With the COVID-19 outbreak forcing a lot of countries to implement quarantine measures, many professionals have been instructed to “work from home.” This can mean a lot of things for many industries – from bringing their office equipment home, to using their own gear should they have them, or to do individual assignments. If your company makes it possible to work from home, you have to get yourself the proper workstation. If your job doesn’t have a work from the home format, you might be forced to get a part-time position for the quarantine duration.
Location is Key to Working Remote
If you don’t have a home office, things can get tricky when setting up your workstation. Where do you put your stuff? What exactly do you need? If you seem a bit lost, here are some tips to help you out:
Get your workstation as far from your bedroom as possible. Regardless of where you want your workstation to be in, make sure it’s somewhere far from your bed. While it’s much comfier to work on your bed, we want to avoid the risk of you wanting to nap or sleep entirely (because it’s the bed). And we want to preserve the idea that the bed is your place of relaxation. If we make your place for R&R your place for work, you might get tired of your work immediately. Regardless of your job – be it as movers and packers, IT professionals, or even sales and support – a workstation that would require you to walk away from your bedroom gives your mind the time it needs to “realign” yourself to be prepared for work.
Set-Up In A Dedicated Space
Have your workstation in its own table as much as possible. A workstation comes in many forms – it can be your dining table, a living room couch, or even a small bench in your garage. When setting up a workstation, we want to suggest using a dedicated workspace as much as possible. Using any other surface that might be used a lot by different people throughout the day (like a dining table or a couch) can be annoying and disrupt your flow. If you have an extra table or an old table that no one uses, try to call dibs and set up your workstation there. This gives you a “space” that is exclusively yours.
Prepare all your gadgets and devices with the right updates and the right applications. Whether you’re working from home through your company or with a part-time job you’ve gotten online, you need to make sure your printer/scanner and devices are equipped with the right updates and software to let you do work. Before you set up your workstation, try asking your bosses or supervisors the apps and programs you’d need to use so that you can set them up on both your desktop or laptop or even your smartphone. Communication apps, such as private Virtual Private Network (VPN) software, should always be installed and updated, so it’s easy to use and contains the latest security updates. As for other apps, like spreadsheets and slideshows, try to make sure they’re available on your laptop.
Pick a Quiet Place to Set up
Have a quiet place ready for calls and meetings. We can’t always get peace at home, especially if we have the whole family there. It’s fun to have a lot of talk with the family, as this helps us feel safer and calmer throughout the pandemic. However, if you’re working from home, having a noisy home won’t always do for team meetings and conferences with clients – especially if you’re in the kind of work that needs to talk a lot of times, such as if you’re cross country movers. If possible, try to get a space at home that you can use for calls and conferences – such as the bathroom. Coordinate with your household to leave for a few minutes so you can get your conference calls done.
Keep your cables and electronics neatly placed and arranged. We want to make your workstation as neat and organized as possible to avoid confusion and clutter. When your workplace is cluttered, you might be disorganized as well. Regardless of how many devices, make sure they’re organized on your workstation neatly, and in a logical manner. Everything should be in arm’s reach should you need to call someone or check data on another device. Make sure their cables are neatly placed so no one trips and you don’t get confused finding which cable is the charger for which device.
Your First Workstation: Make it Practical, Simple
If there’s anything the coronavirus outbreak has taught us, it’s that we should be flexible and be prepared to make adjustments for our work. Just because some of us are on lockdown and been instructed to work from home doesn’t mean we should make poorly-prepared workstations and setups. Hopefully, the above tips have been able to teach you how to make the best use of extra materials you have at home to create an efficient and effective workstation that can make you more productive with your work from home. Good luck and keep safe!