TMCnet Feature
September 21, 2021

Make Your Home Office Work Harder for You, And Not the Other Way Around

Working from home has been the dream for countless people. They have circumstances that make it difficult or impossible to go into an office every day. It could be due to transportation, or disability, or childcare. There is no end to the legitimate reasons office work is limiting. The pandemic was good to them because suddenly, companies were forced to create accommodations for home workers. People who hadn’t been able to get a good job were suddenly able to do it. And people who were tired of office politics were thrilled.

But one person’s dream is another person’s nightmare. Not everyone made the transition to home work. Clumsy attempts led to the dining room table becoming a work cubicle, without the padded walls. Working around one's kids and pets didn’t exactly go off without a hitch. And they genuinely missed the comradery of office life and the water cooler experience despite the fact that they could get up and get water at home anytime they liked. You might be one of those people who were forced to make the transition but never put a setup together that fostered comfort and efficiency. Here are a few tips to turn that around.

Take a Stand

You will likely not be able to request a standing desk at the office. But at home, you are the one who handles that type of request. Be sure to approve it and get yourself a sit stand desk. It can improve your productivity just by reenergizing you throughout the day. It is hard to go to sleep while standing. Further, when standing, you don’t really want to go to sleep. You are not standing at attention, you are reading, typing, talking, pacing, and fidgeting. These are all good things. Your whole body is engaged in the act of work.

There is no need to take things to an extreme. These desks are designed to accommodate sitting as well as standing. You might even sit most of the time, standing only when you need to have a stretch. With a traditional desk, having a stretch means the stoppage of work. A standing desk allows you to stretch and keep working. If you spend a lot of time on the phone talking to clients and looking things up, your calls will go better when you take a stand.

Fraud Protection and Data Security

At work, there are measures taken by the company to prevent fraud. Keystroke monitoring might be taking things a bit too far. But if you are not doing things to guard yourself against fraudsters and data miners, you are not working from home responsibly. One of the most important things you can do is get a separate work computer so that you are not combining work and play with regard to your job. It is one of the things you can write off on your taxes if you work from home.

It is not just about tax breaks. It is also about dealing with company and client data responsibly. You don’t want your casual net surfing habits to get your work computer infected. You also don’t want your personal business to go to your boss or coworkers in the form of accidental emails or texts. For everyone’s safety and privacy, you want to keep an air gap between those two worlds. If your computer becomes compromised, everything on it is compromised.

Separate Spaces

You might have an open floor plan office at work. But at home, that plan needs to be as closed as possible. Grant it, not everyone has a separate room that can be devoted to an office. But that is not the only solution. You can get an inexpensive room divider so that it gives the merest indication of a separate space. Noise-canceling headphones complete the effect. Other people in the house will be less inclined to just barge in if they have to interact with a bit of friction before reaching you. Sometimes, that is all it takes to get the peace you need to get work done.

One day, everyone will be back in the office, water cooler and all. Until then, try a standing desk, a separate work computer, and a room divider to give you a more efficient and productive work experience at home.

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