Non-essential service providers in most countries are being encouraged to work remotely as a way of limiting the spread of COVID-19. But then, working from home is a very new concept to many people. It can be a lonely experience and, to some people, it can be filled with distractions. Working away from your usual professional environment can easily disrupt your productivity.
If you have never worked from home before, how do you navigate the new challenges that you might not have at the office? Here are 7 preparations you can make to make your home the perfect workstation during this coronavirus pandemic:
1. Designate a permanent workspace
If you don’t have a home office, you need to create a small “room within a room” and make it your office. If you have a spare bedroom, a clean empty garage, or there is sufficient light and space in the attic, by all means, make that your designated make-shift office.
Note: Only set up your office in the living room if you have run out of options- living rooms can be extremely chaotic especially if you have kids. With the workstation in place, commit to working in that space until the lockdown is lifted.
Your workspace needs to be quiet for optimal productivity. Set water-tight physical boundaries around the workspace and let everyone in the home know that space is off-limits. In fact, tell them to treat the makeshift office as if it is as far from home as your actual workplace is.
2. Figure out your working style
How do you like your workspaces to be: Totally quiet or with some background white noise? If you need it to be totally quiet, then you might need to buy some noise-canceling headphones. If you love white noises, download them online and install speakers around your home office.
The beauty of remote working is that you get to work when you feel most productive. If you are more productive at night, for example, and you would want to keep the windows closed or music on during that time, let your housemates know and have a say about that.
3. Soundproof your designated working area
Maybe your home office is adjacent to your noisy child’s bedroom, the living room, or a busy street. The only way you will relax and focus on your work is by soundproofing the office (or whichever room you are working from). Unfortunately, most soundproofing methods require you to order building materials and hire a home remodeling company, both of which you cannot afford in this coronavirus period.
On the other hand, there are many other economic and DIY soundproofing methods that you can try. For example, reorganizing your furniture can significantly reduce sound transmission into your workstation. If the noise is coming from the kitchen, you can order ready-to-assemble cabinets for your kitchen and place them against the kitchen/office shared wall. These cabinets are functional, easy to assemble even without help, and they are good absorbers of sound. Here are a few other soundproofing DIY tips that you can try:
- Hanging soft and thick fabrics (e.g. floor-to-ceiling curtains or blankets) on your walls will dampen external noises significantly.
- Adding some thick rugs to keep out noises from downstairs.
- Filling up bookshelves with books, flowers, and other décor items and placing them against the wall adjacent to the noise source.
4. Get comfortable office furniture
If your city is not under total lockdown, acquire a work desk, a comfortable office chair, and maybe some bookshelves. If you are already under lockdown, you can convert the kitchen benches or the dining table to your workbenches, and then use a dining table chair as your office chair.
5. Stock up on healthy foods
Working from home also means that you have full access to your kitchen and your fridge at all times, which basically means that there is “free” food everywhere. Let’s face it: Food can be very tempting at times. But then, eating too much junk food will damage your health and productivity. That is why you should get rid of all the unhealthy snacks and replace them with fruits and vegetables.
6. Bring in plants
Houseplants inject organic character to indoor spaces, improve the air quality by removing impurities, and make spaces seem tranquil than they actually are. Flowers, on the other hand, will add a focal point to your workstation. Bring in potted plants and install high-quality grow lights to ensure that the plants are healthy and beautiful.
Why We Need Plants And How To Take Care Of ThemTaking care of plants isn’t the easiest thing to do, but it is a mandatory thing to do for anyone who wants a regular supply of clean indoor air. You need to ensure that you get your lighting and watering game on point so
Prepping your home to be a workspace during coronavirus may require a small investment. Apart from the things we have mentioned, you might need to acquire better technology, maybe a better laptop or router, if you currently have outdated technology. The good thing is that every investment you make now will be applicable even long after COVID-19.