cluttered and disorganised. A tidy workplace creates a tidy mind. Have an allocated place for everything and invest in some storage solutions to keep your papers and equipment neatly organised. At the end of the workday, take five minutes to clean up your desk and get everything ready for the next morning.
Make it personal
You want your workplace to have some character and make you feel happy. Once you have filled it with all the necessary items, it’s time to imprint your personality upon it. You can decorate it with whatever colour scheme and style you like, and add personal items like photos, gadgets and toys to suit your mood. Add plants and lighting to create the right atmosphere, and you’re ready to go!
Establish a routine
With your new office set up, all that’s left to do is make sure you are working to the best of your abilities. When your home and your office are in the same place, it can be difficult to draw a line between the two. Remote workers can often end up working into the early hours because they’ve neglected to implement any structure into their working habits. To prevent your personal life seeping into your professional life and vice versa, you will need to establish a firm working routine. Set a fixed time to start and end each day, with regular breaks in between. Outside this time, refrain from working or checking emails and instead focus on your family, hobbies and personal projects.