6 Steps to Set Up a Home Office during Coronavirus

woman sitting on sofa while working from home

If your company is giving you a temporary or mandatory requirement to work from home during the Coronavirus lockdown, this might be a new and unfamiliar territory away from the office.

You will need a home office setup that is functional and promotes productivity.  If you don’t have a separate room that can be a designated as a home office, you’ll need to create a functional work and home divide.

If you’re working remotely, the lines between your home space and office space can be blurred, especially if you are sharing space with family members.

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Whether you have an office job or a work from home online job, to help you be productive and effective, you’ll want to define a professional work area.  It is important to create a work and home divide.  This is regardless if your home office is temporary due to Coronavirus lockdown, or you are setting up a permanent home office.  Your home office should separates your business life from your personal life, this is regardless if you have a dedicated area, or  if you are working from your kitchen table.

1. Define your Home Office Needs

The type of work you do can greatly impact your home office needs.  Make a list of the equipment you have in your business office, so you can replicate it in your home office.  Can you work from the kitchen  table or do you need a separate work space?  If you work from a kitchen table, think about using a raiser, so your laptop

Will your business needs require a copier, scanner and fax machine?  Are you working on a computer or using the phone significantly during the day?  This will greatly impact the type of home office set up you will need to ensure the highest level of productivity during your work day.

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Will you need an ergonomic office chair, or will a dining room chair suffice?

These are important considerations to help you create a functional home office during the pandemic.

If this is a temporary situation, can you rent the office equipment,  or is it better to purchase what yo need?  This can be an important factor for consideration.

 

You’ll want to define a professional work area that separates your business from your personal life whether you’re self-employed or telecommuting. – Shannon Belew

 

2. Have a Dedicated Office Space in your home

small home office in bedroom

Whether you have a four bedroom home or a one-room apartment, you’ll need to find a way to create a dedicated home office design to maximize your productivity and reduce home-life distractions.  This is especially true whether you have kids at home watching television or another family member also working remotely.  You’ll want to ensure family members respect your work time to avoid unnecessary distractions.

If your home office doubles as the kitchen table, you’ll want to have an organization system to keep your office work in order when you have to remove your work for meals.

If you live in a small one-bedroom apartment, your home office may also have to function as your work space, kitchen, living room, and bedroom all in one. If this is the case, try to remove as much clutter as possible.

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3. How About a Standing Desk for your home office?

A standing desk has become a popular space-saving option to the traditional office desk.  This is a good way to create dedicated workspace in your home or bedroom.  Studies have shown that sitting for hours is unhealthy.  A standing desk promotes good posture and improves circulation.  Many people who switched from a traditional desk to a standing desk report improved focus, concentration and productivity.

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Since standing for long hours can cause back and joint pain, the best alternative is an adjustable standing desk.  This allows you to sit or stand while working.

Having a standing desk in your home office or apartment can establish work space from home space, which can contribute to improved productivity during the Coronavirus pandemic.

4. Do You Need a Dedicated Phone Line

Can you use your personal cell phone for work, or do you need a dedicated phone line?  If you can use your personal cell phone,  you may need to adjust your phone plan for available minutes and data plan.

Invest in a good headset that is compatible with your cell phone.  This will make it easier to work while talking on the phone, and can prevent neck pain from holding your phone  between your ear and shoulder.

 

5. Do You Need a Computer Monitor

 

home office computer riser

 

If you have a laptop for your home office, you might need to invest in a computer riser.  The screen on many laptops are small and can make viewing for several hours a day difficult.  In addition, using a laptop can force you to look down, so get a raiser so the monitor is at eye level.

 

6. Create natural light

home office with natural light

You will want to find an area in your home with good natural light for your home office.  Benefits of natural light in your home office includes:

  • Promotes natural health
  • Natural light improves work productivity
  • Working in an area with natural light improves mood
  • Having natural light
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Is this the new normal

Some companies and their employees may find they can function well with more employees working remotely from  home.  This can reduce commute time, and have employees get together monthly or quarterly, rather than daily.

If employees can have Zoom team meetings or other ways to stay in contact or promote team unity, this may actually improve productivity.  Only time will tell if companies can function normally with high levels of productivity and morale having more employees working remotely.

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