Did you know 18% of the workforce works from home? That's almost 2 out of every 10 people! With coronavirus hitting the United States in March, that number has increased dramatically. Now as businesses look to return to a "new normal", they are evaluating the effectiveness of remote employees vs. having a physical office space for their team. Studies show that employees that work from home can be just as productive, if not more so, than those who work in an office space. In fact, one study cites that 77% reported higher productivity as remote work allows for more flexibility with work schedules. If your temporary work from home situation has become permanent, do you have an office space that encourages productivity and is equipped to enable success?
You may have been on a Zoom call with a colleague who is working remote and noticed a child or dog in the background. Perhaps they are in a space that is clearly the kitchen table or a bedroom. For those who have not anticipated their office space to reside in their home for months on end, they may not be properly equipped in a space that is best suited to be successful. To transition a space into a home office, there are some factors to consider:
1. Does the space allow for privacy?
2. Is there ample light and strong connectivity for technology?
3. Is the size large enough that it can fit all needed equipment but not be distracting?
For the first point and if the space allows for privacy, if your new home office is located in a public area like a kitchen, distractions can be at a peak. Moving your office to a basement if available or a guest room with a door, will allow you focus with less interruptions. For a basement, consider adding curtain tracks and curtains around a space that will be designated at "the office". Curtains can be closed when you need privacy for a call or open when you are heads down working on a project. One evening and weekends, close those curtains again so kids are discouraged from wandering over to your space. If you have a drop ceiling, the 85000 track system along with 85510 Drop Ceiling Clips work well together.
When it comes to ample light, if your new office doesn't have access to windows, invest in quality light fixtures and desk lamp. It is important to create a comfortable space where you can easily spend 8 hours a day. The same does for internet connection. Best Buy offers several options to ensure fast internet connectivity.
Finally, is the space large enough that you can fit a desk and ergonomically fit chair? Sitting on a wood chair at the kitchen table could be a temporary solution to working at home but if you are at home for the long run, consider investing in an office chair that will be comfortable. Your new office space should be able to accommodate the proper equipment for your new workspace.
If your work from home situation has been extended to 2021 or beyond, take the time to make your space comfortable, functional and equipped for success.