Thinking how to make a home office and work from home while retaining your productivity?
Think in terms of creating a balanced work environment in your home.
Converting your room into home office is not so difficult as one would suppose.
Technology changes rapidly – earlier we couldn’t even send a pdf file or a powerpoint presentation without first attaching it to an email service and then mailing it.
Nowadays, with the invention of chat and other forms of mobile application communication, we are able to easily share and forward our office data without having to go through the earlier lengthy process.
While technology has been a major guiding stone of civilisation, its utilisation has also brought us to a point where many jobs can be completed right from our home.
We no longer need to step out to an office to be able to deliver our work.
Computers make it possible for us to reach the world right from our home!
During the last decade, work from home (short form – ‘WFH’) has picked up steam.
Freelancers like writers or bloggers and marketing and information technology experts are model examples of popular work from home cultures.
If you are in any of the following jobs, you may already be working from home :-
Work from home jobs
- Online tutor
- Tele caller
- Freelancer hr recruiter
- Coding trainer
- Content writer
- Social media influencer
- Data entry operator
- Part time accountant
- Digital artist
- Self employed
- Business development associate
- Sales executive
- Virtual customer associate
- customer service
- Solutions architect
- Graphic designer
- Seo associate
- Tourism associate
- Web developer
- Structural Designer
- 3d artist
- Online jobs
Work from Home During Coronavirus
Covid-19 is a disease the world is grappling with presently. It is a never before situation that we were not ready for.
One of the most essential guidelines to grapple with coronavirus adopted by the world governments has been the policy of social distancing or lockdown.
Coronavirus disease spreads easily and that has forced the world to adopt the policy of work from home.
Working from home during coronavirus requires the adoption of a special decor concept.
It is a model that links social distancing and cleanliness with your home office design and decoration.
We shall try to incorporate cleanliness tips as we go along the article.
Most of the companies started offering work from home during this crises. This was mandated by governments worldwide.
It was to ensure that a complete economic breakdown does not happen.
Also, it was to help companies achieve their targets as well as continue to provide livelihood to employees while averting the associated risks with close contact.
Employees whose work is of such a nature that it requires them to be present at office are being accomodated with a desk setup at office that incorporates social distancing.
A more common hack for social distancing has been motivating employees to work from home.
In fact, reports are already coming in by company representatives enumerating the positives of incorporating this model.
Companies have begun to realise that home office solutions helps them save on non-essential costs while providing almost an equal amount of productivity.
It seems that the benefits of this basic model has made companies consider incorporating the best practices of this model even after coronavirus pandemic is expected to end.
WFH is being considered as a viable model for working women who may be pregnant or nursing.
Home Office Monitoring Tools
This model is so new that there still are many things left to consider which may act as negatives of work from home.
For example, who is liable to pay for work injury while working from home? Who is liable to pay for equipment loss whether office equipment or otherwise while working from home.
As such, home monitoring tools need to be implemented for regular and better control and supervision.
Some common home monitoring tools are screen sharing softwares like
One also needs to monitor that proper work ethics are being followed as well as office time is not being wasted.
For that, there are time tracking softwares available like-
So how do you work from home?
WFH does not come easily to many especially those habitual of being in the office environment.
Still working from home has become a part of our daily lives and we generally find ourselves resorting to working from home in one situation or the other.
In this article, we are going to list out various home office setup ideas and work from home tips.
1) Separation of space
The first thing to note is it’s best to have a separate space that you can call your office. It can be an empty guest room, living room or a garage.
If you don’t have an extra guest room, worry not! You can always create your own room.
How to create your own office room?
When we talk about creating your own home office space, we mean a layout that helps to design a virtual division between spaces.
What is a virtual division?
A virtual division can be achieved by using decorative elements in your room interior design. Best interior designers in gurgaon generally suggest incorporating suitable elements according to the available space.
For example using tall decorative pieces gives the illusion of bigger height and using designs with say, horizontal line patterns can make a small room appear wider.
Home Design products that you can buy
- Functional & Movable –
Purchasing a tall lamp to act as a division can help to create a functional partition whose lighting can be used in your work environment.
- Functional & Stable –
Purchasing a book shelf creates a division while providing a more stable and solemn engulfing work area.
Home Decor products that you can use from around you
- Moving your sofa to create a divider –
Place your table against the wall and chair under it. Place your sofa behind the chair and table setup.
A round table design can be placed in a suitable quiet corner.
