If you plan on working from home (something a lot of people are having to do because of the coronavirus pandemic), you're certain to encounter some problems. One of the biggest problems with changing from a traditional working environment to a home work environment is how to set up a home office.
When I made the decision to make a switch from a full-time working arrangement to become a freelancer, I had the same problem. I lived in a small apartment and after two weeks of working from my bed I knew that I couldn't continue that way. I was missing deadlines left and right, and I was getting almost nothing done.
That's when I decided that I would have to make most of what I had. Whether by hook or crook, I had to set up a work environment. Eventually, I was able to get it done. It took several weeks of tweaking and understanding what works and what doesn't. But within a month or so, I had the perfect environment that optimised productivity.
How did I do it? Let me show you.
You Can't Have A Great Office Right Away
If you're a perfectionist (like I am, sometimes), you probably would have the idea of perfect office space in your mind. And in fact, you may begin to painstakingly work to recreate that vision. Unfortunately, things rarely pan out the way you want. Importantly, if you have this idea of a perfect workspace, you may even put off doing any work till it's done. You may start inventing excuses like you haven't seen the right desk, the lighting isn't good enough etc.
However, you need to know that the main reason you're setting up an office space in the first place is to be productive. It's not because of aesthetics. With that said, you need to work with whatever you have and get working as soon as you can. One day, you may get all you need, but that day will most likely not be today.
Cupboards And Drawers Are Life Savers
It's easy to fall into what I call the minimalist trap. It's the idea of thinking that all you really need is a desk and a chair for a home office. However, that's not only wrong, it can also be harmful especially if you work with multiple devices. If you work with a printer (if you don't, get one), you'll soon find that having it on a desk isn't the most amazing thing. For one, it can easily get knocked off if you have kids. Putting it in a cupboard or drawer somewhere will make your office space a lot tidier. Importantly, having a closed storage space makes it easier to keep all your paperwork without worrying about losing them.
Your Desk Should Be Tidy
If a high level of productivity is what you want, then you should do away with a cluttered desk. And if you didn't know already, working from home, especially if you have to take care of kids, can leave your desk looking extremely untidy. Cluttering your desk with a bunch of needless stuff will only serve to confuse you and impede your work. If you can, avoid having a cluttered desk. You'll discover that it'll reduce your anxiety and make it easier for you to work.
Invest In Standing Desks
If you've never tried using a standing desk, this is the right time to try one. Instead of buying a regular desk, you could just get a standing desk. That way, you'll be able to work while standing, thereby improving your posture and massively reducing your chances of developing a terrible backache.
You must be careful though. The market is filled with products that don't work as advertised, so I'd suggest getting the Electric Height Adjustable Standing Desk from Flexispot. It will help you keep cords and cables neatly tucked away, and it comes with an advanced all in one keyboard that makes it extremely easy to lift and lower the desk. It can even save preprogrammed positions, that way you won't have to find your perfect height every time.
Of course, your reality will have certain peculiarities. You may have to find extra space, deal with children, or even deal with annoying roommates (or a partner!). But if you follow these guidelines, your job will definitely get easier.