Guest Author: Jan Britt, award-winning interior designer and CPE instructor
Our lives sure have changed because of the Coronavirus. Through all of the changes, this challenge helps us discover that we are all adaptable people. If you are new to working at home, I have some advice to help you set up and enjoy your work environment, even if you don’t have a home office.
Steps to Setting Up Your Home Office
Select a location: Begin by selecting a room in your house that is not used very often, such as a living room or a guest bedroom. Make sure that the WIFI and your phone will work well in that room.
Set up the space: Remove extra furniture, or push it out of the area, so that you will have room to move around and work. Less clutter will help you to be more relaxed and stay focused.
Find a desk: If you don’t already have a desk, try using a folding table, similar to what you would use to entertain your family and friends. If it is possible, purchase a desk that can be adjusted up or down for height. Sometimes it’s nice to have a desk that allows you to work while standing. A different perspective can make a big difference!
If you find that you are going to work from home longer than expected, try investing in an ergonomically correct work station. Your chair is the most important part of your new work area. Without the right chair, your back, arms, shoulders, and hands may hurt or feel sore after a while. You will tire faster if your chair and desk do not fit you properly. If your feet dangle on the floor when you sit at your desk, consider buying an angled foot rest that will allow for your correct and comfortable posture.
Tip: Given these unprecedented circumstances, try asking your employer if you can bring some of your desk and work equipment home.
Use several light sources: Lighting is a very important feature you will need in your home office. Try to have both natural lighting from a window and lighting from a lamp. Natural lighting is for both function and your mental well-being. It is also good to have a lamp with LED lighting.
Provide activities for kids: If you have young children at home, create a “Happy Time” area for your kids with games, quiet toys, art supplies, etc. to occupy them while you are working. Talk your kids about playing quietly and patiently as you work. Take frequent breaks and enjoy lunch together.
Keep healthy snacks handy: Have containers set aside for morning and afternoon snacks. This will help keep you on track when you stop for breaks and make it easier to eat healthy foods while you are working at home.
Additional Items You May Find Helpful
- proper software for your work needs
- high-speed internet
- surge protector
- printer/scanner or scanner app
- electrical strip for multiple cords
- keyboard tray
- two monitor screens angled together
- storage solutions-bookcase, file cabinet, shelf on the wall, or a small table
- office supplies-ink, paper, pens, sticky notes, paper clips, etc.
With a little planning and creativity, you can create a functional and comfortable space at home that will serve you well during this time and beyond!
Jan Britt is an interior designer, window treatment specialist, professional home stager, senior relocation design expert, and an instructor at CPE. She attended Oakland University in Michigan and has decorated homes since 1993. An award-winning interior designer, Jan has been featured on HGTV and many newspaper and magazine articles. Her TV show, “The Decorate with Jan Show” airs on channel 519 on wisecast.tv. Her many accomplishments include serving as the interior design instructor for Macy’s holiday event and teaching home staging classes for real estate agents throughout Georgia.