One of the significant changes that the global coronavirus pandemic has brought to societies worldwide is that millions of people who may never have even thought about working from home have found themselves doing exactly that.
In the USA, there are many different types of jobs that have been affected. If you are one of the many now having to embrace a new work style, you may have found positive and negative aspects of working in a home office.
Setting up an ‘office space’ at home will be a lot easier for those with a spare room or existing study, but even if you live in a small apartment, it is relatively easy to create the perfect ‘work from home’ environment.
Freelancers, contractors, and salaried workers who have previously worked from home will already know that one of the big things to get straightened out right away is comfort levels.
For a novice WFHer, the idea of lying around on the couch with a laptop or tablet might be extremely appealing, but in fact, it isn’t the best way to go about things.
Firstly, too much familiarity with comfort levels isn’t conducive to getting work done. That is mainly because you need to draw a line between work and relaxation and have boundaries, either physical or mental, to reinforce this idea.
So the primary element for working from home is to set up a dedicated workspace, even if it just a desk in the corner of your main living space.
Once you’ve chosen your workspace, then you can start dealing with those furniture comfort issues. If you usually work in an office, you’ll most likely have a chair that is ergonomically designed for long stretches of sitting down in a particular posture. Usually, you might not have a chair of this type at home, so it is a good idea to think of buying one as you’ll be spending a lot of time sitting in it.
Likewise, making sure you have a desk or table of the right height for a sitting/working posture is essential. Not only does this aid productivity, but it can help avoid health problems caused by bad posture.
Light and privacy
When you work from home, it’s a good idea to get as much natural light as possible. Sitting in a darkened room staring at a screen can cause eye strain, and too much harsh artificial light can cause headaches and even interfere with your internal body clock and sleep cycles.
Of course, there is often a play-off between getting light into your space and keeping prying eyes out, especially if you work on the ground floor. That’s where DIY window shutters can be the perfect solution. Not only do they offer a stylish, modern solution to both problems, but you can also fit them yourself and save money on installation costs.
The idea of working from home used to be something of a pipe dream for many simply because the office environment provided equipment and technology that simply wasn’t available for domestic use.
The advent of the internet age meant that any home with a high-speed connection could operate on similar terms to an office, using all the communications tools and computing software that is readily available for PCs and laptops.
However, there are still one or two pieces of kit that you might not have at home that you take for granted at the office. For instance, a good quality color printer might not be something that everyone has at home, but it can become something of a necessity if you are working.
Likewise, many people who haven’t used video conference call software before have become used to it during the lockdown. As more team meetings and group sessions become virtual, it will become part of the ‘new normal.’
Costs and savings
Although it might sound that setting yourself up to work from home long term might be costly, it’s more likely to save you money over time.
Buying a good chair, desk, and any additional computing and communications tech that you might need is more than likely going to be offset by savings in commuting and travel costs. Not only that, when you add up how much you used to spend in the coffee shop or at lunchtime, you’ll see that there were small financial outlays that added up, which you can now avoid and save money.