As we face one of the biggest health challenges in modern memory, we’ve been forced to change the way we do things. It’s about more than wearing masks in public and staying 6 feet away from one another. We’re also using hand sanitizer before we enter or leave various businesses, disinfecting our cars, and regularly washing our hands for 30 seconds or more.
And that’s just the beginning.
This pandemic has also changed the way we work. Many of us are getting used to conducting business through plexiglass and forgoing handshakes in our workplaces, while others are working completely from home.
If you’re working remotely or plan to do so in the near future, here are some tips to help you create the best work-from-home office for you.
Find Your Space
Start by designating a space that will give you enough room to work comfortably and productively. Unless you already have a home office, you’ll likely need to spend some time and energy clearing out clutter and other items that are preventing you from creating a viable workspace.
Beyond putting some items in storage to create more room, you might need to renovate your space to accommodate a desk and other professional equipment. An ergonomic work chair is an important component of any office. You might also want to add plants, candles, and wall hangings or other artwork to make you feel at home.
If you work from home, you want to make sure you have the best electronics possible. Since you probably use a phone for your job, you’ll want to be sure you have a reliable model and service coverage. If you don’t, you’ll want to consider alternatives.
You’ll also need to be sure you have a reliable computer. If your work requires minimum processor speeds or expanded storage, you may need an upgrade or even a new PC.
When you do decide to enhance your tech stable, it never hurts to see whether your employer will cover (or help you cover) the cost. Many companies will pay up to a certain limit or reimburse your purchase costs.
Add Some Storage
Depending on what your work entails, you may find that you need extra storage to make your home office as organized as possible. Working in a space littered by stacks of papers or books and cardboard boxes full of company swag is not conducive to organized thinking.
If you often use hard-copy documents, you might need to purchase physical filing cabinets; if your work is mostly digital, invest in an online storage account in the cloud. If you still consult books, get a bookshelf that accommodates your library. For promotional items, invest in a storage system with bins or drawers.
Whatever you have to store, be sure you have the means of keeping and accessing essential documents, manuals, reference materials, and supplies.
Fix Your Finances
They’re not a physical consideration, but money underpins everything else you do, so it’s important to get your finances in shape for covering home office-related expenses. For example, if you don’t have reliable wireless internet service at home, you’ll want to add it so you can communicate with co-workers and access important information online.
So start by creating a budget and cutting expenses where you can. It’s also a good idea to take steps toward enhancing your credit. Better credit can give you access to funds in an emergency, or to use if you want to make other investments that will enhance your work-from-home experience.
Purchase a Home Warranty
If you’re nervous about your ability to handle unexpected home-related expenses, consider purchasing a home warranty. This is a great way to ensure that your appliances, your HVAC, electricity, plumbing, and other home systems are protected. Home repairs can be quite costly, so setting up protection beforehand can save you a lot of time and stress later.
Creating the best possible home office is essential to staying effective as you work remotely. After all, if your space doesn’t function correctly, how can you expect to function within it? Take steps to create a workspace that makes you feel comfortable, peaceful, and productive.