Previously we wrote about the pros and cons of working from home. This week and in the next few weeks’ l will be sharing my experience, tips and do’s and don’ts of working from home in a series titled Working from Home – How l made it work.
Part 1 – Setting up your workspace.
For the past 3 years, I have been fortunate enough to be able to have work flexibility. What does that mean? Basically, in a nutshell I do most of my work from home in my study…. every day. Most people think that working from home on a permanent basis is the perfect solution to work life balance. Despite what some people think, it’s not about staying in your pyjama’s or your favourite trackie daks and well-loved and worn t shirt and working from the couch or bed every day. It takes discipline, balance and self-motivation. So, how did I make it work for me?
The first thing that you need to consider when working from home is where you are going to work.
I suggest setting aside a dedicated workspace, this can be a study or a spare bedroom that you’ve converted into a study. Your workspace needs to be separate from your living space as this creates a sense of work and life separation.
While it is tempting to work from the dining room table or the kitchen bench daily it’s not conducive to being productive and blurs the line between work and life. After all, you didn’t prepare your dinner at the office when you worked in one, so don’t do your work from the space set aside for meal preparation.
Setting up your home office to be a productive and ergonomic space is essential.
Here’s what you will need to do to have a workspace that will be the envy of your office bound colleagues;
- A good desk with plenty of desktop space and storage that is within arm’s length. As mentioned above the dining room table or kitchen bench isn’t suitable, plus you will need to pack it up at the end of each working day to use the table or bench for its original intended purpose.
- A high quality ergonomic chair, the dining room chair is not a good substitute for a good quality office chair, after all you are going to be spending hours in that chair so make sure it is one that will support your posture correctly always.
- If you are going to be using a laptop like l do, then l suggest that you mount it on a riser to reduce the strain on your neck, l also use a full-sized keyboard that l plug into the laptop so that l can type more comfortably.
- Make sure that you have a lot of decent lighting at your workspace. I’m fortunate that l have a great window that allows in lots of natural light and provides airflow. And studies have found that having natural light and airflow at your workspace helps with overall mental health and aids with a good night sleep.
Spend the time (and the money) to invest in the essentials that you will need for your home workspace. This is not the time to bargain shop, you need good high quality products that will make your home workspace a workspace to envy.
Next up in the Working from Home – How l made it work series, Part 2 – Staying Connected.