We are all facing this global crisis together. Whether that means physically or virtually, it looks different for everyone. So many people have been forced to work from home for the greater good of the community. That means some of you are scrambling to set up a home office with little to no preparation so I thought it might be useful to give you a few pointers when time and resources are tight.
Here are the top five essentials to consider when setting up your home office in a pinch.
1. Natural + Artificial Light
Both natural and artificial light are conducive to creating an environment that promotes a positive attitude and productive atmosphere. See if you can find a place to park all your office supplies in your home near a window with a view, or near a table/desk/floor lamp for optimal sources of light.
2. Office Equipment
Ideally, you want to use a desk and an ergonomic chair with our without arms depending on the style and height of your desk. However, if you find yourself without these two items you must utilize what you already have before ordering what you need. The next best hard surface might be a dining table or console table with or without storage underneath. Make sure you remove any decorative or miscellaneous items there already so you have enough space to comfortably and neatly lay all of your office supplies out. Now that you found your surface you want to use a chair that promotes good posture. A comfy sofa and the coffee table will not work for long. Your back will thank you for sitting in a sturdy upright chair and your productivity will increase as you will most likely find yourself much more alert. I also highly recommend finding a basket, container or a decorative box with a lid to organize your supplies while you work but more importantly overnight. When you are done for the day and ready to pack up its best to corral all of the cords, pens, and paper in one place to minimize visual clutter. The quick and easy act of cleaning up and organizing your belongings for the next day will serve you well for the rest of the evening and well into the next day.
You may or may not have other adults who are now working from home with you as well or even children. This is a very hectic and challenging time physically and mentally within your walls so carving out some space and/or time with a door to close for those important calls or pressing tasks is necessary. To avoid disruption find a space where you may close the door. I understand that is easier said than done so the alternative is to wake up earlier than the rest of your household to get as much done as possible. You could also adopt a colour signal system to let your family know if they can go or slow. Perhaps red and green pieces of paper on the door might be just what you need to buy more time. Post the coloured paper on your door depending on what you’re working on and that will let your family know if they are free to go or if they should slow.
Consider opening a window to listen to the birds or wind for background noise. This may seem silly but now more than ever we need to calm our mind with soothing sounds and minimize media intake. If you would rather listen to music opt for a streaming service so you control the amount of news you consume and when.
5. Spark Joy
Simply add one of your most favorite accessories or a small plant to bring a little personality to your new-found office space. Keeping in mind that you don’t want to add unwanted clutter, it is best to add something as simple as a small framed photo, cards of affirmation, pretty stationery, a cheeky or playful trinket that reminds you of a special time or of the bright future ahead. Stay optimistic.
I was recently interviewed by Melissa Couto from The Canadian Press on this topic. Feel free to read the interview here.
If you have any questions you can comment below, email me, or even reach out on any of my social channels (Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest). Tag me in your #homeofficeinapinch posts and maybe I’ll share it!
It would be great to hear from you!