Times are changing. As we adjust (and continue to adjust) to this new normal, having a home office is not just a luxury, it is becoming a necessity. However, you do not need to do a major overhaul to one of your rooms to recreate a home office. Furniture rearrangement and a few added furnishings can recreate a work zone that keeps you pumping productivity in the comfort of your own home.
Plan Your Space
Where have you been working all this while? On the kitchen table? On your bed? On your sofa? Or on your coffee table facing the television?
It is time to set up a dedicated office space so you can separate work and pleasure. If it is one thing we Singaporeans need to learn, it is work-life balance!
Even if you don’t have a large space in your home, setting up a space for you to go on work mode will increase your productivity. You could put up a screen to separate your work space from other parts of your room or at least some nook in your home. Communicate to your family members that there is a boundary between home and your workspace so no one will be caught running in their underwear while you are on a zoom call – yes, we have seen enough of those oops moments on social media!
If possible set your working space close to a source of natural light. Having ample light streaming in while you work (not direct sunlight, of course) is shown to decrease headaches and blurred vision during work. If not, natural white light will work just fine.
Plan Your Desk
Not everyone has that organizer gene in their DNA but having a place for everything will reduce the stress of misplacing things significantly. Think about what kind of work desk you need. If you are tight on budget and space, head to ikea and get a collapsible table that can be attached to the wall. Or else, you can clear a desk in your house that is collecting bits and bops and recreate a work desk with it. If you have enough space, and need to work on several monitors at once, an L-shaped desk works amazing.
Be sure to have cases for different sized stationeries and filing space for papers and documents. Colour coordinating the items will make them easily identifiable too.
You might also need to use devices for work, therefore, have a dedicated space for it, weather it is an electronic tab, mobile phone, laptop or monitor (and be sure that they are plugged neatly to power too).
Plan Your Wall
Video conferencing is part and parcel of the work-from-home agenda. Some have resorted to put up screens to hide behind the ‘mess’ or the plain-ness of their home.
If you are moving into your home office, might as well jazz up the place for everyone to see! This is why proper lighting is so important. Some people have even invested on a ring light so it reflects on their eyes, making them look more awake!
Have the source of light face you, and give the wall behind you a makeover. Paint it an interesting colour and decorate it with a bookshelf, plants, or pieces of art – whatever reflects your personality.
Plan Your Comfort
Do you feel your shoulders getting super tense when you are working, or that your feet just need to stretch but after you stand up, you find that other parts of your joints need a little ‘oiling’ too?
Truth is, we need to create an ergonomic work space. Your welfare is important. You could invest in a good office chair that is adjustable (so you won’t be craning your neck for hours to look at your screen, or hunching to reach your keyboard). A good office chair (padded please) will treat your back and spine well.
Have a small plant somewhere on the table and bounce your vision on it every once in a while to relax your eyes
If smells keep you alert, having an essential oil diffuser helps too. Don’t diffuse lavender essential oils as it will promote sleep. Instead, pick lemon, eucalyptus or basil to stimulate productivity.
Don’t wait for the pandemic to be over to create a home office for yourself. The way we see it, a home office will be an essential part of the home as we move toward rapid digitisation.
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