Wednesday, August 4, 2021 / by Sonya Reiselt
While some companies have slowly transitioned their way back into the office, for the majority of the Lowcountry, along with the rest of the nation, many offices remain remote with no plan in sight for a transition. The likelihood that many employees will continue to work from home long-term is high, making homes not only a place of residence but also a place of employment for the foreseeable future. So, it’s more important than ever to make sure your home is suitable for the work-life balance that you might be facing for an indefinite amount of time!
Make sure to take the following into consideration when ensuring your home is suitable for a long-term work-from-home environment!
· Don’t work and sleep in the same room.
This is crucial for long-term success and happiness! Spending your days and nights, 24/7, in the same room isn’t recommended for anyone. This can take quite the toll both on your mental health, as well as your work. So, set up a designated workspace in your home other than your bedroom. Whether it be an already existing office, made to function more full-time, or a dedicated space elsewhere throughout the house, make sure you have a proper work-life balance by working in a space that can function as such for the indefinite future, that has a clear separation from your bedroom.
· Set definitive boundaries.
It’s all too easy to get caught up in your work when you don’t have to leave home. So, make sure to set realistic boundaries for yourself and stick to them. Begin with a set start time and end time. Since you won’t have to factor in a commute, you could use that free time to exercise, spend quality time with the kids, actually enjoy your breakfast, etc. Then, block off a designated time for lunch. Use this time like you would at the office to eat, catch up with someone, or getting a little walk and exercise in. Setting these boundaries will continue to improve your work-life balance, resulting in your home still feeling like your home and not a stressful place of employment, as well as your dedicated work time is just that, with little distraction.
· Make sure your office space has plenty of light.
If possible, set up your desk near a window or a skylight, allowing natural light to get in throughout your workday. You’ll also want to make sure you have good lighting overhead, whether that be from a light on the ceiling or a lamp that’s adjusted to meet your needs. Lighting is often underestimated but important when it’s time to focus and get work done.
· Decorate your space as you would at the office.
Make your space feel like “you” while also giving it an office vibe. The less it feels like home, and more so like your office at work, the more productive you’re bound to be. Set up pictures of the family on your desk, put a clock on the wall, and have as many monitors as you require to get the job done. If possible, have a door in the room where you’re working that can remain shut while you’re needing to be productive/in a meeting. This way, your family will know when to respect your boundaries.
· Utilize your kitchen for lunchtime.
One of the biggest downfalls, if not the biggest, to working from home, is having to put extra thought into taking care of your health. When working in an office, many pack a nutritious lunch and only eat at designated times. When at home, it is much easier to snack on quick treats throughout the day without giving it a second thought. Make sure, when working from home, to utilize your kitchen! Prep lunches and healthy snacks ahead of time so it’s easier to hold yourself accountable, making sure you’re taking full advantage of all of the food that is at your disposal!
While it’s uncertain just how long working from home will remain “the norm”, it’s important to take it day by day and remember to utilize your resources and make your space function best for you. Like any other home project, updating and creating a workspace might take time, as well as trial and error, but will be well worth it in the end!