2020 has presented a number of challenges. Most of us by now have adapted to the periods of lockdown, never leaving home without a mask and socialising with friends via video, and although there is some hope on the horizon with the vaccine release, we still face a turbulent period ahead. One thing that seems certain for the foreseeable future most of us will continue to work from home. Almost a year in to the Covid-19 pandemic you may have the work from home routine down. Perhaps you already had a home office that just needed a little dusting off. Perhaps you set up a desk in the corner of a room and are happy there. However, many of us are still struggling to adapt, and create a work space that feels separate from our home life. Kids, roommates, partners, small spaces...all present challenges in this new working environment. Even seasoned work-from-homers are feeling the pressure with the inability to go to co-working spaces or a favorite cafe. If working from home will be in your forseeable future, we have put together our best tips and tricks to make sure you are set up for success.
- Carve out a dedicated working space that isn't your dining table, sofa or bed. For those of us that regularly worked from our homes before the pandemic, this is our number one rule to live by. Sure, its okay to occasionally move around the house for a change of scenery, and until now being a nomad in your own home it might have been okay, however we bet it is hard to stay focused and that crink in your neck won't go away from working on the couch. If you have a room that can be transformed into a home office, great! If not, fear not. Pick an empty corner of your home, apartment or room and set up a small desk. Having a place to go to during working hours then leave, along with all your work materials, will increase productivity but more importantly help with the mental balance between work and home life.
- Invest in ergonomic equipment such as a laptop stand, wireless mouse and supportive desk chair. Long hours working from the sofa or bed will wreck havic on your neck and back. Likewise, working from your dining table in a chair that is not the correct height or supportive is a recipe for carpal tunnel. When seated at your computer you want your arms to be at a 90 degree angle, with your hands in line with your wrists and elbows and your shoulders relaxed. Furthermore you want your feet flat on the floor so that your knees are at a 90 degree angle and your ankles are in line with your knees. If your current setup has you in all sorts of wonky positions, it’s time to invest in some new equipment or furniture. First make sure you have a chair at the correct height for your stature that allows your arms, wrists, legs and feet to rest as described above. Then check your computer setting. Sitting up straight, your direct line of sight should be at the middle of your computer screen. You don’t want to be looking up or down at your screen. If you are working from a laptop, likely you will need to purchase an elevated laptop stand and/or wireless keyboard to ensure you are working ergonomically.
- Style it out! Add storage for work documents so at the end of the day you can hide everything away and are not tempted to finish just one more thing. This will really help mentally create balance between home and work life. Furthermore, hang or place a few favorite photographs, a piece of artwork, even a cork board to create an inspiration board. Make it a space you look forward to waking up too! We love a good desk cadet to hold our pens and bits and bobs to keep the space organised and clutter free. Lastly, make sure to add light. Especially during the darker days of winter, you don't want to be struggling to see your computer or papers. If you aren't near an outlet, look for a battery operated lamp.
If all else fails and you are still struggling to create your perfect work from home space, send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org! We are now offering budget-friendly home office design packages. We can do in-house or zoom consultations to help you integrate a dedicated work space into your existing home.