Setting Up Your “New Normal” Home Office
If you’re like many working Americans, you may have found yourself working remotely at home in an effort to stave off the spread of the pandemic. Further, it’s estimated that once it’s safe for workers to head back into their offices, there will be 25-30% of workers that continue to work from home indefinitely.
If you’ve set up shop temporarily but are finding that your home office is going to be your new normal, consider these important guidelines when settling in for the long haul at home.
Your office space needs to be an environment that fosters focus and concentration, while making it easy to get your work done. Find a place with little to no distractions. Ensure that there are plenty of outlets for your electronics, and of course, a reliable internet connection. Lighting is key and a source of natural light is generally preferred. A desk lamp or floor lamp will also prove useful for those nights you’re burning the midnight oil. If you’ve found yourself on Zoom video conferences on any regular basis, take the time and effort to situate yourself in front of a pleasant background, ensure your camera angle is either eye height or slightly higher (laptop risers come in handy here), and invest in proper lighting designed specifically for video calls, such as the LED Lume Cube that attaches to your monitor.
If your chair isn’t comfortable, your desk isn’t the right height, your computer monitor isn’t positioned comfortably, or the lighting in your space is causing eye strain; how many hours can you work like that until your body begins complaining? Perhaps most important is your desk chair. Invest in a top-of-the-line chair that is designed to give hours and hours of comfort and support day in and day out. For your desk and monitor, you need to ensure that you don’t have to hunch over, you’re able to have normal head tilt while working, and that your elbows, feet, and back are in a comfortable, natural position.
Are you a stacker or a filer? If you generally work with files and papers at the ready on your desk, find ways to keep it all organized such as desktop filing systems or trays to corral your paperwork. If you prefer a pristine desktop, have plenty of drawers and cabinets to store your files and office supplies. Lastly, be sure to tame your inevitable bundle of cords with cable clips and cord catchers.
Don’t forget to create a workspace that either jazzes you up and makes it a joy to work or calms and soothes you in an effort to foster focus and concentration. No matter your preferred work environment, make sure it just plain feels good to you. Consider the paint color on your walls, the accessories you choose, and the overall “mood” that your room conveys.