In the last few months we had to adapt ourselves to this “new normality”, and among those things we also adapted to remote work, a modality that has already become as common as it is necessary.
Sometimes home office could be a little tricky as we find ourselves surrounded by distractions and we may feel that we are not as efficient as in our real office. For this reason, it is essential to create our own home office where we feel comfortable in order to daily give our very best.
Where to start?
Some people are lucky enough to have an office at home or a small space that they can adapt to be their home office with a door and all the essentials. However, there are people that are forced to prepare a space in the living room, their bedroom or even adapt themselves to work in the hall.
Whatever your case is it is essential to have certain things to adapt the space as good as possible. For example, you will need to have a table or desk, a chair, good lighting and good internet connection. Given the number of hours that you will be spending in your home office the place has to be strategic, so choose it wisely.
You will need to find a place that allows you to minimize the distractions. It is a big plus if the room has a door, if you don’t have it you can implement a physical boundary.
For example, you can put objects like photo frames, tablecloths or some décor that indicate your brain that this is your work area and that it is time to work. Just make sure you feel you have a specific space to work.
It is also necessary for you to establish a schedule just as if you were in your regular office. Do not mix home duties with work duties. Furthermore, you should talk with your family at home to set boundaries during your working hours, in this way you will have less distractions.
Finally, you should choose a place that is far from the tv and other sound sources.
Using your laptop could be a good idea at the beginning but without a mouse your hands will definitely suffer. The right gadgets can help you with productivity as you will feel more comfortable.
For example, you can get ergonomic technology like the mouse or the keyboard to take care of your hands. If you have meetings it would be a good idea to invest in a webcam if your monitor doesn’t have one already and, in a headset and speakerphone to not get distracted.
For the monitor you can work with the one that you have, including the one of your laptop, but if you want to stop straining your eyes you can acquire a monitor with a big screen.
Finally, if the internet doesn’t work as well in your work station as in other parts of the house you can buy a router and wireless extender.
At the beginning working at the couch with your computer on the lap may be kind of comfortable but is not the ideal. You should invest in a good desk and chair, preferably the chair should be ergonomic with arms and height adjustment.
For the desk or table make sure the monitor is placed exactly below your line of sight when you look straight ahead. Also make sure that you don’t bend your wrist while working, your back should be straight and both, your hand and elbows, should be placed at the level of the keyboard.
It is important for the table to let you move the legs underneath to raise your knees and stretch them. Also, if you need to organize anything at the top of the desk or table you can get filing cabinets and desk organizers.
The most basic rule to create your home office is to choose your location based on the light. In the morning the light should be natural and intense for it to activate your energy and slow down the production of melatonin, the sleep regulating hormone, to decrease tiredness and increase productivity.
Remember that your computer should be placed in the opposite direction of the window, so the reflection doesn’t interrupt your work.
On the other hand, for the afternoon you need to choose the right bulbs to help your sight and do not reflect on the monitor.
If you have an air conditioner at home, it is a big plus as you can set the right temperature you feel most comfortable with. Just make sure it is working fine to avoid any undesired problems that you may have to deal with at working hours.
Remember to perform regular air conditioner maintenance, you can also perform some tips and tricks to your air conditioner for it to work perfectly until the next mandatory check.
If you don’t have an air conditioner at home, make sure to place your home office close to a window for air circulation and if needed you can have a little fan to set the right temperature as well.
As a final touch it is a good idea to put a small plant in your desk or an indoor plant close to your window, as it will remove harmful gases from the environment. Also, it can help you turn your home office into a cosy place in contact with nature.
Remember that you don’t need a huge budget to set a great home office, you just need creativity and the desire to work in an adequate space. Remember that a good working space will favour your physical and mental health.