Working from home? Millions across the country have been forced to do so after the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving them to fashion makeshift offices in their homes or apartments. Home offices now seem set to be the new normal, and many are wondering how they can optimise their home working spaces to be productive as possible.
When space is tight, it might seem difficult to cultivate a work area at home. So how can you create your work oasis? You need a place where you are not only productive but also comfortable. Striking that balance may be a challenge in close quarters, but it's not impossible.
Let's walk through some of the best practises for how to create a home office in a small space and how you can start upgrading your work zone today.
First off, you'll need to take care of your office supply needs. Usually, you might depend on an office manager for procuring all the sticky notes, pencils, staples, printer inks and paper you use on a daily basis. Now, you'll need to handle your own shopping. Look for office supplies online and order everything you need to do your job as normal. The better you can replicate the in-office feel of your home work area, the better.
Offices run on all sorts of technology. While many of the applications you access are hosted on the cloud, you'll still have some home-based hardware needs to complete your job effectively, especially if you rely on office printers or scanners.
When you set out to buy home office equipment, think about investing in a high-quality product. Keep in mind your home office will probably be getting a lot more work even once COVID-19 passes, so it makes sense to buy machines that offer high performance and longevity.
You may want to consider an Epson home office printer. Our wide range of models can fit in even the tiniest of home office nooks, offering you the functionality and features you need. Tired of staring at screens all day and want to give your eyes a break? You can easily print out whatever materials you're working on without any fuss. Professional home scanners are also highly useful. Office workers constantly need to to digitise physical documents, but not many home offices are outfitted with such tech. Getting a home pro scanner can solve these problems and enable you to get your job done as usual.
One other thing to think about is getting a second monitor. Many workers have two at the office, but maybe only a laptop or one monitor at home. Monitors are relatively inexpensive, as they are just display screens and not computer processors.
You don't really get a say in how your office is decorated. Sure, you might get to arrange your workspace, but not the colour scheme or office furniture. Now's your chance to make an interior design impact on your home office and arrange it exactly the way you want it.
If you are setting up in a small room, you can add wall accents, photos or other decorations to liven up the place and impart your personality on it. You're going to be spending a lot of time in your home office, so might as well make it nice.
Lots of people get a small plant or a rock garden to not only add character, but something that they can tend to and give them thinking space. Watering your plants or arranging your rock garden can give you a quiet break away from work without having to leave the home office.
A cluttered workspace is not often a productive workspace. Before your home office is buried under a mountain of papers, take the time to implement an organisation system. Of course, you'll need to find solutions that fit your small space. If your home office can handle it, think about getting small file cabinets, the type that have two or three drawers and reach about hip height. You can stack them if you need to maximise your space. At the very least, get some folders and a portfolio so you can keep track of all the important work documents. Even better, get a label printer so you never lose track of your stuff.
"Get as far away from the television as you can so you can resist the pull of Netflix."
Perhaps the hardest part about working from home is trying to keep yourself on task. There are all manner of distractions at home, whether it's the draw of the TV, outside noises or disruptions from family members or flat mates.
To ensure you can work peacefully and without distraction, you'll need to locate yourself away from all the things that may draw your attention. Get as far away from the television as you can so you can resist the pull of Netflix. And if all you have is a living room, then position your desk so that your back is to the television and the rest of the room. It may not seem like much, but it can still be highly effective at keeping your focus.
As for limiting distractions from family members and flat mates, just communicate with them about your boundaries. For instance, create your own personal schedule that reflects your work calendar. Let the people you live with know when you'll be on a call or when you have free time to chat. It's not unlike expecting your coworkers to respect your time constraints. Just be clear and open to ensure everyone is on the same page and can get their own work done.
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