By now you’ve probably read a few tricks from experienced work from home parents on how to get comfortable in your new “office” at home.
But, have you really even had the time to assess your needs? Most of you have children at home who also need attention so, maybe you’ve set up a desk in your living room. Or, maybe your spouse is at home, too, and you can set up a true office space in another room and take turns watching the kids. Regardless, I think we’re going to be in this set-up for a lot longer than we originally planned and if you haven’t made the time to get organized, you should probably do so. Here are a few pointers I gained over the last two weeks to getting your home office all set up!
Step 1: Find a place for your “home office” desk.
Not everyone has a designated room for a home office. So if you haven’t done this yet, do it. I’ve seen set ups on cardboard tables in the living room, small hand me down desks in bedrooms, and even a takeover of the dining table. Find an area where the desk and chair can have its own space and kids aren’t running into you as they play tag for the 35th time today. Also, remove yourself as far from the TV as you can so you won’t be bothered with loud sounds or easily get distracted to start watching it. (It’s happened. You look up from your computer to think about how to respond to your boss’s email and 5 minutes later, you’ve watched an entire Elmo skit.)
Step 2: Get a desk and a chair
Anything that you can put your computer on will work for a home office. If you don’t want to splurge for a desk, see if a friend or family member can drop one off for you. Or, check some Facebook pages and craigslist to see if people are giving them away or selling them dirt cheap. Remember your social distancing guidelines!! I didn’t have a desk chair so nabbed one from the dining table. It took my husband a full week to realize it was missing.
Step 3: Make it your own
Add some personal touches like a plant or a coaster. If it’s an ugly table, cover it with some linens. Get a favorite mug that you use every day that sits right next to you, just like you did at the office. Heck! I saw a friend put a picture of her kids on her new desk (which is hilarious!). Make it fun. Make it you!
Step 4: How other electronics can help
If you have a Smart TV in another room, you can hook up your computer to it and use it as a second screen. I put my conference calls on my TV and I still have access to pull up reports or files on my laptop without getting lost in the conversation. Use this YouTube link to learn how to do it.
Step 5: Keep with a routine
This is just an added suggestion. When I went into the office, I had a 5AM alarm, worked out at a gym, showered, and left the house by 7:30AM to be at the office by 8AM. I’m still doing a routine, but it’s modified. Now, I get up at 6AM, will do a quick workout, shower off, and be online and ready by 8AM. The most important thing for me to do is fix myself up some. I put on a cute shirt, put on some makeup (not the full thing, but mascara is a MUST!), and I’ll fix my hair enough so that when I do have to get on camera for that Zoom meeting, I’m not embarrassed. It also just makes me feel better during the day.