Working from home? 5 Tips to make your home office more efficient.

Jeff Peterson
Jeff Peterson
Published on May 20, 2020

Call it what you will — working from home, remote work or telecommuting – it wasn’t that long ago that it was considered a novelty. In the past month or two, however, working at your home office has gone mainstream, and not by choice.

Gallup has been tracking the remote-work situation since March and as of April 3, they found that 62 percent of “… employed Americans currently say they work at their home office during the crisis.” That number represents a doubling of the number taken in mid-March.

Surprisingly, 60 percent of those surveyed hope to continue working at their home office after the current restrictions are lifted.

If you are among them, you’ll need to take a look at your current home office and do some tweaking, to ensure you remain as productive as you were, when you had to show up at your employer’s office.

Find the Perfect Space

Lucky is the remote worker who has the space to take over a room and convert it to a home office. For those not so fortunate, you’ll need to get creative when scouting the home for office space.

Here are the priorities you should consider:

  • Your home office space should have good lighting and preferably contain a window or skylight, to provide natural lighting as well.
  • A location away from the areas of the home where the kids tend to congregate.
  • An area that offers the least amount of distractions (no TV in the space, no view of the housework that needs to be done, etc.).
  • A spot that is large enough to accommodate a desk and chair, at the very least.

Furnish Your Home Office

The basics, as mentioned above, are a desk and a chair. Of the two, the chair is the most important.

If you’re thinking of an ergonomic chair for your home office (you’ll love it!) check out these tips at Spine-Health.com and get 10 tips to choosing the best office chair at TheSpruce.com.

Furnishing your home office doesn’t have to eat up your entire stimulus check! Check out OfferUp.com, Facebook Marketplace, NextDoor.com and Craigslist.org.

Light It Up

Now that your bum, spine and shoulders are all set, it’s time to ensure your eyes are as well. This means determining if you need additional lighting and which types are the best. Check out these tips at Remodelista.com, ApartmentTherapy.com and SouthernLiving.com.

Then, learn how to choose the best light bulbs for your new lighting at Lifehacker.com.

Commit To Using Your Home Office

It’s important to make a schedule that you know you can stick to while working at your home office. If you won’t be using a stand-up desk, schedule breaks at least once every hour.

The current recommendation from medical professionals is that we should stand and move around for 15 minutes for every 30 that we spend sitting.

These breaks not only help your body but your mind as well – especially if you use them to take a walk or chat with a friend on the phone.

“To keep your brain in the right mode, avoid doing nonwork tasks during your work time,” recommend Kim Mock and Gabriel Manga at ThinkWithGoogle.com. This means no washing the dishes, throwing in a load of laundry or wiping down kitchen counters.

They also offer up these tips:

  • Make a daily to-do list to help you stay focused on what needs to be done. Don’t try to keep it in your head, but make an actual list.
  • Hold yourself accountable to keeping the schedule you created.
  • If your work is collaborative, consider setting up a video conferencing system.

One of the best tips I’ve seen is to ensure you have snacks in your home office. This keeps you from refrigerator raids during your non-break time.

Finally, don’t neglect to personalize your home office with all the things you wouldn’t dream of bringing to the “other” office.

If you are looking for a new home that has a dedicated home office, please give me a call as I’d be happy to help find you that perfect place to live!

Stay healthy!

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