Working from home sounds nice. But, being productive at home isn’t always so easy.
There are countless benefits to working from home. Lax dress codes and a 30-second commute from the bedroom are at the top of the list. However, these same freedoms can also be an obstacle. Without a dedicated space, you may struggle to eliminate distractions and stay engaged.
Although working remotely isn’t a new concept, Brett Aaron Ulrich has been able to adapt. As the pandemic kept employees out of the office, the senior consultant found ways to make the most of this new reality. Throughout his career, he has partnered with a wide range of corporations to deliver the latest technological solutions.
Using this experience, Brett Aaron Ulrich of Fredericksburg, VA offers five suggestions for setting up a successful home office.
Find the right space
Just like in real estate, it’s all about “location, location, location.” The goal is to reduce the potential for distractions. It doesn’t matter what room you are actually in. A private office isn’t necessary. Set up a workspace in the quietest area you have available. Dividers, curtains, or screens can help. Brett Aaron Ulrich cautions against bedrooms though. Separating work from where you relax goes a long way in maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
Upgrade your furniture
Fitting out a home office doesn’t have to break the bank. However, there are two pieces of furniture that are worth splurging on. First, select an ergonomic office chair that will support sitting for long hours each day. At minimum, find something that’s adjustable and provides lumbar support. Purchasing a dedicated desk beats working at the kitchen or coffee table too. Choose a desk that’s the proper height will promote improved posture. A standing desk may be an option, allowing you to alternate between sitting and standing. Above all else, emphasize comfort, health, and functionality.
Invest in tech
Stay plugged in. It’ll be impossible to work from home without up-to-date technology. Internet is a necessity. Although high-speed Wi-Fi is usually sufficient, Brett Aaron Ulrich recommends connecting via an Ethernet cable for video conferences or other intensive work. Aside from a keyboard and mouse, he also advises anyone to get a noise-cancelling headset. Docking stations are also helpful.
You’ll need other supplies too. Without dedicated storage options, paper, pens, and files can quickly bury you under all that clutter. Filing cabinets, baskets, and cubby systems are great additions. Think vertically too. When space is limited, bookcases and shelves will maximum space. Rid yourself of anything you don’t use to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
Make it personal
Dress it up. Break out of the cubicle mentality by customizing your space. Although everything should be practical, adding personal touches can boost productivity too. Even small flourishes, like plants, decor, or additional lighting, are great places to start.