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March 5, 2024

Is Your Home Set Up for Remote Work?

Working from home sounds like the best of both worlds. The thought of getting more sleep – and avoiding a commute – and slipping into your home office feet away doesn't sound half bad! But for some people, it actually means constant distractions, fighting temptation, and little to no interaction with colleagues.

The team at Ernest Homes knows what you’re up against – and we have some great suggestions for setting up your home office. By effectively setting up your remote office, you’ll be on the path to achieving work-from-home success!

Do I really need to set up a home office?

Nowadays, working remotely at home, being distanced from colleagues, or quickly adapting to new work environments is common. For members of geographically dispersed teams, setting up a home office for remote work is vital. But creating an efficient workspace at home can be challenging. Resist the urge to simply sit at the dining table. A makeshift home office may negatively impact your productivity. Invest in a long-term working-from-home set-up that will improve your productivity while supporting your physical and mental well-being. 

Where should I set up my work-from-home space?

Pick a quiet area away from distractions. Ideally, if space permits, a separate room with a door of its own can help create a clear delineation between “work” and “home”. Of course, this is not always possible as space constraints are common.

To find the ideal place in your home, ask yourself:

  • Is the area away from distractions? Keep your focus by avoiding television, pets, or anything else that might distract you. You may also consider noise-canceling headphones to help block out sounds.
  • Is the space clutter-free, with room to spread out work materials? Working in a small, dark or crowded space can be frustrating. 
  • Do I need to upgrade my Internet capability? If your Internet connection is slow, drops often or buffers and hiccups, call your provider to have them assess your needs and suggest the best plan for you.
  • Is there an electrical outlet nearby? If not, make sure the technology you need for work is fully charged every morning.

What kind of equipment do I need?

Depending on what you are used to working with, you may need some or all of the following: 

  • Table or desk
  • A comfortable chair
  • Sufficient lighting (Natural lighting is best for a full day of productivity!) 
  • Office supplies (Nothing throws a wrench into your day like having to run out for supplies!) 
  • Calendar
  • Cabinet or filing place

Make sure your workspace accommodates your laptop, water bottle, and a diary or notepad. If you are a graphic designer, you might need a larger space for tools and instruments. A consultant may need a filing cabinet to store client files. Specific industry-specific equipment may be needed, so plan accordingly. 

Invest in equipment that will support your health, e.g. ergonomic chairs, a table with the right height, and a laptop with an anti-glare screen. These will help avoid headaches, body aches, or nerve disorders that may result from an uncomfortable setup.

What else can I do to make my set-up more functional? 

  • Make your workspace comfortable but productive. Keep the room temperature around 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Too warm and you’ll get sleepy; too cool and your fingers lose dexterity. 
  • Add some greenery. According to studies, the presence of plants has a variety of benefits, including lower stress levels and reduced air pollution. Pick a plant requiring minimal care. 
  • Don’t forget a soundtrack. Work is more fun with your favorite tunes playing in the background. (WFH Bonus: You don’t need to worry about your office mates complaining about your singing!) 
  • Stay inspired. Family pictures and mementos can be the motivation you need to get through your day. They also personalize your space and keep you in high spirits while at work.

Some other tips for managing  your home office: 

  • Keep to a schedule. While you may not be traveling as far to work, you are still going to work. Get up at the same time, have breakfast at the same time, and break for lunch at the same time. Treat your day much as you would if you were in a “traditional” office.
  • Get fully dressed each day. Nothing says slacking more than pajamas. You are likely to be more productive and feel confident when you are dressed for work. Plus, you never know when a client might want to hop on a surprise video conference call.
  • Make time for break time. Be sure to take breaks and lunch. Take a walk around the block or do some “desk exercises”. Keep healthy snacks (nuts, raw veggies, hummus) nearby. Fill a water bottle to stay hydrated. Limit sugary drinks and caffeine to avoid the 2 pm crash.
  • Track your time. Remote workers are more likely to work longer hours than employees working in a traditional office. While working at home, many people may forget to keep track of time. Have a way to track time, i.e. your smartphone alarm or a wall clock.
  • Keep professional documents separate. Working from home can easily bend the separation between home and office. Avoid mixing up the professional and personal elements of your life. Have a designated place to store work documents, including business receipts, invoices, client files, or important records and documents.

Want to implement these ideas but haven’t found the right home yet? Consider Ernest Homes! We have several communities and floor plan options that are sure to meet your needs. Connect with us to learn more!


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