Studies have shown that our environment or physical space greatly affects our mental health. It’s also a reflection of our mental and emotional state; a cluttered mind makes for a cluttered space. In teleworking, business owners need to be able to separate their professional and personal lives if they want to thrive in both.
If you’re a business owner who has had to move your entire operations into your home, you need to be able to organise your life in a way that allows you to be productive at work while setting a boundary in where your professional life ends and begins—starting with your work-from-home setup. Here are some tips for maintaining and creating a home office that helps you thrive while running your business from home.
Set up a work environment that makes you comfortable.
What was your work station in the office like? If it was a set up that made you feel productive and comfortable, then try to recreate that in your workstation at home. If it wasn’t the best for inducing productivity, then it’s time to consider an upgrade. Consider ergonomics, which is the system of arranging or designing your workspace and items so that they fit like a glove. The rule of thumb for an ergonomic workspace is as follows:
- Shoulders must be relaxed.
- The hands, wrist, and forearms should be in a straight line.
- The lower back must be supported.
- The top of the screen should be eye level or slightly below it.
- The under-work surface must be clear.
Place your workstation where it makes you most productive.
Not all areas in your home are created equal—some spaces induce more productivity than others. If you’re the type who works best when looking at greenery, and studies show that seeing green is beneficial for workers, then set up your work station in front of a window that gives you a full view of your yard or garden. If you’re the type who easily gets distracted, then make sure your home office is soundproof or not easily accessible to your kids.
Make organisation a priority.
If your home must become a house-office-warehouse hybrid, then don’t underestimate the power of organising. Invest in long-span shelves and other organisational systems and accessories that can help facilitate the housing of your products. Make sure to organise your files, both digital and physical. A study found that workers spend about 2.5 hours trying to look for documents and information, hours they could spend on other productive things. Combat this by keeping everything in its place.
Keep your office as far away from other members of the family as possible.
If you can have a separate “casita,” guest suite, or tiny house built for your home office, even better. If you will be meeting with clients in your home office, it keeps them from entering your house’s communal and personal spaces and protects your family from exposure to others. Whatever you don’t spend on office rent and utilities can go to this new home office instead.
Invest in a separate Wi-Fi connection and IT infrastructure.
When you mix your family Wi-Fi connection and IT infrastructure with those of your business, it might cause disorder and inefficiency for both sides. Too many people using one internet connection might cause a significant slowdown, keeping you, your partner, and children from being productive at work or school. A second internet connection solves this issue. On the other hand, a separate IT infrastructure keeps you from losing data because your family won’t be able to access your work documents and files.
Buy separate insurance for your business.
Your homeowner’s insurance does not cover your business insurance because you moved your operations into your home. A business insurance packages may help protect you from business-related blunders that a basic homeowner’s insurance won’t. Home insurances may not be able to cover your work or office equipment. At the same time, if people enter your home for business purposes even briefly, and an accident happens, you can be considered liable. Don’t assume your home insurance can cover your business-related mishaps.
Professional From Home
Just because you’ve moved your operations at home, it doesn’t mean that you need to operate your business differently. Maintain the same level of professionalism that you had before the pandemic was announced, or level it up even more. The challenge of working from home is that it’s tempting to slack off and be more relaxed, but if you set up your home office and stock room in a way that reminds you of your previous workspace, then you just might become the most productive you have ever been.