There was a time when working from home wasn’t a popular thing. Before it was only associated with creative folk who may have freelanced from home. Now the WFH life is common across many businesses and economic levels. Whether you set out on your own as a small business owner, an experienced freelancer, or someone occasionally doing hybrid from your home office for a big company, you may be looking for ways to make working from home as comfortable as possible. As you read this guide, you’ll gain insight into housing updates and lifestyle adjustments you should consider when it comes to living the WFH life.
1. Set a Comfortable Tone
One of the first things you should do when you set up a designated home workspace is to make it as comfortable as possible. Whether you’re working 4 hours a day or 12-hour days, your office should be an area where you can comfortably sit, have Zoom or in-person meetings, and enjoy a cup of coffee without having to go to an external office.
Color theory is a real thing, especially when it comes to painting your residential walls. You should hire a local painting company to give your office a splash of color that’ll set the mood you need in your workspace. Are you afraid you may get sleepy while working from home? Then it may be a good idea to either paint your entire office a bold color or at least give it one bright accent wall so you can have some energy in the room. Does your job sometimes stress you out? Have local painters paint your office a relaxing blue or purple hue. Then you won’t have any problems being in a Zen-like state while getting work done.
Have you ever worked in an office building where it was either really cold or really hot all the time? In those situations, did you sometimes find it hard to concentrate on work because all you could do was either think about getting warmed up or trying not to fall asleep from the intense humidity? With the WFH life, this situation should never be a problem for you. You’re now in control of the temperature in your work room, so you should make sure it’s as comfortable as you need it to be. Hire a local HVAC professional to ensure your air conditioning system is working as needed. When it’s sweltering hot outside, you can always relax under a cool breeze as you type reports. When the winter snow is falling, you can feel warm and cozy as you enjoy a cup of hot cocoa during your Zoom meeting.
2. Renovate Your Office
Now that you’ve handled your walls and your air conditioning unit, it’s time to make renovations in terms of the floors and furniture. Do you enjoy walking into an office with beautiful, shiny hardwood floors? Have you dreamt of an office that has colorful tile flooring? Are you a huge fan of the softness of carpet? Thanks to the WFH life, you can have whatever type of floor you desire in your workspace. Visit a flooring store to see samples in person. Once you decide on the type of flooring you prefer, you can further protect it by sealing it with epoxy coating. A floor that’s been sealed is easier to clean, remains shiny, and is protected for years to come.
Furniture is one of the most important purchases you’ll make when it comes to your WFH life. After all, you’re either going to sit or stand all day while you’re trying to do your work. You need a desk that’s optimal for your height, seating position, and the type of work you do. If you tend to work long hours in your office space, you may want to consider getting an adjustable standing desk. You can adjust your standing desk so that you can work on your computer while standing, or lower it back down to a seating position. It’s a great way to ensure that you’re able to keep your blood flowing so that you’re not in a sitting position throughout the day.
If you’ve never sat in an ergonomic chair, it’s time to do so. Ergonomic chairs Are built with your comfort in mind as someone who will be working at a desk for several hours. These types of chairs are built to support your back, be adjustable in height, and have comfortable placements for your wrists to avoid carpal tunnel syndrome. When you don’t have a comfortable chair to work in, it’s very easy to develop back problems, wrist problems, and neck problems. Being in control of your environment. during your WFH life means you shouldn’t have to put up with uncomfortable furniture that often leaves your muscles strained
3. Stay Productive
Working from home can sound like a dream come true once you start. However, you may have to work a little harder to remain productive, especially when you’re getting the hang of things. Staying productive at home can be even more tricky when you have little kids and pets to deal with. That’s why you should always have a designated workspace in a separate room that has an actual door. While it can be cool to occasionally take your laptop out on the patio or work at the kitchen table, you may not want to make that a daily habit. Working like that every day may end up being more distracting than you realize. Plus, being out in the open when you’re busy, can make it too easy for people to bother you or think that you’re available just because you’re not inside of an office.
Even if you’re a sole proprietor, staying as organized as possible will help keep your sanity and save time. Make sure you have a good filing system for all of your important paperwork. You can buy small cabinets for your office or install shelving.
