After a few months in pandemic lockdown, all of America is looking for solutions for the stressful strain of working from home. Whether it’s poor lighting or poor connections, the frustration involved in transferring an office into a home setting is intense. How can you make working from home more relaxing, both for you and for your family?
Reduce Environmental Clutter
The first step to halting stress in its steps is to reduce environmental clutter. If you, like many individuals, just looked around at your makeshift desk and laughed, just know it’s not as difficult as you think! Sort into like-item piles: paperwork with paperwork, books with books, other things by their own sets. You might find duplicates that can then go to bless other households. Put away what you can, and get rid of anything you do not use, need, or love. The simple act of filing paperwork and putting away what has a place sometimes can feel Herculean but will calm your space immensely!
Create a Separate Office
This step seems privileged, but you do not need to have a place that no other individual uses or enters to “separate” your office from the other spaces in your home. Many free-standing homes have a space of some sort that is intended to be used for formal or entertaining life. While having a nice parlor, or a beautiful dining room, is a wonderful thing in non-pandemic times, your home needs to work for you, not you for your home. Temporarily transforming a desk area, or room, into a working office space is important for your capabilities. If physical separation is not possible, having excellent noise-blocking headphones, or even noise-canceling ones, can help you in your quest for mental, if not physical, space.
Use Natural Light
Natural light is known to be soothing to both hearts and minds. It can lower your blood pressure, even! Allow your space to have as much natural light as possible. When working, open your blinds. If possible, have your windows washed! They never seem dirty until after you clean them and see the difference.
Renovate Your Home
Epidemiologists say that between new variations of the virus and those refusing vaccination, it could be 2023 before the major threat of COVID has passed. So, you need to think ahead to whether you do need that extra room after all and if you could renovate. If you are searching for a compromise that will add to your home’s value, there are many benefits to having a deck built on your home. Besides being an outdoor space for later parties and fun activities, a deck is an excellent, well-lit workspace.
Wants and Needs
It can be simple when you’re in an office to be accustomed to the amenities it offers. While cubicles might not have seemed like an amenity in years past, having none, especially if working in a common area with other family members, can remind you of how much you wish you had one! Think ahead to your future in your home office, and what will make it better and more calming for you. Are you always frustrated because you need a printer? Do you not have the right amount of desk space to do your work? Do you need a ring light for zoom calls? Make a list, and, if possible, make requests of your employer of the things which need requisitioning. If not, inexpensive options are often easily found. Your peace of mind is worth more than the cost of a small printer!
Do Not Disturb
Every home office, large or small, has to have guidelines to respect the needs of those working within. Having a way to signal that you are not to be disturbed is very important! While everybody loves seeing a kitty on a Zoom call, most aren’t as fond of a crying child (though the best offices understand that parenting is full-time for all genders, especially right now). Whether it’s a small sign on the doorknob, a note on the door, or a text message across the house, having a system is critical.
Sharing is Caring
Knowing how space is at a premium, you need to determine what kind of desk space you are your family can use. It’s hard to know if it’s possible to share, or if everyone needs their own desk with carefully allotted spaces until you begin working from home and see. Often, everyone needs their own space to feel most calm, knowing things are where they have left them. There are streamlined desks available that can be used, or lap desks if necessary. The important thing is that each person in the household using a desk system has a place that is helpful to them and fits their needs.
Proper Monitor and Desk Height
No office will feel comfortable without being at the proper height for your work. Desk height is generally a standard 29 inches to the top of the desk. But, if you are taller or shorter than the average worker, your needs might vary. Your keyboard might need to be lower, as well. Your arms and elbows should comfortably be parallel to the ground when you are typing. Your monitor should be easy to see and not cause neck strain.
Nobody would have chosen to be home-bound during a pandemic, and everything you are doing to help survive the pandemic is an immense help. Being able to sort small things out so that your own space can be more comfortable will help you, as well. There will be a time in which you no longer need a home office. But until that time comes, having a place that is quiet, comfortable, and which has what you need to do your work is essential. Your work-from-home area can be relaxing as well as efficient, with a few small changes.
If you work from home and have your own business, we can help you to make it grow! Try FrameWork4Freedom today to learn how!