Many people will be returning to their offices soon. But not everyone. And I have a feeling that some who do go back to their workplaces may take one look around and decide there’s no place like home.
If the thought of getting on an elevator, sitting near coworkers, touching a communal coffee pot, or simply putting on long pants again has you reconsidering going back to the office, you may want to double down on your set-up at the house. Perhaps it’s time for a real home office.
By now, you’ve probably realized that the living room couch is not the ideal spot for maximum productivity. Too many distractions. And working in bed makes it too tempting to nap, which is never a good idea during a Zoom meeting. Here are some things I’ve added to make myself feel more professional while working at home:
- Better Wi-Fi – It’s funny how slow your Internet service runs when you’re on a Zoom call or trying to upload your latest project while your kids are doing schoolwork or gaming. Get the upgrade.
- Boundaries – If you share your home with other people, it’s okay to ask them to respect your work hours. In fact, it’s more than okay. It’s completely necessary if you hope to get anything done.
- Chair – There’s a reason this is first on the list. You need a comfortable, supportive seat to help you get through a long day on the job. But don’t forget to give yourself breaks. Stand up, stretch, and move your legs at least once an hour.
- Desk – The kitchen counter and dining room table are fine in a pinch, but it’s a hassle to have to move your laptop and documents whenever it’s time to prepare or serve a meal. Find a corner in your home where you can create a dedicated workspace with a desk or small table. And if it’s in the budget, those adjustable standing desks are great.
- Lighting – If you can set up your desk and chair near a window, that’s great. There’s nothing better than natural light. You should also invest in a decent lamp for added illumination early in the morning or late at night.
- Mouse – The more time you spend on your laptop, the more you might want to use a mouse instead of the touch pad.
- Multi-Outlet Surge Protector – Protect your computer, printer, stereo, TV, and any other electronics you might have in your home office.
- The Vibe – Think about how much time you spend working. You might as well make your surroundings as pleasant as possible. Hang some pictures, buy a plant, put down a rug. This is something you might really want to address if you’re often on camera for remote meetings. Trust me, a washer and dryer in the background don’t exactly scream professionalism. I already made that mistake.