When you work from home, there are many reasons why you need to have a dedicated office.
After 2020, it seems home offices are here to stay. No more commuting, more lunch options, saving time and money from having to dress up, and more time with pets all sound good. It makes sense for businesses as well, as working from home is linked to lower stress and higher productivity. But, to make it work, your home office needs to be designed like an office.
- Importance of Having a Home Office When Working Remote
Without the physical separation between your home and office, boundaries could get blurry, causing both your work and wellbeing to suffer. For this reason, you need to make your home office look and feel like an actual office.
To get stuff done, you need privacy which translates to no disruptions, no noise. Having some peace and quiet will help you focus and concentrate.
Separate work and private life
You need a private telephone that will be separated from your house. Besides not getting interrupted, it is just as important to be able to ‘unplug’ after work so you can devote your full attention to your family.
Filing for tax deductions
The only way to be eligible for home office deductions is to prove you have a dedicated home office. That means your living room or kitchen table wont’ do. You need to be able to show this office to an auditor if they visit your home as this used to be a red flag for the IRS.
You cannot afford important paperwork flying around your house.
- Must-Haves for Your Home Office Upgrade
To make working from home work for you, you need a good setup.
A bigger screen
Studies suggest a bigger screen can lead to a 30% increase in productivity. Just don’t forget to protect your eyes as although the glare from our screens is not known to damage the eyes, specific wavelength of blue light increases the effort required for our eyes to function properly.
Make sure you look good on camera
A DSLR camera will cost you more than $1,500 with the setup and take up significant desk space. However, you can get a pro-quality setup with less clutter and cost by using Camo, an app that lets you use your iPhone’s camera.
Make sure you are comfortable
Ergonomic chairs claim to prevent back pain and improve posture. Ideally, you want a chair that moves with you like a Pilates ball because movement is good for your spinal discs.
Make sure your voice is heard and that you hear well
investing in some noise-cancelling headphones and a good microphone can help you concentrate.
Studies confirmed that plants increase productivity, with one 10-year study concluding plants offer a 15% boost in productivity. Bringing nature in by investing in natural materials and colors will help you feel grounded.
Invest in smart devices
Being at home more translates to a higher energy bill. However, making smart upgrades to your home office will bring you both convenience and efficiency while helping you keep your AEP Ohio costs down.
- Remote Working Tips
Besides the upgrades that will make your office comfortable and functional, you need an action plan that will keep you on track.
Set an alarm to stretch and move every hour or so. Take a call while walking outside. Set your office hours and protect your private time in the same way you protect your work time. Meditate or do yoga to start your day right. Just because you are staying home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dress well or groom professionally. If you stay in your pj’s, you’ll be in trouble.
Communication is key
Over communicate to avoid misunderstandings. Inform your team when and how they can reach you. Make sure all the expectations are clear, don’t leave anything up to assumptions. Promptly return emails, calls and voice mails. Resolves issues quickly by picking up the phone. Don’t forget that digital communication cannot live up to the physical one because we get to miss a ton of non-verbal signs, not to mention that we are looking at the camera and not directly into someone else’s eyes which is a whole different story.
Working from home has its advantages and disadvantages. The trick in making it work for you is in designing it to do so. From its interior design all the way to your routine, you need to make sure each piece of the home office puzzle comes together to boost your productivity.