“All things are difficult before they are easy.”
Let’s think positively – if everyone does their part with social distancing, this will not go on forever. With that in mind, for those now forced to work from home, here is a list of things to think about when setting up a home office.
- Have a house meeting. If you haven’t already had a house meeting, I suggest you do so immediately! We are all feeling a bit traumatized by what is going on in the world, and we are all processing this experience differently. It is so, so, so important that you understand how those you live with are coping. Don’t assume they feel the same as you. We all have different needs. It is paramount that you understand those needs prior to setting up your home office.
- Select the best location in your home for what you need to do each day. If you live with others, be considerate and factor everyone’s needs into where you set up your office. For example, if your work requires you to be on the phone all day long, the kitchen is probably not the best spot for you. Those you live with will need to be able to prepare food or use the sink, which can be noisy.
- Make sure your location has an outlet nearby.
- Make sure your Wi-Fi works well in the space.
- Office supplies – have just what you need, and no more! Let’s face it, our homes are already stocked with more food and people than we are typically used to. Having too many office supplies on your counter/dining room table has the potential to overwhelm you or those you live with.
- Whenever possible, use what you have. Need a pen/pencil cup/holder? No need to order a new one on Amazon. Just use an old mug, mason jar, or one of the many cans you’ve stockpiled!
- Make sure your chair is comfortable. If you don’t have a comfy seat at home, plan for LOTS of stretch breaks!
- Make it portable and keep it simple. If your dining room table is your office by day, it needs to be your dining room table by night. Those of us that normally work from home know that some separation is needed (which is why co-working spaces have been popular). Technology has already blurred the lines between home and office. Those boundaries should be sacred. Keep the set up as simple as possible so that you can quickly convert your space back when necessary.
- Keep the location of your workspace consistent. This is your new office, so I recommend you treat it that way. Get up each day, do your usual morning routine, and go to work. Be sure to read our post on The Power of Routine.
- Be sure to clean up after yourself. Again, most of us are conducting our business in spaces that are typically used for other things. Be respectful and tidy your space at the end of your work day. Carve out a corner in the room to store your office items when the work day is done. A little consideration will go a long way.
Try to remember that this is temporary. The one thing we can control is our attitude. Remind yourself frequently that this WILL be over, and we are living through a historic time (which is kinda cool!). Let’s all pull together and do our best to lift each other up!! We’ve got this!