If you have decided (voluntarily or otherwise) to work from home full time, you need to take into consideration how your office will be set up. Working from your couch for a few minutes checking your emails does not count as working from home. We are talking about spending all your time at home, on a typical day. Many people are stuck indoors during this pandemic and they have been forced to start working from home full time. It’s challenging for many people and mums have it tougher than most. The beauty of this is that you can plan your day as you see fit. In this article, we have offered you tips on how to create the perfect home office when working from home.
Ensure You Have The Right Equipment
Being in an office you have access to all of the required equipment, such as printers, photocopiers, laptops or a desktop pc, however if you are now looking at working from home full time, you may be able to borrow them from your office, or you may need to purchase them yourself, if this is the case you may want to consider buying them from pay monthly catalogues as a means of distributing the cost, rather than as one large financial hit, but I guess it depends on how long you will be working from home, if its going to be a long term arrangement, this may be something to consider, and if, like me, you have lots of teenagers the electrical equipment is always in use!
Location of the office matters
You should set up your office or working space in a location that minimises interruptions. When you are working from home, there will be no shortage of distractions. If possible, set aside a room to be your home office. If you do not have much space, designate and dedicate one area in your house as your home office. Try to make sure you are a little removed from all the noise and distractions in the house.
Stock your office supplies nearby
We waste a lot of time moving up and down getting office supplies we use daily. You should make a note of whatever supplies you use daily and have these items close to you at all times. For instance, pens, pencils, notebooks, sketchbooks, and files you use frequently should be close to your desk. It saves you a lot of time and energy.
Make sure to keep your office space neat as this will improve your productivity levels. You can use mason jars, trays, or baskets to put your items. A clutter-free desk looks professional. You may also add a filing cabinet or paper organisers to keep everything neat and clean.
Prioritise your comfort
Just because you work from home does not mean you have to make sacrifices when it comes to comfort in your home office. You will be spending a lot of time here and it is important to make sure that you are comfortable. Most women just grab the dining room chair and use it as the office chair. This would work just right if you are not planning on spending too long in the office.
If you will spend a lot of time, you will need to invest in good office furniture. You can improvise on the desk but get a good ergonomic chair that will support your back for long hours without an issue. You need something that will make you feel comfortable enough to work for long hours without feeling any pain. When looking for an ergonomic chair, look for one which has a good backrest and armrest and height-adjustable.
Use a dedicated phone line for business
Do not use your mobile for business. Although this may mean that you are available as needed, it does not set the boundary between your work and personal life. As a working mum, you need your family as much as you need the work. Get a dedicated phone line for business and set up specific office working hours. When the day ends, you get to enjoy time with your family without worrying about being distracted by your clients.
Office lighting matters
Good lighting is critical when working from home, especially if you are in the graphic design business. It makes everything much brighter and brings in some warmth and life to your office space. If you do not have enough lighting in the space, get a desk lamp. There are affordable USB LED lamps that connect to your PC and illuminate your working space. Natural lighting would be better if possible as it reduces the strain on your eye, allowing you to work for long without getting uncomfortable. To keep everything calm and peaceful, you can consider playing white music in the background.
Personalise your space
You will be spending a lot of time in your home office so you better make the space as hospitable and welcome as possible. Decorate it your way. You can bring all the intimate items and everything you hold dear into this space. Just make sure you do not pile clutter. Houseplants and novelty items that hold special meaning to you would be great to have on your office desk or your file cabinets.
Keep your phone at an arm’s reach to prevent straining your neck or shoulder when taking or making a call. Your desk should be at the height where your arms form a 90 degrees angle when you are seated. Your posture should not be slouched to prevent straining your back.
Arrange your appliances appropriately
You do not have to be a master at hiding cables but you can try to get them out of your way, keeping your desk clean. If you prefer to work using a desktop PC, arrange the monitor in such a way that it is not too far from your face, and not too close either.
The recommended distance to place your monitor is an arm’s length away from your body. This ensures that there will be no straining or slouching. If you like to use two monitors when working, it is recommended to place them at an angle such that you can be able to see both of them at the same time without much straining.
Create a schedule
You will need to have a good schedule to be successful when working from home. Design one and take into consideration everything that takes your time and attention during the day. Plan the day to incorporate all the family obligations you might be having throughout the day. Make sure you slot in time to play with your kids during the day. your family also requires your attention as well.
Can you think of any more hints and tips to help ?
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