On its surface working from home sounds like a really sweet deal. No commute (a big plus for someone living in the big city), creature comforts (fully-stocked kitchen, private bathrooms, designated nap zones), and the ability to work in your pjs if you want. The problem is, a lot of times working from home sounds better that it really is.
There is so much to factor in with working from home that going into an office may actually be worth it to avoid the headache of creating a capable work-from-home space. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done, and if done correctly, working from home can actually be the godsend it’s sold to be.
All you need is a little of this, and a little of that, and all of a sudden, your home office is a better office than your previous office ever could be. (That was probably one too many uses of the word “office”, but you get it.)
The first thing you’re going to need for you home office is supplies. Obviously this includes a computer, and a note pad, and pens, and maybe a lamp, but don’t forget about the things we take for granted in traditional office settings.
Like a printer
When was the last time you printed something at home? Was it before your college graduation, because that’s the last time I can remember having my own printer? Now whenever I have to print something, I email it to myself and print it out at work because 1) we have a great printer, 2) it’s super easy, and 3) I never have to worry about the maintenance – fun fact: [printer ink costs a whopping $2,700 per gallon](https://beyondtype1.org/the-10-most-expensive-liquids-in-the-world/). Super easy. Go get you a printer.
I know because I’ve tried it before. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT use your kitchen table and chairs as your work space. Not only will it wreak havoc on your back, but you’ll have a hard time getting into “the zone” if you work in the same space as you eat. Your brain has been conditioned to recognize the table as a place to eat and making it into a place for work will not only prove difficult, it will change your perception of mealtime #sad.
Instead, get yourself a desk and chair (or medicine ball), carve out some dedicated space, and make your home office just that, an office.
And probably a monitor
You might have the biggest and bestest new computer out there, but you’re going to want an external monitor to go with it. It may sound gratuitous but it really does give you everything it promises. Ok, you probably don’t need the top of the line model, but having another monitor will open up so much space for you and really streamline your work flow.
It sure beats the alternative or switching between apps and windows on a small laptop screen.
Don’t forget organizing
Another one of the things that gets taken for granted at traditional offices is the ubiquity of file cabinets, paper trays, desk organizers, and anything else you may use to keep your things in order. Well, once you make your home your office, you need to provide those for yourself.
One tip I’ll offer you is that once you scope out your designated office area, take into account the space it provides. That includes desktop space, floor space, wall space, cabinet space, etc. You don’t want to buy yourself paper trays or file cabinets only to find that your space is devastatingly limited. Take advantage of every square inch you can, even if that means hanging everything from your walls.
Until next time – WFH until further notice.