10 Tips for Creating a Hardworking Home Office
By Ramona d’Viola
Has your employer asked you to start working from home due to the Coronavirus outbreak? Maybe your kids are staying home from school too? Better safe than sorry, and consider the upside – you won’t be sitting in traffic.
Working from home sounds delightful – because, well, it is. But, it takes a little work to work effectively—and efficiently—from home starting with the right home office essentials, and a little bit of self-discipline.
Moreover, since we won’t know how long these quarantines will last, these tips will help you create a quiet place to carry on your commerce with comfortable, contemporary office furniture for any sized space. Here are some suggestions for creating a hardworking home office to weather the coronavirus outbreak.
1. Assess Your Space
If you’ve ever had to work from home before, sitting at the kitchen table surrounded by your kid’s crayons is far from optimal. Or maybe you already have a makeshift niche you currently use as an ad hoc home office? You’ve hit the jackpot if you’re lucky enough to have room to designate as a home office.
2. Assess Your Needs
What will you be doing from your home office? Are you a sales manager or a copy editor? Architect or an attorney? Regardless of your job function, you’ll need more than the kitchen table and a laptop if the Coronvirus continues for the foreseeable future.
Think realistically about how you’ll utilize this space — today and into the future. Consider starting with your work surface. Big or small desk? Minimal or multifunctional? The desk for an accountant might not function for an architect and vice versa.
Moreover, are your children – school- and college-aged, being kept home from school? If so, you’ll need a place for them to study (while you TRY to get your work done). We’ve got solutions for them too.
Finally, consider if this space will become “The Office” or, will it serve double duty as a guest room? Either way, our team of interior designers can help you get the most out of your home office needs.
3. Select Comfortable, Functional Home Office Furniture
Form follows function, and Cabot House’s in-house designers are here to help you select the appropriate furnishings for your home office. We carry high-quality, brand-name office furnishings like:
4. Invest in Technology
Laboring over a laptop will wreck your neck over time, and who knows, this working from home thing might stick around. If so, be better prepared for an extended flu season, with Ergonomic Seating (cleverly disguised as on-trend furniture), wall-mounted monitors, high-speed internet, cloud storage and encryption technology to keep the other viruses away.
If you don’t already, use messaging apps or hangouts to keep connected with colleagues and clients, and the isolation (and virus) at bay.
5. Stick to Your Schedule
What to do with that nice chunk of extra time in the morning? Use it wisely and stick to your schedule. If your children are home, take this time to get them set up, logged in (and comfortable) with their online classroom. Prepare their lunches and snacks – and plan to take breaks together. They grow up so fast…
6. Set Work Hours
Now that you’ve got a nice office set up in your home, don’t let work creep take over. If you’re normally working by 9 am, and knocking off at 5 pm, walk away from your home office and turn off the computer at quitting time—then, re-engage with your normal life. Part of working from home is knowing when to stop.
7. Take Regular Breaks
While you’re sticking to your work schedule, remember to take those coveted 15-minute breaks and your lunch break. See #5 if the kids are home. That is – get up from your desk and take a walk outside, walk the dog, pet the cat, chat up the parrot, or do some stretches. Feel better?
8. Eat Healthily
You wanted to know what to do with that extra time not spent commuting? Chop veggies and make a little crudite plate to nibble on throughout the day. Ok, now we’re starting to sound like your mother…but seriously, to maintain optimal health and keep the Coronavirus away, be sure to eat the healthy foods you already do, right?
Yes, another message from mom. Get up – go outside – get some fresh air. Play in traffic. Just kidding. If you’re sticking close to home, be sure to pop your head – and maybe your whole body – out of the house for some elevated heart rate activity. Yes, walking counts. As long as it’s beyond the bodega for a bag of chips.
10. Wash Your Hands
Ready to Get Started?
We know you might not feel comfortable leaving the house and visiting a retail store. We get it! If you’re ready to get started, take THE DESIGN QUIZ. This quick survey gives us an idea of your style and budget. Then, you’ll be contacted by one of Cabot House’s regional in-house designers to make it easy to get you set up and working from home—stat.
We look forward to working with you — and please, stay well.