As technology has made working remotely easier, more and more professionals are working from home. Working from home can help working parents save money on childcare costs and help all workers avoid rush hour traffic jams and the costs of commuting to and from the office.
The right working environment is essential for men and women who work from home. An environment that’s conducive to work can help people increase their productivity and make their employers more likely to allow more employees to work from home. Professionals who are new to working from home may find it takes some time before they can create the perfect working environment, but the following are a few factors to consider when planning a home office.
One of the disadvantages to working from home is that remote workers don’t have access to the same level of equipment as in the main office, such as color copiers or scanners. If you want to include even scaled-down versions of such equipment in your office, you will need ample space. In addition, less spacious home offices can feel too tight and enclosed, making workers uncomfortable and less enthusiastic about working every day. Pick a spot in your home that affords room for your equipment and the ability to move around so you don’t feel cramped throughout the workday.
Lighting is another factor remote workers must consider when they’re planning their home offices. Natural light can provide an energetic boost and improve your mood, so choose a room in your home that gets lots of sunlight during the day. Many professionals who work remotely do so from the basements of their homes, which can make it difficult to rely on natural light. If the basement is the only location in your home that can fit a home office, look for lighting sources that replicate daylight so you are not working in dark quarters. Speak with your physician about how to arrange lighting to reduce eyestrain caused by staring at a computer.
Connectivity also must be considered when planning a home office. While wireless Internet has made Internet dead zones less problematic, certain areas or rooms in your home may still be touch-and-go with regard to Internet connectivity. Such areas should be avoided when choosing a room for your home office, as it can be difficult to remain productive if your connection to your office’s external server is routinely compromised. Find an area where the wireless connection is always strong.
While your home might be empty for much of the day, you don’t want to be distracted when the kids come home from school or when your spouse or roommate arrives home from work. Avoid putting your home office too close to popular hangout areas in your home, such as the kitchen and the living room. Instead, choose a room where you have lots of privacy so you can focus on your work and won’t be routinely interrupted. Working from home can pay numerous dividends, but professionals who telework must put careful thought into the rooms or areas of their homes where they plan to work.