Many people now find themselves working from home due to COVID-19 social distancing measures. However, not all workers are accustomed to remote work and they may not have a dedicated space in their home either.
As a result, they may need to create a temporary work space in a nook in the hallway, their bedroom, or even a closet. Nonetheless, it is possible to create a productive home office environment quickly and affordably.
Use What You Have
An unprecedented need to work from home doesn’t merit spending a bundle on office equipment. Once things return to normal, you won’t need these items anymore.
Instead, use what you have already. A folding card table or a patio table can be a makeshift desk. Plastic baskets or boxes can serve as file drawers or clear a bookshelf to store work papers.
Place a potted plant or a favorite picture in the space to make it feel more inviting. Even a closet can be a cozy space to work if you dress it up a little.
Light & Comfort
Try to position your desk near a window and snag a lamp to position near your computer. You need good light or your eyes will tire.
Many people work on the laptop in bed, but this isn’t recommended as it can strain your neck and back. A better solution is a comfortable chair in front of a makeshift desk. Your screen should be at eye level and your feet flat on the floor to reduce strain on your body.
Kids, pets, TV, internet, phone calls and frequent chats with your partner can distract you from your work. While it may be difficult to eliminate these distractions completely, you can certainly minimize them by planning ahead.
For instance, scheduled snack and mealtimes are great times to interact with others. A bathroom and hydration break is a good time to pet Fido or Fluffy.
You can also place your desk towards the door so you can signal your kids when you’re in the middle of a video conference call. If you have a door on your space, close it when you don’t want others to barge in.
Establish a Schedule
We’re not saying you need to get up every day at 6:00 am, but if you want to be productive you should have some sort of regular routine. Why? If working from home isn’t something you normally do, it’s easy to muck about on everything except work.
You may linger over a few cups of coffee, dawdle in the shower, and check your email and social media before you even consider working. The point is that time slips away and then you find yourself working flat out, ignoring breaks, and working later than you intended.
Try to set a reasonable schedule to maintain some normalcy in your home. Work all day in your pajamas (once in a while!) if you must, but set aside time for work. Take breaks, stretch, air out the room and then get back to it.
Keep It Neat
Minimizing clutter and visual distractions makes it easier to focus on your work. Periodically de-clutter and reorganize. Keep vital documents within easy reach and less important ones tucked away below.