Quarantine has caused many challenges, but one bright spot for many people is that they can work from the comfort of their own homes. Although it takes some getting used to, working from home can save you time and money. Additionally, during a pandemic, it’s one of the safest ways to remain employed without putting yourself or your family at risk.
Despite these advantages, there’s a huge difference between working from home for a few days and digging in for several months or longer. If you’re in it for the long haul, you’ll want to create a home office that’s comfortable and helps you do your best work.
So, what do you need to do if you want to create a great home office? Here are a few ideas.
Identify an Office Space
Before anything else, you’ll want to identify the area in your home that would work best as an office. You might plan to section off a part of a living area or remodel an entire room if you have enough space. A room with a door is ideal, but either way, choose a spot that gives you enough space and quiet to work in comfort and peace.
Declutter and Open Up
One thing that can make your space much less comfortable is clutter. If you’ve collected a lot of things over the years, you may not even have an open area to convert into an office. So the first thing you’ll need to do is get rid of papers, books, clothing, and other items you no longer want or need.
You may also need to get rid of old furniture or other large objects that don’t fit well into a home office. It might help to rent a dumpster, which can let you declutter a space without worrying about leaving a huge mess inside or outside your home. Smaller bins are often rented for around $300 and can be dropped off and picked up without any human contact.
Solidify Your Infrastructure
To work comfortably and productively, you’ll need to ensure that your infrastructure is up to par. One of the first things to acquire is reliable internet service if you don’t have it in place already. Most companies rely on remote workers’ ability to access a stable internet connection for accessing files and communicating with colleagues from afar.
But you’ll want to focus on more than tech. If you have concerns about any of your home’s major appliances, HVAC system, plumbing, electricity, or other vital systems, consider purchasing a home warranty. It’s a way to cover unexpected expenses and get necessary repairs made quickly, helping you avoid the kind of interruptions that can disrupt your entire workday.
Find the Right Furniture
Make sure your home office meets your needs by repurposing and/or purchasing the proper furniture. You may need to move tables and chairs from other rooms or buy items such as a desk, ergonomic computer chair, or filing cabinet. Whatever steps you need to take, arrange your office in a way that makes you as comfortable and relaxed as possible.
Accessorize as Needed
Once you’ve got the big pieces in place, the next step is to equip your home office with all the accessories you’ll need. Make a checklist of peripherals and office supplies you need, including a printer and/or scanner, lamps, staplers, notepads, pens/pencils, and anything else you use regularly.
Also, don’t underestimate the value of furnishings that please the eye, like artwork, rugs, or pillows. No matter what you choose, be sure it adds value to the room and makes you feel more peaceful and comfortable. If it pleases you with its style as well as its functionality, that’s reason enough to welcome it into your office space.
There are plenty of steps you can take to create your perfect home office. No matter what your style or taste may be, make sure you’re creating an area that’s comfortable, quiet, and conducive to turning in your best effort every day.
Authors Bio: This article was contributed by Ann Lloyd, an MBA grad student working as a marketing intern on the side. In her spare time, Ann is hard at work on the Student Savings Guide, my blog about living a budget-conscious life. The guide caters to students and recent grads, but anyone can use these tips to get by.