The COVID-19 pandemic brought a wave of widespread, significant, and ultimately necessary changes. Among these changes was an uptick in remote working — a way for businesses to keep running and for employees to keep safe. One difficulty, however, is setting up a good home office. In this article, we’ll give you a few do’s and don’ts to ensure your remote working experience is as efficient and enjoyable as possible.
Do: Set Up a Dedicated Space
If you think that your bed or your couch is a great place to work from, stop yourself right there. Just as your bed should be associated with rest and relaxation, your office space should be associated with working. Muddying the waters will make it harder for you to be productive or unwind when you need to. Even if you’re pressed for space and your office is just a section of your dining table, it’s important that you designate it as your “workspace” and nothing else.
Don’t: Mix Work and Other Activities
While there are already plenty of distractions in a traditional office, that amount is doubled when you’re remote working, especially if you don’t have a manager breathing down your neck. You might find yourself leaving items on your workspace (e.g. a book you didn’t finish reading) that can tempt you to pick it up in the middle of the workday. If it isn’t a physical item, it could also be something like a Netflix tab left open on your browser. Whatever the case may be, try to eliminate distractions where you can.
Do: Keep Clutter to a Minimum
You’ll likely have a lot of important papers or documents that you need to keep on hand when working. If you don’t have a good organizational system set up, those papers are going to end up in a variety of strange places. Try to set up boxes, trays, shelves, folders, etc. so you can keep better track of the things you need to store near your workspace. This also applies to digital clutter — develop a good system for naming and organizing your files and folders so you spend less time digging through your file explorer.
Don’t: Overspend on Supplies
When you’re surfing the internet for home office inspiration, the setups you see on Instagram or Pinterest might convince you that the way to building the home office of your dreams lies in specialty office supplies and interesting knickknacks. It’s okay to indulge in your creative side, but don’t go overboard — remember that the focus of your home office should be productivity and efficiency. The aesthetics can follow later.
Do: Take Flow Into Account
One of the main components of your home office is your personal computer. Depending on the type of work you do, your phone or other electrical devices may also be necessary. Now, when there are electrical devices, there are chargers, and when there are chargers, there are wires. Make sure you take into account the way that people move through your space so you don’t run into issues like tripping over your wires or having to squeeze past an open door to get to your chair.
Don’t: Neglect Unused Space
Is there a closet you aren’t using? How about an end table that’s been delegated as a hub for miscellaneous items or an undecorated corner you’ve been ignoring? These could easily be repurposed for your office space. You can also consider rearranging other items of furniture if your home office feels cramped.
Remote Working Tips from VOC Associates
Remote working has its own set of difficulties that most of us may not be used to. However, setting yourself up for success is easy — it starts by setting up a good home office.