October 22, 2021 l by Tara E.
Why are People Working from Home?
One might argue that there is no formula for how to work from home (WFH). Before the pandemic, companies were looking for ways to decrease overhead costs and attract potential employees. We were not as WFH savvy as we are today. Previously, businesses sent their employees home with their equipment, passwords, and the whisperings of “Good Luck” to control costs.
The unexpected chaos of the 2020 pandemic pushed additional workers out of the traditional workplace, freeing them from the confines of their cubicles for nearly a year. With the arrival of 2021, vaccines, and other efforts to make work a safe environment, the number of people working in their homes is slowly declining. According to Business Insider, 14% of workers were working from home in June of 2021. This statistic is down from 35% in May of 2021.
However, do not be fooled by these numbers. Despite what corporations and small businesses might want to see unfold over the next several months, their employees are holding up a finger to say –“not so fast!” Members of the workforce finally got a taste of the pros and cons of working from home. Many people voiced their readiness to return to the office where they could be social butterflies and escape their cocoons of social distancing. Others found themselves less than enthused to resume the rigors of having to return to the office or dabble in office politics.
This desire to enjoy the perks of working from home is a contributing factor to the Great Resignation. We are witnessing workforce members quitting their jobs in record numbers. Many cannot fathom returning to the rat race of working in the office. Instead, they want a job that allows them to work from home.
No matter the impetus for transferring into a WFM status, you will likely find that stability is a must-have. This requirement exceeds the simplistic setup of a computer and a phone. To be successful, there are a few basic steps that you will want to take to achieve success.
How to Set Up Your Work from Home Office
Establish a DEDICATED Office Space
First, you must identify a dedicated space within your residence that will serve or function as office space. If you’re lucky enough to have a spare bedroom or study, you should make every effort to use this space. It is ideal because it becomes a space within the home that is in use for business. In addition, it is separate from the rest of your living space. A dedicated space is beneficial because it minimizes the number of distractions happening in the home.
Also, you can secure this space by placing locks on the door and keeping important information away from roaming eyes. Family members should not have access to confidential information about an individual or client.
Alternatives to Using a Bedroom or Dedicated Room for A Home Office
If you cannot dedicate an entire room in your home to becoming your office space, choose another area. You should secure a space that is not too susceptible to foot traffic during your work hours. Ideally, the living room is still not the best option. Instead, you want to choose a space that is not disruptive to your home. Formal dining areas or formal living spaces that no one ever visits are great options. The breakfast area of your kitchen, or a corner space can work just as well as a dedicated office. Guest bedrooms are an option too.
Although one may not have a choice, the master bedroom is another area you should avoid. This statement does have an exception. If you have a sitting room that is separate from the main master bedroom area, then it may be okay. You want to avoid the lure of your queen or king-size bed calling to you during your after-lunch slump.
Prefab Backyard Office Shed or Outdoor Shed Options for Office Space
You might consider building a shed and converting it into an office space or building a Prefab Office Shed. Of course, you would need to potentially wire the space or insulate it. Other considerations for your personal comfort include heat or air conditioner solutions. Alternate power supply options might include the use of solar power generators for your office equipment. Solar power packs provide power to keep you up and running throughout the day. A stand-alone structure saves you from sacrificing square footage in your main house.
Ergonomics Work at Home Furniture and Equipment is Important
Just because you work at home does not mean you should short-change yourself on acquiring ergonomic furniture and equipment. If you work for a large organization, they may be able to assist you by providing an ergonomic assessment. This can ensure that your chair, desk, computer, monitor, keyboard, and mouse are appropriate. The last thing you want to do is trigger neck or back issues because you have a DIY set-up.
Are Ergonomic Keyboards and Mouse Products Helpful?
If you’re self-employed, you can also purchase your tools to assist you in creating an ergonomic space.
Ergonomic Split Keyboards with Adjustable Palm Rests can be highly effective in minimizing your risk for conditions like carpal tunnels. In addition, these keyboards help to support your wrist, allowing for a more effortless, less risky execution of typing.
An ergonomic mouse may also prove highly beneficial in helping to minimize strain to your wrist. They can help to keep your hand and wrist in a handshake position. This amenity can reduce pain and stress injuries that sometimes emerge with excessive use.
Finally, do not get thrifty when it comes to purchasing an ergonomic office chair. Your back will thank you for making a serious investment. Prolonged sitting can lead to all kinds of problems if you are doing it in the wrong kind of chair. Common complaints include neck pain, lower back strain, and sciatic pain.
Do You Have to Get Dressed for Work if You Work from Home?
Get Up, Get Dressed, Get Going
Working from home affords the perks of not having to deal with traffic. However, it can prove to be a bit disorienting to your typical morning routine that accompanies leaving home. The critical thing to remember is that you should get up as though you have to leave home. Take a shower, brush your teeth, have breakfast, and then go to your home office. Sure, working in your pajamas is a perk, but it is not the best habit to develop.
Get dressed. Now, the good news is that your workplace is casual. You can wear sweats if you choose. Keep in mind that if you are someone who has to spend the day on camera, keep yourself presentable. At least, keep it professional from the waist up. You should never look like you just rolled out of bed.
Work-at-Home Work Schedule
Office Hours and Working at Home
Remember to start your workday on time and end it as you usually would if you were in the office. For example, if you typically work 30 minutes past your scheduled end-time, do that. If you would generally end your day on time, do that as well. The key is to establish and maintain a routine. Make time for lunch. Some people report falling into the trappings of overdoing it at home as a result of a shorter commute time.
Additionally, the awareness of having gained one to two hours back in your day can lead you to overdo it. Just take care not to unwittingly dump those hours back into your workday.
In closing, working from home is an attractive amenity and it offers many advantages. However, an optimal work-at-home environment, establishing a routine, and adhering to a work schedule is essential to your success.