The Work-at-Home Office What Do I Need?

Posted: 07.20.2018

Office Space

If you are going to work at home, you must designate space as your office. Ideally, this space has a door to separate you from everything else going on inside your home. However, not every family has the luxury of this extra space. If you don’t have an extra room, then find a space that everyone recognizes as your “office.”

What goes in the space?

Equipment

If you are embarking on a work-at-home career performing computer tasks from home, your home office should include a work surface (a desk or some other table surface in your home), high-speed Internet, a computer with an up-to-date virus scanner and malware program, natural lighting as well as ample room lighting for times when natural light is not sufficient, access to a telephone if required for your job, any other equipment needed for your job (i.e., headphones or a headset and/or a foot pedal) and an ergonomically correct office chair.

Your chair should be adjustable so you are sitting with feet flat on the floor, your back against a backrest following the curve of the small of your back, elbows at a 45-degree angle when level with your keyboard, and eyes looking directly at your monitor (not down at it or up to it). Too often workers sit too low for their elbows and wrists to be level with the keyboard. This forces you to lift your shoulders and to hold your elbows at an awkward angle, resulting in a stiff neck and painful shoulder muscles.

Ambiance

Turn up the ambiance by playing quiet instrumental music in the background. Words are distracting, so avoid the temptation to put on your favorite sing-along music.

Organization

It may be home, but it’s also an office. In order to be efficient, be organized. Have storage space for printer paper, extra toner, general office supplies, and equipment. Keep confidential information out of sight. Put things away when not in use. Show pride in your work space.

What does not go in the space?

Family

When you work in an office, the boss does not expect visitors in your space. When you work from home, your remote boss expects no less. Make arrangements for your children to be supervised or occupied while you work.

Home Projects

You don’t take your laundry to a business office; don’t take it into your home office either. Separate your work time from your personal time.

Snacks

It’s much easier to put on extra pounds at a home office because food is just around the corner. Avoid the temptation. Stay away from the kitchen.

Summary

Working at home offers some wonderful advantages over an outside career, but your employer expects you to respect the privilege of working unsupervised.


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