If possible, establish a well-defined area of
your home for your work space. If this
area needs to be shared with other members of your household, then set a daily
schedule of what time each person gets to use that space.
If household activities might make it harder
for you to work from home (e.g., kids running around), then try to find a room
in the house that will be quieter.
If your temporary office will be in a room
that serves other purposes (basement or master bedroom), then try to establish
some type of visible boundaries to keep the areas somewhat separate. Filing cabinets, large screens, and bookcases
make great room dividers.
Set up your home office in an area of your
home that has ample lighting. A smaller
designated area with lots of light is better than a large room that has poor
If you are easily distracted, you may want to set
up your work area so that doors and windows are in your peripheral view.
Some people like a view from their desk of pleasing
artwork or inspirational posters.
However, if there are too many items for your eyes to be drawn to, this
may become too distracting. Those who
aren’t as easily distracted and can refocus easily, may prefer a window view.
Although you may not want to invest in a new
office chair, you may be able to find some type of flat pillow (gel seat) or
back support to add comfort to your chair and provide better support.
If this new home office is a temporary
arrangement and you want to save money, try using plastic/wooden crates,
decorative boxes, baskets, and other storage containers to keep your work
papers and supplies organized.
Add some “homey” types of items to your
designated work space to make it a place where you don’t’ mind spending
significant amounts of time (fake or real plants and flowers, inspirational
plaques, a favorite family photo or two, cherished knickknacks).
If you need more storage space for your work supplies and
paperwork, consider going “vertical” by hanging floating shelves on the walls. File folder holders on a nearby table or
credenza can keep important papers within arm’s reach and off of your work
station until needed.
If you can afford it, a rolling office filing
unit which enables you to move your work files easily from room to room (esp.
if you work in different rooms) is worth the minimal cost to keep your work
papers organized and close by. Rolling
carts also offer a great way to store office supplies.
Make sure you have ample supplies before you
dig into your work tasks including writing utensils, files, phone charger, snacks
and beverages. You want to avoid getting
up to retrieve these items especially if you know you are easily distracted and
have a hard time getting refocused.
If you have some scented oils around the
home, try them out to add a pleasing aroma to your work area (although oils
that make you sleepy would not be recommended).
To stem frustrations from slower connections
at home, you may need to increase your internet speed, and/or get a better
router or Wi-Fi extender, even if you are just working from home on a temporary
If you don’t have any noise cancelling
headphones now may be the time to invest in a pair especially if your household
can get noisy. Wireless blue tooth
headphones enable you to block out a lot of external noises and walk from room
to room if needed.
As tempting as it may be to work in your pajamas,
it is recommended that you get ready for your workday as you usually would (although
of course you don’t have to get fancy).
If you will be participating in a video conference meeting during your
work day you will want to make sure your top half looks appropriate.
Set goals for how long you want to work and
include breaks. Some people work an hour
or two and then allow themselves a 20”s break and then repeat the same schedule. You may want to use your break periods to
accomplish small tasks in your home, but set a timer so you get back to work
when you are supposed to.
Post your daily work schedule for family
members to see so they will know when it is acceptable to interrupt you.
Set aside a few minutes at the end of each
work day to put your business papers away especially if your office area is in
a dual-purpose room.
If the location you picked in your home for a
temporary office doesn’t seem to be working then move to a location where you
will be more productive. You need to
have a space to work where you are most productive, enjoy spending time, and
are the appropriate distance from the activities going on within your