Creating a new home office
Suddenly, everyone is creating a home office.
In March when the original stay-at-home order was sent out for Pennsylvania, most of us assumed it would be for just a few weeks. Now, 12 weeks into the global pandemic, many companies are telling workers that telecommuting may be a long-term option.
But how long can you use the kitchen table as your office before you need to make room for a permanent home office space?
Finding the right space to have your Zoom conference calls and get your work done while still keeping an eye on the kids can be challenging, especially when it means carving out space.
Identifying the space for your home office
If you’re lucky enough to have a guest room or spare room, deciding where to make your new office space can be pretty easy. Maybe it’s just a matter of clearing out a corner of the guest room to make space fr a desk and chair and your home computer set up.
But if you have a more involved set up needed for your home office, you may be looking to clean out more than just a corner of the spare bedroom. your new home office may need room for a second computer monitor, filing and more. You’ll likely want a backdrop for the wall that is both pleasant for you and non-offensive to whomever you’re video chatting with you.
And few things look less professional than an office cluttered with the kids’ winter boots, pool noodles and piles of seasonal clothes that just don’t fit in the closets.
So once you identify where you are creating a home office, cleaning it out is the first step. Without the ability to donate to your local charity thrift stores, one good option is to consider a small storage unit. First, sort the things to be stored by type and how soon you’ll need them again. Next, clean everything you want to store. Few things are worse than getting out winter clothes and finding them still dirty from last winter.
Set aside things you intend to donate once charities are taking donations again. Then, call Spacemall. We can help you decide what size space you need and rent it to you all over the phone. No need to meet us face-to-face. Contactless rentals help keep you safe during the pandemic.
Figuring out what you need for your home office
After you decide where to have your home office, you’ll need to figure what you need for your home office. Some things are obvious, like a desk and a place to sit. But ask yourself if you’ll need to be able to print reports or just email them. Will you need a printer? Stationery and other materials to send paperwork to co-workers?
Once you get past the basics, think back to your work space outside the house. Did you have desk decorations to make you smile? Artwork that was calming? Personalize the space as you need to. While working from home has some perks not available in a corporate office, you also need to be able to differentiate between work and home. Even something as simple as using a different color pen for work can be the mental break you need.
Discuss your office with your family
Now that you have your work-from-home space created, talk it over with your family. Let your children know that it is a professional workspace. That can be the first step in deterring them from strewing toys all over your new office. This is a good time to talk to older children and teens about the expectations during your work hours. The whole family is adjusting to the new normal, so talking with them about how to proceed during Mom’s and Dad’s work hours is important.
Can they interrupt if you’re not on a call? Should they only bother you in emergencies? Do they know what snacks are available and when they can have them?
Try to remember that your children’s schedules are just as drastically changed as yours is and help them work through it.
Working from home is a great opportunity to see more of your family without that commute and maybe even save money on gas and lunches. But the only way that works is if you have planned out how to work-from-home.