WFH Wednesday: Tips for Setting Up Your Workspace
Since it looks like we’re all going to be here a while, we’re starting a new series here at Benepass —Work from Home Wednesdays!
But just how long can we be expecting to work from home? Well, let’s look at some industry leaders, shall we? Google employees are working from home till the summer of 2021. Most Facebook employees can work from home till the end of 2020, but the company has made statements indicating that 50% of their workforce could be working from home in the next 10 years. Twitter has already announced that their employees will be allowed to work from home indefinitely.
So does that mean offices are a thing of the past, and we should all pack our bags and embrace the nomadic lifestyle of our favorite travel bloggers? Probably not just yet. But it does mean it’s important to put some real time and thought into your home office, since you might be there for a while.
Location, Location, Location
When quarantine started, I was working out of an armchair in my bedroom. But within the first month, my neck was killing me, I couldn’t focus, and I was having trouble distinguishing between my work space and my relaxation space. Clearly, I needed to make a change.
For those who already have a room designated as an office, this problem is an easy one to solve. But for those who have to improvise (like me) it can be a little trickier. Which leads me to my next point:
Think: What Worked About Your Office Space?
What works for you about the space in which you’re most productive? Maybe it’s natural light, a nice view, proximity to the coffee pot —whatever works. The point is, if you’re thinking of your home office as a genuine alternative to your usual workspace (rather than a temporary solution to the current pandemic), you have an amazing opportunity to create a space that works best for you.
Some spatial issues to consider:
Is my workspace large enough to work at without feeling cluttered?
Do I need more privacy?
Am I making enough of a distinction between where I work and where I relax?
If the answer to any of these was no, consider shopping around for a bigger desk, more storage space, or even a room divider. Having a little more control over your space can make all the difference, especially when you’re trying to distinguish between work mode and relax mode.
Make Sure You Have the Proper Equipment
Speaking of shopping around for bigger desks and room dividers, there are plenty of other gadgets and gizmos we might have in an office space that we don’t have at home.
In our article on what you need to work from home, we cover all the basics we think you need — from laptop stands and lumbar support to multiple screens and noise cancelling headphones. Of course, none of that is an absolute necessity. But think: what was your favorite part about your work space in the office? If it was your huge monitor(s) or your super comfy chair, it might be worth splurging to recreate your ideal setup.
Maximize Your Space for Productivity
It can be hard to gauge how productive you are when you’re working from home — which is why creating boundaries in your workspace is so essential.
Some people can work from bed and still sleep like a baby — and more power to them! But for the rest of us, creating definitive spatial boundaries between “home” and “office” can be the difference between working intentionally for a set number of hours, and working on and off 24/7. When there’s no commute to work, it’s essential to create workspace boundaries — that way, your brain can clearly differentiate between the spaces where you work, and the spaces where you relax.
Double Check Your Company’s Reimbursement Policy
Is your employer taking advantage of disaster relief payments? Have they updated their reimbursement policy to reflect current employee needs?
It’s worth really looking into what your employer will reimburse you for when you’re building out your home office. There’s a chance they’ll reimburse your cellphone bill or Wi-Fi if you’re using both for work, but it’s also possible they’ll reimburse more of your home office necessities, like a new monitor or a personal computer.
Not getting much employee engagement in your reimbursement policies and benefits packages? We’re here to help! Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.