It’s time to face reality: Many of us won’t see the inside of our offices any time soon. Is the at-home work space you carved out five months ago still cutting it?
As students return to virtual classrooms this week (and need their own space), it’s a good time to take stock of your household’s needs. Studies show that improving your work environment can increase productivity, especially when it functions well.
Some things to think about:
- Invest in a desk and ergonomic chair if you haven’t already. Retailers offer inexpensive options for work surfaces to fit even the smallest spaces. Roll-away or fold-out options allow you to put work away at the end of the day.
- Consider wall-mounting your computer screen to your ideal height. Doing so can free up valuable real estate on your desk surface.
- If your household’s internet needs have ramped up (or you move around throughout the day), you might need a WiFi booster or to talk to your provider about increasing your plan.
- Do you really need a printer or scanner? Consider how frequently you’d use either, and look at other options: scanning and sending documents using your phone, or uploading files to a nearby print shop.
- Declutter your work area. By now, you’ve figured out what paperwork is really important (and how many Post-Its you go through in a day). Think about your habits and what filing or supply storage meets your needs.
- With an uptick in demand due to virtual learning and WFH, you may be waiting a while for technology, supplies or office furniture to ship. Craigslist, eBay, Goodwill and other resale outlets could give you faster options.
- Talk to your supervisor about reimbursement for work-related tech or office supply purchases.
If you need some inspiration for how journalists are making the best of working from home, check out the “Where I’m writing from” Facebook group. And tell us how you are making your work from home space work for you.