home office
Image: elwynn © 123RF.com

Over the last year, people from all over the world and from various walks of life have found themselves having to create a home office from which to work remotely.

Traditionally, in South Africa remote working has not been very popular; however, the COVID-19 pandemic and resultant lockdowns saw office buildings close and employees sent home to work.

Unfortunately, this comes along with a number of difficulties, including workspace issues in a home environment. With the likelihood that this is going to become the ‘new normal’ for a lot of us, it is worth creating a decent workspace or re-examining the one you have now.

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The buzz around decluttering

Having a decent space to work in is essential, so make this a priority. Solidity is characteristic of South African homes and it’s the same with the home offices. They are usually solid and strong.

It is also important to have an organised office. Start by having a good declutter, a messy workspace is unproductive and can create even more stress than you need right now! If you took a look right now at your desk/table, you’d probably see clutter, bits and pieces all over the place. Of course, you are at home, but would you work this way in your workplace?

Declutter by concealing wires and extension cables in a cable tidy and store pens in a desktop organiser. Spend some time deciding how you will organise your room or space. There is nothing more frustrating than having to dig through clutter to find a pen or document.

At the end of each working day, take the time to tidy things away. It won’t take you long but will help keep the room organised and uncluttered.

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Maximise the lighting you have

As a South African, you might be relatively new to remote working therefore you need to know that lighting should be the next thing to consider.

In an ideal situation, you would have a lot of natural light, big windows, and an airy light to the room. There is, however, a real possibility that the lighting in your home office will not be adequate and you aren’t getting a lot of sunlight in there.

Consider, therefore, if there is enough natural light? Or do you need to add light to your home office, and if so, what? The tip is to keep the space bright, but not overly so if it is a small room. Use both overhead lighting and lamps if possible.

Research shows that a gloomy, dull, or dark office space can increase stress levels and bring down your mood. Studies show it can make you feel tired if you are sitting in an inadequately lighted room. 

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Your home office

Typically, a home office is the smallest room in the house, mostly because it isn’t usually used that much. But with the current climate, home offices are being used regularly. Try as much as possible to keep your home office as a single purpose room.

This can help increase your productivity, so try and avoid letting the children and other members of the household use the room. Using your home office for other reasons will distract you and clutter the space.

Make the room fit your needs and organised. For example, if you are the only person using the room, set the temperature to what suits you; you might need to invest in a small heater or fan. Use these items sparingly to keep your electricity bill manageable and if possible work during the cooler hours of the day.

Create the right space for you

Working from home can, of course, have its benefits. But creating the right home office for remote working can be challenging. You want your workspace to not only look beautiful but also be a comfortable and cosy place to work in. So why not consider remodelling the space.

By remodelling your home office, you can create the perfect working space, which is not only beautiful but professional too. For example, it will look a lot better in your virtual meetings if you have a more professional backdrop.

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You could do things like adding hooks to the wall, raise speakers to ear height, add more light, and give the room a make-over; after-all, you will be in the room a lot of your time, so why not make it fit for purpose.

Remodelling the room can be done with a small budget, yes, but by investing more money into your remodelling project, you can produce a space that will provide you with significant long-term benefits.