Over the past two years, working from home has become more and more popular for companies and workers who are trying to stay safe during these unprecedented times.
I made the switch to work from home at the start of 2021 to finally work in my field. Although I had a workspace for my studies as a university student, which included nothing more than my laptop and a mug full of pens, I began to realize that it needed so much more if I wanted to be able to work comfortably and efficiently in a professional environment
Here is my list of things you should consider for your own home office when in the event that you decide to begin exclusively working from home.
The pandemic has blended a lot of aspects of life that were once separate. Bedrooms have become offices, dining rooms have become board rooms. Depending on who you are, you might find it difficult trying to separate work-mode and home-mode, especially if both happen in the same place.
One way that helped me find this separation is creating a space that is dedicated to working with very little connection with personal life.
This may mean dedicating a room of your home as an office or workspace with all the things you will need or dedicating a part of a room that you already use. Try removing yourself from this space when you need to do non work related tasks, and only use this space when you are actually doing something related to your profession.
Separating your work and personal life has been known to boost productivity by almost completely removing distractions, as well as allowing you to complete more tasks and lowering work-related stress.
For me, this meant rearranging my bedroom to allow myself to have a creative/professional space at my desk that is associated with productivity and profession.
The same goes for any job. If you are uncomfortable, chances are you won't be able to perform to the best of your ability. This is especially important for your overall health as well.
Believe me when I say this: Invest in a good office chair. And I don't mean a decorative leather one.
Try to find one as ergonomic and supportive as possible. Some inexpensive models can be found online if you have a tight budget and do not want to spend a lot, but having the proper support for your body is crucial. They are often height adjustable and can lock to keep your back straight.
Think of it like a pair of shoes, how do you think your feet will feel if you try to run a marathon in high heels?
If you have a more sedentary lifestyle and may not have the time to go to the gym, consider getting a standing desk.
Using a standing desk while working has been proven to lower your risk of heart disease and even burn a few calories during your work day on your feet. They are even adjustable to allow you to fit your height and can be lowered if you would like to use your chair. They can be a little bit pricey, but have long term benefits if you are willing to make the investment.
Tech & Organization
I want to believe that these two topics go hand in hand. I think it's a safe assumption to say that the majority of remote jobs require a laptop or computer, why not use them to their full potential?
When I started working from home, I was told that having a second monitor to use with my laptop would be beneficial. Holy smokes were they ever right. Having a second monitor allows me to have multiple windows open for whatever I may need to reference throughout the workday.
I tend to use one screen for something that requires my focus, and my second screen for things I may need to reference like a calendar or some notes that may need to be copy/pasted.
Though your monitors may be used for whatever you want. There is no wrong answer, but be sure to experiment to find what works best for you.
I was able to find some good quality screens online for around $150. If your job requires a high-quality display for artistic purposes, the price will be higher. For general use, don't worry too much about the resolution.
As both a writer and Videographer for West Island News, I have to deal a lot of files when it comes to video editing and file management. Although a lot of file management can be cloud based (which means they can be stored remotely online and can be accessed anywhere), I still think having a portable harddrive is important.
I would consider investing in a portable hard drive for computer backups and file storage. Getting one of these will only be beneficial if you are dedicated to keeping your files organized, there is no point in storing your files if you're going to lose them in the clutter anyways.
The amount of storage is a matter of preference, but I would recommend getting one terabyte (1TB, or 1,000GB) to ensure you have enough space for your files.
Keeping backups of your work and important files will allow you to continue from where you left off if anything were to happen to your system. To me, it isn't my laptop that is the important part, it's the files that are on it.
Is there anything else you think people at home should look into? Let us know in the comments!
West Island News will be covering Tech related content periodically in the new year, let us know what topics you think we should cover in the future!