Top Tips For Setting Up A Home Office

Crazy times! Welcome to the new normal, whatever that means. I guess we all have our own definition of what that means. It seems that everyone is doing what feels comfortable to them. There are, however, some things that we will all be seeing and experiencing at least for the near future. We will be all be wearing masks and/or face shields especially while shopping. Things that we never thought about, but did on a daily basis without thinking about, are no longer acceptable, ie. shaking hands. Elbow bumps or some other greeting like the “Vulcan Salute” (See Star Treck) will now be the new normal.

Many people will no longer be returning to an outside office, even if you were lucky enough to keep your job. Or, you may have an office to go to but may not be required to go there as often as you used to. As such, during the pandemic, many of us have had to set up a home office or at least a space in our home to get work done. Many of us will continue working from home permanently and will now have to create a space where we can work.

Wherever you live, no matter the size, I’m thinking it would be a great idea to create a space in your home so that you can get your work done efficiently. That can mean anything from paying your bills to writing a newsletter or working on a client project. Work comes in all shapes and sizes. But, I think we can all agree that a dedicated work space will make all the difference in the world.

Here’s some tips to set up your home office for maximum efficiency, productivity and success:

1. Make sure:
• It’s comfortable
• It’s functional
• Supplies are accessible

2. Use Technology:
• Make sure your computer has a good internet connection
• Set yourself up for virtual meetings
• Make sure your computer has a camera
• Adjust your background
• Use a phone that has good reception

3. Create a Workspace:
• If possible, utilize the door or partition to close yourself off from others in the house
• Set up a desk and filing cabinet
• Use a desktop file organizer so that whatever you’re working on is vertical (instead of in piles)
• Whenever possible, try to keep anything not work/office related out of that space.
• Your kids toys do not need to be in your work space

4. Keep a Schedule:
• Get up in the morning when you normally do (or did)
• Get to your “office” the same time each day
• Get dressed (not just from the waist up)
• When you look good, you feel good and it changes your mindset and confidence
• Take meal breaks
• Get out of your “office” and don’t eat at your desk

5. Set boundaries:
• Let others know that you are working.
• If necessary, put a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door
• Start work at a specified time and end work, whenever possible, at a specified time
• Don’t get distracted by social media
• Check social media 3 x per day and set a limit for 5-10 minutes

6. Create systems:
• Filing
• Virtual and physical
• The two should mirror one another
• Follow up
• This is sooo important!
• To Do’s
• To keep yourself accountable

7. Communicate:
• Stay connected with colleagues
• Join or attend virtual networking groups
• Take time for education
• There are so many webinars, seminars and on-line training available