When it comes to staying productive, you may also want to consider having a computer that’s just for work. It’ll be very easy to become distracted by social media, breaking news, Amazon shopping, Netflix, and other online alerts if you’re on your regular computer. However, if you’re comfortable working from the same laptop or desktop, you can also silence certain alerts when you’re working online at a specific time.
4. Managing Family and Friends
As mentioned before, just because you’re at home, some people may mistakenly think that you’re available. If you’re just getting used to the WFH life, you may want to set some house rules, both with the people in your household as well as outside of it. For example, do you have a chatty neighbor that likes to come over unexpectedly? You may want to kindly let them know to not do that between certain hours or not at all.
In other words, let neighbors and friends know just because your car is in the driveway or you’re at home doesn’t mean you’re available for an impromptu chat or coffee. However, if they call to see if you’re available, you’d be more than welcome to do so. For your household, you may have signals like a closed door, half-opened door, or specific hours that mean, “Don’t bother me outside of an emergency”.
5. Protect Your Equipment
Now that you work from home, you’re responsible for your own office equipment. There’s no more IT guy to put in a ticket with about your email or downloading issues. You can no longer go to the office and request a new computer because your assigned one isn’t working. These are issues that you must figure out or find someone to outsource those problems to, but you can always hire a remote IT team if needed.
Regardless of how new and slick your laptop or desktop may be, computers can mess up at any time. Not to mention you may accidentally spill a cup of coffee or water on it and shorten its lifespan. When these technical issues happen, and they always happen at the worst time, you should have a trusted professional on deck that you can quickly call. Don’t wait for an emergency to happen to find out where you can get local laptop repair. Having this info on hand can make the difference between being without a computer for a day or two versus several weeks.
6. Stay Healthy
Many corporations have Wellness programs for their employees. Some of those Wellness programs may include gym memberships and weekly massage therapy services. Now that you’re your own boss or at least in charge of your workspace, do what you can to keep yourself as healthy and stress-free as possible. Having an office that’s ergonomically designed is a great way to start.
If you’re not careful, your WFH may find you working through what would normally be break time. Regardless of how busy you are, take the time to get up from your desk, grab a coffee, or make a pot of tea. Have a proper lunch at home or at your local cafe. Go for a walk around the neighborhood and enjoy nature. Spend some extra time with the dog or kids doing your breaks. Since you’re at home, don’t hesitate to take a nap in the middle of the day if your body needs it.
Having a home desk and access to your own refrigerator means it’s easier than ever to snack all day. Try to make as many of those snacks as nutrient-dense as possible. A balanced diet with vitamins and minerals helps keep you alert and gives you the energy to be productive.
Even after investing in ergonomic chairs, your body may still need an extra bit of tender loving care after your work day is over. Don’t hesitate to make a weekly appointment with your local masseuse. If you live close to a day spa, why not indulge in it once every week or two?
7. Work Outside Sometimes
Thanks to technology, it’s never been easier to work outside and on the go. It’s one reason why the digital nomad life is so popular. After investing in your comfortable home office space, you may think you need to be there every day, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Even with a designated home office space, you may want to invest in renting a spot once a week at a local coworking office. Coworking spaces provide opportunities to network with other entrepreneurs and business professionals. It’s also a great way to ensure that the WFH life doesn’t make you isolated and feel like you’re being left out of society.
Don’t be afraid to pack your laptop and earbuds up to use as a mobile office at your local cafes. If you don’t want to spend the money at a coworking space, you can easily get the same atmosphere or better at your local cafes. Whether you go to Starbucks or a mom-and-pop shop, you’re bound to see other people there with their laptops and earbuds on as well. Enjoy working away as everyone sips hot Java and occasionally people watch. It’s also a great way to meet new people and not have to make your own coffee.
The WFH life certainly has its benefits but it may not be easy for everyone as they start. Everyone’s preferences and adjustment rates are different. Working from home can certainly give you the work-life balance you crave, as long as you make things work for you. Create a comfortable home office, get outside your home daily, remember to socialize, and set boundaries with people around you. Follow these examples and you should easily enjoy working from home for years to come.