Probably one of the more challenging aspects of working from home is finding the perfect work station. Those who have been working remotely for years may have a dedicated workspace. Like a home office. However, for those who have only started recently (thanks to the global lockdown caused by COVID-19), finding a workplace that is free from distractions may be quite difficult. If you need help deciding where to permanently station yourself, here are some tips to get you started.
Determine Your Needs
Before you set up your workstation, you have to determine your needs first. Ask yourself what type of work you’ll be doing. Will you be working on the computer all day? Or will you be taking business calls?
If you’re a graphic designer, an animator, or a video editor, you may need a larger desk space for all your extra equipment like an extra monitor or a drawing tablet. Business managers may also need some extra space, not just for your computer, but also for your extra filing needs.
Choose Your Space
Once you’ve determined all your needs, you may then proceed in choosing your space. Establishing a dedicated work area is critical to every remote worker’s success. It’s because it helps get rid of one of the pitfalls of working from home—avoiding distractions. Without a dedicated work area, you’ll have the tendency to jump from place to place. One minute, you’re typing away on the dining room table, the next, you’re sitting hunched on the living room floor.
In choosing your space, you still have to consider your needs. For a job that needs to be on the phone constantly, a space that can effectively filter background noise is ideal. So, places near the dining room, living room, and kitchen should be avoided because these areas tend to be noisy throughout the day. If you’re easily distracted, it’s a good idea to avoid working far from the TV.
Another thing you should consider while working from home is Wi-Fi strength. Since an internet connection is one of the basic necessities of a remote worker, make sure that the space you select receives an adequate signal. Lastly, settle in an area you enjoy spending time in.
Work With What You Have
If you can afford to build a home office, do it. But if you’re a little tight on extra space and budget, you can always find ways to make do with what you have. You can set up an office on a dining table, but you should also be ready to pack up your things when it’s time to eat. If you don’t have any problem with your legs or your back, then you can easily set up an office in the living room using the coffee table. Countertops can also substitute for an office space.
If you need absolute privacy, the bedroom is the best option. However, be wary of your bed and the temptation it presents. A breakfast table or a pile of old encyclopedias can account for a missing desk.
For homes with unused spaces—spare bedrooms, an attic, a basement, or a garage—you can convert these spaces into your workspace.
Customize Your Space
Now here’s the fun part—once you’ve chosen your space, you should customize it accordingly. Designing your workspace according to your tastes greatly improves your productivity. Plus, it can motivate you and keep your headspace focused on the tasks you have at hand. In designing your workspace, don’t forget to factor in comfort.
Save up for a good chair that allows you to sit comfortably. Most remote workers spend a lot of time sitting and in bad posture. The prolonged stress on your spine brought about by bad sitting can cause you some harm in the long run. Following this, make sure the rest of your office space furniture is ergonomically correct as well.
Next, focus on the lighting. A naturally lit room is recommended. Keep the lights even so you won’t strain your eyes too much. Adding a few motivational posters is a good idea, too.
To help you relax, try placing a couple of fragrances. Perhaps a vase of your favorite fresh flowers? Incense sticks and essential oils will help as well. Liven up a dull room with greenery and pieces of art to help keep you inspired and in the mood. For absolute comfort, you can install a cooling unit or a heater, depending on where you live.
Remember, once you’ve decided to settle on working from home, you should always put careful thought into creating or providing yourself with an environment that is conducive to your work. The key to finding the perfect office space? Always find a balance between what makes you comfortable and what keeps you motivated.
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