I’m lucky enough to say I’ve been working from home for almost 10 years. The pandemic forced that situation for many folks. Many of which who were thrown into this new work environment for the first time. For some this was temporarily, but a large percentage have remained home, even for a few days a week. Raise your hand if your new office was the kitchen table or couch. It took me several months to adjust to the new flexibility of where and how I worked. Truth be told I was setup shop on the couch with the TV on in the background. Ok fine, sometimes the TV was in the foreground. It was a slow transition by trial and error but I eventually got to where I could be comfortable, productive and have a space conducive to getting work done.
I’d like to share my top 5 must haves for a home office, all of which I could not live without. Do you agree?
- Desk – well duh. Sounds obvious but here’s a twist. You are no longer in an office with standard boring wall to wall regular desks or OMG cubicles! I hated cubes with a passion!! You can now get a desk that suits your specific needs and style. But what about a standing desk? I’m sure you’ve heard people say sitting for long periods of time is bad for you. Harvard Medical School’s Dr Shmerling gives you a quick insight if you need more convincing. If you’re unsure, go get an adjustable desk you can sit or stand at and try it out. Trust me it’s worth it.
- Chair – I know I just said don’t sit. But for those that prefer to sit, guess what. Those big cushy leather chairs that make us look important, they’re actually not the best for you. Who spends the most time in a chair these days? Believe it or not, it’s a gamer. If you ask a hardcore video gamer, someone who spends an unreal amount of time playing (Yea, I’m kinda jealous), they’ll tell you the firmer chairs are the best for long term comfort. Go search “gamer chair” to see what they look like. Ignore the ones that just rock on the floor, those are prehistoric video game chairs.
- Dual monitors – Multitasking is unfortunately a requirement these days. Consider yourself lucky if your job allows you to focus on one task at a time. That’s a much bigger topic I’ll save for later. Having multiple screens to work from does help with multitasking. But I recommend it another reason, time management and organization. On my secondary screen I keep my email, calendar and task lists open so I can manage my day. It keeps me focused on what I need to do and when I need to do it. Because the hardest part of working from home is the distractions!
- Window with a view – Most of us don’t have a corner office or a trpoical paradise just out our office. However research has shown performance and satisfaction increases with natural light and a view of the outside. But what if you don’t have a window at all, or a view you just can’t bare to look at all day. Let me introduce you to window wall art. Bring the picturesque snowy mountain or Carribean island to you! The best part is you can rotate the art based on your local season, or simply based on your mood.
- Nature – Now that you’ve updated your external envirnment, don’t forget to bring nature inside too. The first thing that usually comes to mind is a plant. It’s certainly easy to care for and provides direct contact with nature. Though here are a few other ideas if a plant is too dull for you. A Zen garden is great for those who have a stressful job. My favorite for a long time was a box of sand whch contianed small shells I collected from various beach vacations. Who knew it would be so relaxing to rake sand and shells around. If you’re looking for something a bit more, check out hydroponics. No messy soil, practically waters itself and you can grow food! How cool!!