The New Home Office

Posted on: April 23, 2020
Home Office

Within a blink of an eye, a mass ‘work-from-home’ scramble took place as businesses were shut down all over the nation. However, many software companies, such as Microsoft, Apple and Google, are making possibilities to become new opportunities for remote work and likely to become the new ‘workplace’ norm for many for interfacing with clients, supervisors and co-workers.

In a brief conversation with our daughter’s friend one recent evening, an employee with a national health insurance provider, she explained that she has been working remotely for quite some time now and she was very grateful that her ‘home office’ was designed and created like a true office. Her concern is with those not as fortunate as her, those who had to instantly create ‘make-shift’ offices on the fly… You know, the kitchen table, the laptop, the slow internet connection, and hopefully the outlet nearby should the laptop battery run out of ‘juice.’

As she interacts with newly remote colleagues, she sees how they are having a very difficult time adjusting to the discipline it takes to working from home: Putting on your daily ‘game face,’ scheduled 10-minute breaks, taking a lunch, resisting the urge to throw in ‘just one more load’ in the washer…

Her home office is set up just like an office: A desk, a company phone, a computer, filing components, trash can, good lighting. What’s also important to her is the atmosphere. She said that if she had additional funds, she would love to paint the walls and have carpet installed on her floors (she’s in her basement on a concrete floor). Having said that, consider a few things as you begin to either set up your new office or remodel what you currently have set up:

  1. Use a chair mat - Chair mats can be purchased online or at any office supply store and are relatively inexpensive. Most mats are clear, however, you can add a little vitality to your space using fun patterned mats, such as zebra, peacock, or geometric designs. Regardless of the style of mat you choose, it will protect your floors and give you a smoother, more evened surface for your chair to easily roll on
  2. Rearrange your office often - By rearranging your office, you freshen up your space at no cost and move foot traffic patterns along with it
  3. Take your shoes off- Every day you leave your house, you track dirt back into it as soon as you walk through the door. If possible, designate one pair of shoes in your closet as 'indoor shoes.' This way you're keeping additional dirt off your floors and maintaining that professional look when your clients can eventually come to visit
  4. Eat elsewhere - If you're at your main work office, you probably go to a break room to eat. The same should apply for your home office. Take your 'breaks' elsewhere and eliminate food and beverage spills that automatically come with eating and drinking

When it comes to flooring for your home office, everyone will differ according to their tastes and needs. Carpet could work for one person, but vinyl or hardwood could be the right product for the needs of others. Regardless, whatever option you choose, it should boost your productivity, not hinder it. Being in a new home office already makes it difficult to transition from home mode to work mode on a daily basis. Create an office space that not only inspires you, but a place you truly want to work in.