Telecommuting, operating with a distributed workforce, and working remotely are just a few of the terms used to describe a relatively new phenomenon in the world of work. Thanks to advances in technology and communication, a growing number of businesses have at least a few staff members who work from their homes as opposed to coming to an office every day. If you are one of those work-at-home warriors or you would like to be, give your home office careful consideration. You’ll be spending many hours there, so you want it to be as comfortable and pleasant as possible.
Let the Sun Shine In
A typical office complex is usually equipped with harsh, artificial fluorescent lighting. If you work on site, you probably can’t do much about that. However, when you work at home, you can take advantage of natural light and avoid the eye strain that comes with artificial light. Consider where the windows are located in your home office. Then think through how much sun comes into the room during the hours of the day when you spend the most time there. Set up your desk and chair accordingly. Add blinds to your windows so that you can adjust as needed.
Make Room for Clients
Does the work you’ll be doing from home require you to accommodate visitors and clients for face to face conversation? If so, you want to be sure they have a comfortable place to sit and talk. Many telecommuters find that the easiest way is to simply add a couch to the home office. A coffee table can provide a surface to spread out documents. As an added bonus, sitting together on the couch creates a spirit of teamwork and collaboration. If space doesn’t allow for a full-size couch, a couple of small but comfy chairs can accomplish the same thing.
Keep It Cool (or Warm)
Image via Flickr by newchaos
Once you’re home all day instead of going to an office, you may find that the area you have chosen for your workspace isn’t heated or cooled to your liking. Perhaps you discover a musty smell that lingers throughout the day, an indicator of poor air quality. Many distance workers see utility bills tick up somewhat because someone is home all day, and the unit runs more to keep the climate comfortable. You can address all these things by calling in an HVAC professional to assess whether or not your home office is appropriately heated, cooled, and controlled for humidity.
When you begin working from home, you may find yourself feeling inspired and productive in a way you never felt when you were trapped in a cubicle. You may also discover that you save money by not driving back and forth to work or eating out at lunch. However, as time goes on, it’s easy to become lackadaisical about keeping your workspace comfortable and healthy for your mind and body. These are critical factors no matter where you work. Some basic modifications and repairs can make a big difference in your ability to maintain that initial high level of performance.