Your business survived the pandemic but now you’re working from home in Sydney! Or perhaps you’re taking the plunge to start your own business because lockdowns cost you your job. Or you’re simply in the mood for a new challenge and decided to freelance?
If any business decision means you’re now working from home, we’ve compiled your ideal guideline. From plants to skylights Sydney locals must know what it takes to create a functional space that’s conducive to work.
Can You Manage Distractions?
You’re not sitting in a commercial building designed for workers to flourish in their tasks. Your windows look out on a street where cars drive, people pass, kids scream and dogs bark. Or across the backyard drifts the sounds of a neighbour practicing the saxophone. How do you keep this from destroying your focus?
Working at home requires a proactive plan to prevent unnecessary distractions. A good set of noise cancelling headphones is a wise investment. Also, the kitchen cupboard will taunt you all day. Prevent this by preparing lunch and snacks and having it on hand in your workspace so you don’t even have to get up to get some sustenance.
This brings us to where exactly your workspace is. If you’re working where everyone is going about their daily tasks, they’ll surely bother you. If you can’t allocate an entire room to your office space, at least pick a spot away from the general foot traffic.
Do You Have Optimal Light?
Lack of light can also be a distraction, since squinting in a dim room will have you frustrated. And there are many other reasons to improve light conditions, such as less strain on the eyes.
However, don’t just add more lamps and overhead lighting. Consider the following:
- If your light isn’t positioned correctly you’ll have shadows on your work surface.
- Pick the right globes that are neither too dim nor too bright.
- More artificial light means higher electricity costs, which shows the value of cutting back foliage from windows so light can pour in. Even better, install a skylight for excellent light in interior spaces. Natural light is much easier on the eyes!
How Clean is that Air?
Another factor that can affect your focus is whether enough oxygen reaches the brain. You can improve this situation by cleaning the air.
While plants can’t extract all impurities they do help to some extent. The air purifying greenery will also help feel less isolated from the rest of the world.
A more effective option is an air purifier. Just make sure it’s appropriate for the size room or you’ll waste a lot of energy.
Can You Close a Door?
We’ve mentioned the need for avoiding the buzz created by other occupants in the home and yes, a desk placed in a corner can suffice. But it really pays off to clear out a room or garage to use as an office.
One of the biggest benefits is that you’ll be able to close the door and ignore the to do lists, invoices and emails for a while. Having a clear boundary between work and home life goes a long way to maintaining a work-life balance.
Each time you glance at your laptop you’re bound to think of the messages waiting in your inbox. If it’s out of sight you may find it easier to manage stress.
Also, you don’t want important documents getting lost or destroyed because someone mistook it as scrap paper on the kitchen table.
Giving Enough Thought to Ergonomics?
Apart from stress, something that’s very debilitating is body pain. Back aches – especially lower back pain – is a common complaint for many who sit at a desk all day. This is the reason why some employers are willing to spend a lot on ergonomic chairs and standing desks. They’re a major factor in having a healthy work environment and improving productivity – even preventing people from needing to take sick leave.
So, instead of slumping onto a hard dining room chair and working at the kitchen nook, doesn’t your body deserve you visiting the furniture store?
Are You and Your Data Protected?
Here’s another thing that deserves an extra thought: data protection. Whether you’re working for an employer remotely or building your own client base, your data is an asset to be protected like treasure. Criminals may try to hack it or take it as ransom. And if you accidentally lose it, you’ll be left in dire conditions. For example, imagine your customer details get lost and you have no leads to follow. And just because you’re a small business doesn’t mean you won’t be a target.
This highlights the importance of:
- Keeping a copy of data safe, compiled after each regular backup.
- Using the cloud which is more secure than saving to a hard drive.
- Getting proper virus protection and firewalls.
Working at home has a nice ring to it. You may want to ask your boss if you can give it a try.
Yes, you’ll cut back on fuel expenses but the grass is only greener on the other side if you make sure it is. Make your checklist, get these things in place and your productivity will soar!