- Moving your coffee table or centre table to create a divider –
By placing your coffee table just behind your chair, you also get extra space for keeping your office table accessories like stationery and files.
- Curtains –
Utilise curtains to create hanging partitions.
Dividers that you create
- Wall designs –
Create a wall as a divider. Showcase your stories using hanging photos and paintings.
Use wallpapers and designer paints to accentuate the interior decor of your room wall.
- Designer Partitions –
While a wall can serve as a decorative partition, similarly, different forms of uniquely designed structures can be used as partitions.
These designer structures can be as simple as showcase structures made of wood or as complex as brass/aluminium standing or hanging structures.
2) Remove Clutter
Studies have shown that humans respond better to clear organised work flows.
A clear work flow is the property of clear minds. For clarity of vision & thoughts, a clean clutter free desk area is essential.
When you have lots of files and unfinished work lying around then you subconsciously start to feel the pressure of mounting work.
The feel of pending work lowers your efficiency by creating a heavy environment of non-achievement.
Positive thoughts lead to efficient efforts and positive outcomes.
Maintaining proper office etiquettes and doing judicial work completion is as essential in home office as it is in your commercial office.
For that, removing extra files, stationary and other non essential items from your work desk is helpful.
Home office rooms like a guest room should be properly maintained with useful storage solutions.
Where you create divisions and are short of space, it is wiser to utilise stuff that you may have already lying around to prevent further clutter.
For example, your workstation cpu can be adjusted behind a sofa or curtain.
Your keyboard and mouse can be placed inside a drawer when not in use. Instead of using a monitor, you may utilise a tv screen by connecting via hdmi port.
A headset can be used not to cause disturbance to others in the home.
Your printers and desktops can be connected via intranet or internet.
3) Noise & Privacy
While working in home office, one needs to make sure that one gets adequate privacy in the location.
Home office situation has many factors affecting it – for example, your family members, neighbours, friends, guests, workers and other visitors.
At times, companies handling sensitive data of clients and otherwise, need to make sure that data security is maintained.
As such, working from home can become a hinderance. For that, normally companies employ monitoring tools.
These monitoring tools cannot at all times prevent against third party human factor. To that regard, it becomes necessary to maintain proper privacy in your work space.
Privacy is also recommended to have an amiable work environment.
Noise can, similarly, be a hinderance to your productivity. For instance, you cannot have kids jumping around and tv noise coming in when you are in a work meeting or over an important call.
A simple yet beautiful room division idea would be to have a sound-proof glass cubicle like divison. But this is not too practical in home environment.
However, some people just work better with music maybe you can keep some light ambient music on to keep you going.
Use noise cancelling headphones or headsets for better clarity during those important sales calls.
You can utilise chat rooms for in-office communications.
The chat rooms have an added benefit of keeping track of the directives received and given.
New employees can be provided training and their doubts can be cleared by managers using such live chat sessions.
4) Storage solutions
How do you keep the excess of office accessories and files in place?
You cannot go through heaps of files on your table to find what you are looking for everytime your boss calls for an update.
That is why a neat clearly defined storage solution is a must have for home office.
How to create storage solutions?
- Shelves –
With your desktops and printers and other stationaries taking up considerable available space, you may wish to look for alternativce storage solution like wall shelf.
Shelves may be supported behind your table or next to the wall towards your side, when your setup is beside a wall.
- Drawers –
Hopefully your desk has built-in drawers, if not you can clear something like your tv stand and use the drawers available inside.
Do you have an old study table lying around? Study tables act as suitable pieces of storage furniture because they are built with books in mind.
- Standing Structures –
Use a book shelf or any other coffee table or standing furniture structure for your storage needs.
- Construct one –
Hire a carpentar and tell him to add basket like structures towards the side of your table below it. This gives you functional furniture add-ons maximising the given space.
5) Office Furniture Placement
Best interior designers in Delhi and Gurugram will always suggest furniture designs that propel productivity and innovate spatial advantages.
Top furniture designers in Delhi have long been of the view that furniture placement should be done so that the overall room aura does not become narrow.
To that regard, when the room where you wish to create home office is relatively narrow, it is best to choose a side corner for your table. This becomes your own Corner Office!
You can now boast to your friends sitting in high rise buildings that you own a corner office.
You may even choose to construct a slab running across a wide window overlooking outdoors as your preferred work desk.
Rather than working in your bedroom, it is advisable to keep separate your work from home.
Remember don’t take your work to bed lest it becomes a habit and destroys your routine. Work on schedule like you would in your office.
