Some remote workers may have the choice of working in a long-distance or an in-person role, but others might find themselves in the unavoidable position of working from home due to childcare, family responsibilities, or living with a disability. Those in the latter category often find themselves struggling to maintain productivity while working from a makeshift office or their favorite seat on the couch.
According to Mental Health America, working from home can afford employees reduced stress and many other mental health benefits. It's important for remote employees to have a dedicated workspace to cut down on distractions and to create a schedule that resembles a workday. Consider the following four tips when creating a tiny home office in an already small living space.
- Decide What Equipment You Need
Remote workers may all work from a similar location — their homes — but deciding what equipment to put in your small office will depend upon your career. Those who work as web designers, for example, may need additional computer equipment and specialized software programs for their daily tasks. Individuals who spend the bulk of their day using a word processor, making spreadsheets, or participating in virtual meetings may need a printer, a shredder, and even a fax machine. Whatever equipment you add, make sure to remove fall hazards from the floor and tie up any electrical and phone cords.
- Choose a Location
The location of your tiny office is likely entirely dependent on the leftover space in your house, but this doesn't mean you'll end up working at the kitchen table. Consider blocking off the corner of your bedroom with partitions or cube bookshelves — or even the garage, if you live in a more temperate climate that isn't prone to humidity and extreme temperatures — to make use of every nook and cranny in your home.
- Employ Technology to Ramp Up Productivity
Noise-canceling headphones can go a long way in helping you concentrate if you live with roommates, a noisy spouse, or children. Additionally, find a few apps and digital productivity tools that help you organize your mental space and keep you on track as one day blends into another. It's easy to get lost, distracted and disorganized when working remotely, and creating a schedule and managing time better is often the way out of the work-from-home haze you may find yourself in after a few weeks or months of a virtual position.
- Find Furniture to Fit Your Office
Small and creative desks, shelving units, and storage boxes that can fit under tables are all great furniture options for those who don't have a lot of room to create an office at home. Focus on purchases that increase your organization and cut down on the stress of not being able to find an important item or document in the midst of clutter. A small filing cabinet, an over-desk hutch, or a paper organizer may help you increase productivity without taking up too much room.
Beginning a remote work position can be daunting — especially when you don't have a lot of square footage to start with. By creating a dedicated and organized home office space, you will likely stay more organized, sane, and productive throughout the workweek.
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