With so many people working from home after the initial onset of the pandemic, it’s more and more common to see home offices as a must-have when looking for a new home. If you’ve finally found a house with a home office, or at least one with a usable space that you can convert into a home office, now you have to know how to set it up.
Here’s how you can create a workspace at home that’s functional, comfortable and productive.
When crafting a home office, boundaries are critical. You shouldn’t use your bed as a work zone, nor should you be sitting at your kitchen counter. It’s important to create a distinct work space that forces a separation, both physically and psychologically. It’s tempting when working from home to switch from housekeeper, chauffeur and cook and back again to employee when there are no clear boundaries.
Make a healthy boundary by separating your work space with some kind of barrier, such as a door, or even room divider or screen. This will make it easier to “shut off” at the end of the day and not be tempted to check your computer every time you pass by the kitchen table.
Crouching over your laptop as you sit on the sofa isn’t good for your posture or your productivity. Make sure to set up a comfortable work space with a spacious desk and ergonomic chair to go with it. Use as much natural light as you can and install enough ventilation in the form of HVAC, fans or open windows to keep you alert.
Natural light regulates your circadian rhythms so you can stay awake and productive during your work day. Throw open a window on nice days to get fresh air and pull you out of your mid-afternoon slump. Natural lighting has been shown to have a positive effect on mood, so use it where you can. If you can, place your desk near a window for the fresh air and views. Of course, you have no choice but to incorporate some artificial lighting, though, and for that, you should choose many different types.
Make sure your computer screen is at eye level, and consider a mouse instead of a track pad for the least impact on your wrists. In terms of a desk, if you find you get up a lot during the day, consider getting a standing desk, or perhaps a standing desk converter. These are also portable so if you decide to go from one room to another during the day, this is an ideal solution.
Take some time to choose the right home office chair, as you’ll be spending a lot of time in it each day. Whether you want one that rolls or reclines, or both, choose a desk chair that fits your requirements and fits comfortably under your desk.
Incorporate plenty of storage for your office supplies, all within easy reach. Place important equipment near your deck, such as printers and copiers. Set clear boundaries for yourself. Perhaps you can set 9 to 5 work hours, with the understanding that outside of those hours, you will tend to household and family matters for a healthy mix of responsibilities. You don’t want to stretch yourself too thin!
If you and your spouse both work from home, you may be tempted to share an office. This may sound like a good idea at first but may end up being a bad one once you realize you’re on top of each other for eight hours a day. You also don’t want to share an office with your kids’ play room, because you will need to focus, attend virtual meetings and maintain some sense of professionalism.
Don’t set the stage for shared work practices early on. You need your own space, so enforce it. Create and post set work hours for yourself so family members understand when you’re available to conduct non-work conversations. This will help you to enjoy your personal time more, without feeling interrupted at every turn.
If your new home has a home office setup, our movers can help you equip it with all your computers, furniture and filing cabinets so you’ll be up and running in no time.
Ready for a free quote on your upcoming move to Dallas-Fort Worth? Contact us at 214-433-6734.