Are you one of the millions of Americans who are currently working from home? If so, then it can be extremely helpful to create a space in your home that’s conducive to getting the job done. Whether you’ve been working from home for years or find yourself temporarily telecommuting, here’s what you need to do to set yourself up for success.
Determine your needs
What kind of work do you do? Will you need space to spread out or a specific type of equipment? Before carving out a space for your home office, make a list of everything you’ll need to get your job done. This could include office furniture, computer equipment, and storage space.
Find the space
If you don’t have a spare room in your home, then you need to get creative about where to put your space. You’ll want to choose a location that is as quiet and private as possible. Do you have a closet that you can covert into a workspace? This can be the perfect spot for a desk if you remove the hanging rod or shelves. Other places that can accommodate a home office include the space under the stairs, the basement, or even a large landing at the top of the stairs.
Light it up
It’s critically important to have the right lighting in your home office to reduce the strain on your eyes. In addition to overhead lighting, use a reading light on your desk. If possible, choose a location that has a window nearby so you can also enjoy natural light during the day. The natural light will help improve your mental health, which is even more important when you’re not used to working from home.
Choose a comfortable chair
Do you have to sit for long stretches of time for your job? Then you’ll want to choose a really comfortable chair. It should be the right height for your desk or table and provide both back and arm support. If needed, use a small footstool under your desk.
Make it personal
Who says your home office has to be boring? You will be spending a significant amount a time working in your home office, so why not give it a little personality? Move a plant into the area to provide warmth and a place for your eyes to rest away from the computer screen. Place a framed photo or two near your desk. Throw a pretty blanket over the back of your chair or use a decorative throw pillow to support your lower back.
Track the time
If you’re not used to working form home, then you may not notice the time passing. It’s important for your health and well being to get up several times a day. Taking regular breaks will help keep you focused when you need to be. It will also help to keep you in shape. Take an afternoon walk or do a short yoga session when you’re feeling fatigued.
Know when to call it a day
When you work from home, it can be difficult to separate your personal and your professional lives. If possible, work your normal hours and have an end to your workday. It can be tempting to always be on call when your home office is only steps away. But in the end you’ll be happier and healthier when you can spend some dedicated time each day to your home life.