Earlier, before pandemic days, people worked from home occasionally to meet deadlines or under unique circumstances. But, now, the COVID-19 pandemic situation has forced organisations to allow their employees to work from home. It has transformed every aspect of personal and work life.
In the past, very few people worked from home because they believed it provided flexibility in maintaining schedules and achieving a better work-life balance. And it has become a must now.
To be successful in WFH requires a dedicated workspace in a non-traditional work environment. Here are ten tips to help you build a comfortable home office that will sharpen your work efficiency and be productive.
Choosing your location to work
If you have an extra room or space to be converted into your workspace, it is good to hear. Your workspace must be built based on your requirements to work without disturbance.
But, when you have to develop your WFH space from what is available, it is better to think about some creative ideas. Check for some space under the stairs, unused corners in the living room, large empty closets, or your kitchen table.
The workspace at home must be convenient throughout the year. A workspace that receives adequate sunlight looks good in the spring or summer. And it must be friendly during the winter or rainy seasons as well.
Selecting perfect lighting system
Having your workspace with sufficient daylight will brighten your space, reduce eyestrain and prevent headaches. In addition, it will help you to be productive and be healthy. If there is no window to receive direct sunlight, fit your workspace with warm lights that will help you work relaxed.
Avoid lighting that can create a glare on your computer monitor or worktable. Selecting the right hue for your light is also important. Warm colours calm your nerves while cool colours stimulate productivity.
Next, one or two pots of indoor plants in and around your workspace may help you concentrate and be happy while you work.
Incorporating ergonomic office equipment
In this pandemic era, working from home has become the rule of the day; so that employees will stay safe at home and complete their assigned jobs on time.
Before choosing the suitable ergonomic office equipment for your workstation, analyse the requirements as required by your assigned task. Take care to set the computer, keyboard, furniture, and chair appropriately to avoid issues related to stress and pain.
An adjustable desk reduces strain on your shoulders, back, and your neck. It will give you the option to sit or stand and adjust its height as you feel comfortable. Ergonomic office equipment minimises musculoskeletal complaints and posture-related painful issues.
Maintaining workspace privacy
Building a workspace at home that saves you from domestic distractions and lets you concentrate on your work needs planning.
For employees without spare rooms to set up their home office, some easy options are there. Install a traditional room divider or hang inexpensive curtains to have the privacy to work in peace.
Attending an audio or video call from your home office amid disturbing noise may be a disturbance for everyone in the team. It is better to leave a “Do Not Disturb” sign on your desk so that people at home will understand your commitment to work and maintain silence at home.
Clearing your workspace clutter
Maintaining an organised work table devoid of unnecessary items gives you more workspace to work in peace with clarity. Decorative baskets or holders or filing cabinets can help you arrange things in place and save your searching time.
Some people prefer items that have sentimental value on their worktable. It is better to keep them on a nearby shelf or in a place where it will not interfere with your work.
Next, remember to have pens, pencils, scissors, staplers, or papers handy, so that you may rarely get up and move around to get things. It will save you time and allow you to work with no distractions.
Using your dedicated phone
Because of the pandemic impact, working from home has become common. Even if some people don’t prefer to work from home, the situation has forced them to follow WFH.
With the tremendous advancement in communication technology, setting up your home office with your laptop or desktop computer along with your phone has also become easy. If you allocate a phone only to attend official calls, it may help you handle things better and quicker.
Most offices don’t allow their employees to use their phones to attend calls during working hours. But, in working from home, attending official phone calls has been approved to encourage better communication between employees and employers.
Creative ideas for better storage
We have digitised offices everywhere. Paperless work has become a common thing. Though digital content occupies less space than printed documents and papers, it is essential to store them securely.
You can use removable disk drives, pen drives, and cloud storage to store official documents, images, and confidential files.
Besides storing documents as digital content, you can make hard copies and keep them under lock and key.
Adding greenery to improve air quality
Plants provide you the green energy to help you achieve your best. Keeping one or two pots of succulents on the corner of your work table will brighten up your day.
Plants help to improve air quality around your workspace. It also lowers stress, stabilises your mood, improves air quality, and increases your attention span.
Green plants can generate a meditative effect on your workspace and make you healthy, happy, and meet deadlines with ease. Having indoor plants in your working environment prevents getting sick and boosts your creativity. As a silent observer, plants can give you better company and be with you all time.
Blocking other distractions
People who work from home have to face maximum distractions that disturb their concentration and work schedule.
Sometimes, getting away from mundane family work may not be easy to handle. It is better to inform family members at home not to disturb you when you work or on a call with your senior official or the team.
Remembering workspace necessities
Check if you have everything that makes your workspace comfortable to work. You may need to communicate with your team members, check your mails, or attend phone calls with clients during working hours.
Check if you have an uninterrupted supply of electricity with an inverter to support your computer, printer, internet connection, and fan.
Besides gadgets, your home office must have an environment that will inspire you to work efficiently and be productive.
Your home office must be where you enjoy working and completing your assignments within the scheduled time.
Thiru Kumaran is a marketing and communications specialist who has worked across B2B and B2C markets, driving success from concept to sales through integrated campaigns. Currently, Marcom specialist at ErgoFurniture, where he implements brand advertising initiatives.