The COVID-19 epidemic has affected the way people live their everyday lives, with many schools and companies choosing to go online to adapt to the “new normal.” If you’re used to the company of colleagues and the office environment, it may be tough to stay productive when telecommuting.
So, how do you bring the workspace to your living space? It’s simple: make an “office” right at home!
If you’re ready and willing to take the steps to a better frame of mind, there’s no better place to start. This guide to help you work from home during COVID will walk you through creating the perfect home office to boost your productivity.
Pick a dedicated work area
One of the best tips for remote work is to find a place to call your home office. With a dedicated work area in your home, you can create a physical reminder of where home ends and work begins. An ideal work area should be one where you can set up all the things you need for the job and sit undisturbed for the day.
If you live with other people, consider consulting with them to find a space that is amenable to everyone. Other considerations include access to an internet connection, sources of light, and other features that can either make or break your concentration.
Establish your desk space
Once you’ve established where your home office is going to be, it’s time to set up your desk space. When working from home, a desk is more than just a flat surface to rest your documents and laptop on. Instead, this is the central hub for everything you need for your shift—charging strip, pens and papers, file drawers, and so on.
It’s good to stick to the essentials, but don’t be afraid to spruce things up with some decor or aesthetically-pleasing storage and organization solutions. Finally, keep things neat and orderly for a clutter-free space.
Pair it with a comfy chair
Remote work usually means spending hours working on a computer. Couple that with the necessary quarantine during this pandemic, and you’ll find yourself sitting in a chair for most, if not, all of your waking hours.
An ideal comfy chair should have the right amount of cushion to avoid a sore behind and be ergonomic. The last thing you want is a chair that doesn’t promote healthy posture, leading to even more aches that get in the way of your work.
Get the right kind of lighting
Having ample light is a must for any workspace. The wrong kind of lighting can lead to eye strain and fatigue, which can hinder your productivity. Getting plenty of natural light is a sure way to build a good home office and increase your productivity.
However, if natural lighting is limited or you work at night, a task lamp on your desk or mounted on the wall can function just as well.
Aside from the physical boundaries that you create by establishing a home office, you need to be able to set mental boundaries, as well. This means keeping work things contained in the home office and within your established working hours.
Resist the temptation to check emails or make edits once you’ve clocked out. If you live with other people, consider establishing ground rules to limit the non-work tasks and interactions while you’re on the clock.
Invest in a good headset
Often, telecommuting tips will tell you to prepare yourself for more frequent calls and videoconferences. This means more than just setting your expectations for the day—having the proper equipment for calls and videos can make all the difference in your digital experience.
A good headset with a microphone delivers quality sound, helping you avoid technical problems and promoting clearer communication. Additionally, a headset can provide you with a way to filter out or completely block any distracting outside noise.
When working from a more relaxed environment like your home, you may find yourself more susceptible to distractions.
Log out of your social media platforms and install productivity software on your computer or device to limit your access to sites that aren’t work-related. Consider developing a work schedule that allows frequent breaks to let your mind rest without interfering with your tasks.
Make it your own
When you create your home office, it’s easy to get caught up in trying to make the space look professional. At the end of the day, what matters is that your home office is designed for your specific needs.
Take this opportunity to own the space and add personal touches to it. Decorate your desk with pictures of your loved ones, a collage of things that inspire you to work, or even items that express your taste and sense of style.
As research and treatment are ongoing to help flatten the curve, the “new normal” isn’t going anywhere for a long while. With these steps, your home office will be the perfect space to focus on your work and get the job done. The best part? Even when quarantine ends and the curve is successfully flattened, your home office will still be there when you need it.
Oscar Florea is a content contributor for Avida’s lifestyle blog Pursuit of Passion. He is an engineer by profession but a multipotentialite by destiny. Just like a normal dude in a basketball-crazy country, one of his passions is shooting hoops.