How to Setup a Home Office: Working from Home

With the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s safe to say that this past month has felt like a whirlwind. We are all experiencing changes and new challenges to our everyday life with the new laws and regulations in place for us to stay home and to stay safe. At this point, many of us are beginning to feel restless, but if you are currently working from home you should feel lucky enough to be able to still make an income and be safe at home at the same time. Working from home does have its challenges though – one of the first is creating a comfortable and effective workspace. Having a home office at a time like this is great as you already have a designated space to work. I’ve had a home office for years now so I’m quite used to it and have learned to make it work well for my purposes. Whether or not you have a home office or not though, here is what you need to keep in mind when you’re finding and creating the right space to be productive in.

Get rid of the clutter

When you are setting up your workspace, be sure that it is tidy. Clutter hijacks our attention and creates a stressful work environment. A lack of clutter also helps to increase work productivity, focus and minimize distractions. If you’re surrounded by a mess, you’re going to be thinking about the mess. You want your workspace to reflect your work ethic by being organized and free of all distractions. If you’re creating a temporary office space, try finding a new space for certain items if they are in the way or put them in storage for the time being.

Have a dedicated office space

It’s best to have a home office in a separate part of your home. Not only does this separate you from any distractions that may be happening around your house, but it also allows you to separate your work life and your home life a bit more. When you step into your ‘home office’, that is your time to think about work. Once you step out of that space, it’s time to stop thinking about work and focus on your home life. It can be difficult working in a more ‘public’ space in your house such as the living room or kitchen – especially if you’re living with a partner, roommate or children because they will become distractions. Also, if you’re working from the living room couch or your bed all day, it isn’t healthy for you (especially for long periods of time). So be sure to have a comfortable setup in a secluded area of your home.

Avoid working in dark, gloomy spaces. 

When choosing a spot for your home office, think of an area of your house that gets plenty of sunlight and ventilation. I used to have a home office in the basement of the previous house where my wife and I were living, and I found it depressing because of the lack of sunlight – so I suggest finding a spot upstairs to work by a window if possible. Many basements as well may not have proper ventilation which again isn’t healthy to be in for a long time. The best way to be productive is to work in a space where you feel happy and comfortable so be sure to put up a couple photos, maybe add a plant to your desk and using colourful post it notes can help too. 

Although the pandemic we are currently facing has created many hurdles, we must overcome those hurdles and not let them interfere with our livelihood and our overall happiness. For those of us who are lucky to work from home during this time, it may be stressful, but just know that we are all in this together and there are many of us feeling the same way you are as well. If you are home, you are safe and you are doing your part to keep others safe as well, so feel good knowing that. One of the many new perks of working from home is the extra time you now have, so don’t abuse that time and use it well.

“Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.” – Charles Swindoll