Due to the spread of COVID-19 throughout the country, most Canadian employers have implemented mandatory work-from-home policies. This standard is widely spreading, making working from home the new norm. A novel concept to many industries, one of the first steps to making the transition to setup a productive work-from-home office.
Creating a divide between your work and personal life is essential in maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Setting up a home office that is separate from your communal space is a great way to set boundaries and mimic your office environment. Taking the time to set up a comfortable home office is essential for your inspiration and productivity. Here are some essential factors to consider when making the transition.
Find a comfortable chair and desk
When starting your home office, choosing the right chair and desk is important. Because you could be sitting at the desk for potentially many hours, choose a chair that is comfortable, self-adjusting, and able to support your back and spine over long hours. When choosing a desk, find one that not only has enough space for your essentials (computer, keyboard, folders, printer, etc.) but is designed so that these tools are easily accessible.
Look for the following features in an ergonomic chair:
- Height adjustable
- 360-degree swivel base
- Adjustable backrest and armrest
- Adjustable seat depth
- Built-in lumbar support
Find a Private, Well-lit Area
Ideally, your office will be in a separate room where there are silence and privacy. However, not everyone has extra space in their home to designate. If this is the case, consider using a privacy divider or a curtain to set a boundary between your workspace and areas in your home where you perform personal activities. Designated spaces are essential because they eliminate distractions and allow you to focus on your work, without the interference of other daily tasks and demands. Maintaining this separation is important for weekends, too. Being able to close your office door at lunchtime or for the weekend will allow you to enjoy your free time more, with no work interference. Thus, having a private at-home office space will free you of the burden of being ‘on the clock’ all the time.
Having your own space will also allow you to choose your lighting. A well-lit space is vital to your productivity and sanity. Insufficient lighting can cause eye strain, which can cause headaches; all contributing to decreased productivity and increased dissatisfaction.
Keep the Air Flowing
It would be nice if your home office is located near a window which you can open for fresh air. If there is no window, consider buying a fan to create some sort of airflow in your work area. Not only is it healthier, but fresh and/or moving air is very beneficial to your well-being for several reasons. Fresh air makes us more focused and alert, granting more energy and heightened brain function. Furthermore, fresh air allows the welcoming of happy, uplifting thoughts and eliminates mind clutter, allowing us to think more clearly. Bringing fresh air or increased airflow into your office space is an effective way to keep your ideas clear and your productivity up.
Make Sure You Have Everything You Need
When designing your home office, your goal should be to mimic your regular office space as much as possible. It’s important to make sure that you have everything you need in your space to perform your daily tasks. Depending on your profession, this list may include access to high-speed internet, a computer or laptop, keyboard and mouse, printer, telephone, paper-shredder, filing cabinet, and adequate storage. Having a calendar on display is an effective way of staying on top of deadlines and sticking to your regular schedule. The inclusion of these necessary office components in your home office is important because it takes away the need for you to search your house for office supplies or work essentials. Thus, having everything in one place is another great way to boost productivity and stick to your regular workday routines.