24/7 work from home will not only demotivate you but also effect your results.
A person who comes to work on time is considered punctual and who finishes work on time is considered capable.
6) Green Effect
People in creative lines of work often find themselves stuck with lack of inspiration while others are just moody.
Effective placement of suitable products like picture frames of family members or posters with motivating quotes helps to overcome this.
A general remedy is the use of plants. Plants have a positive and soothing effect on us. We feel calm and the extra oxygen is of course an added plus.
Place potted plants next to your chair and table and see the difference!
7) People Effect while working from home
While writing about people effect two phrases come to mind –
- Man is a social animal –
Not working from a commercial office has a major drawback which is that one does not get to experience the interactions between colleagues.
Live interactions with people of your own age or in a similar situation acts as a de-stressing tonic. You miss these interactions at home office.Therefore, care must be taken not to get too lost in your own world. Do not remain cooped up inside your office space.
Take regular breaks. Go out and interact with people!
- No man is an island –
No man/woman is a complete society in itself. No man is self sufficient in all aspects. A person has to be dependent upon others for many of his/her requirements.
No matter how qualified a person is, he cannot do everything and cannot be everyone. As such, there is a need to understand the inter dependency factor that gets lost while working from home.So, make sure to approach others for help when you fall short in an objective.
8) Meetings and Background
Since you are working from home, formal meetings shall have to be taken care of via technological means. Either you shall be using an audio conference call or a video call. Readily available video call apps are:
Other examples of video conferencing softwares specifically used for office purposes are:
One thing to note that once you are on video call, you would want to portray your background to be neutral and professional.
You do not want your family or kids moving about in the background.
For that purpose, you need to set the decor of the background. We are going to suggest some background examples for your to consider-
- Library look –
Many people go for a library look with books taking up most of the space of the background. If you are a lawyer for instance, this could gel well with your professional image.
- Creative Look –
If, for example, you are an interior designer, then keeping flowers or a having colourful background like designer painted wall or a wallpaper with patterns would look good.
- The Studious Look –
You may chose to show a background with a big board at the back with all your qualifications. You may also choose to showcase your achievements like trophies. A doctor may prefer to show his degrees.
- The bold or rich look –
Keep a large ornamental decorative piece or bold statue behind you as a showcase. Unique artefacts are sure to catch attention.
- The outgoing or social look –
Show your id cards from different events and conferences you attended. This also displays your social standing by directing attention to events you were invited to. A media person may choose to go for this.
9) Home office Lighting
Adequate lighting is a must for effective work environment.
If you are working in too dim a light, then you not only strain your eyes but also it dims your morale. Dim lighting also results in creating a sleepy atmosphere.
Therefore, office decor lighting has to be proper.
To this regard, white light is normally preferred. Though one may have a personal preference for yellow light but you shall find most offices well lit with white light.
You may opt to use the available room light or keep a table lamp for well-directed lighting.
Placing your desk setup next to natural light also provides a soothing comfort.
While considering eye strain, it is generally recommended that light should come from your side instead of behind you.
If you are using a study table as your work table, you may find many study tables come pre-equipped with built-in lighting.
Else, follow this simple procedure –
Create lighting for home office
- Place your table against a wall from its back or from the side.
- Hang storage cabinets above on the wall.
- The cabinets should be over the table either behind it or towards the side and and above your head level.
- Join a small tube light below the cabinets at the end towards the wall.
- The tube-light when on should direct its light towards your desk surface.
- If you are unable to find a small tube light, go for a light strip. Light strips are small lights embedded in a thin, narrow but long strip. They usually are sold as complete rolls of 10 metres or more.
- Cut a suitable amount of strip and paste it below your hanging wall cabinets. Be sure to buy a strip that has quality adhesive behind it so that it sticks easily.
- Use a proper electrician or a professional for the whole process.
- Ask the electrician if the rest of the strip is still useful. If so, you can easily attach it at the backside of a wall panel or even under the top cabinets of your home kitchen.
- Make sure the light strip has the color of light you are looking for. Check also the strength or the ampere of the light.
10) Type of office furniture
Since office work especially in front of a workstation or computer screen requires long hours of sitting position, it shall do you good to acquire furniture suitable to your comfort.
- Office Desk –
A good desk table is something which facilitates enough space for your legs and provides comfortable general movement.
It should also have adequate storage drawers available. A desk with a sliding board for placing your keyboard and mouse is something you should look for.
- Ergonomic Office Chairs –
Ergonomic furniture is furniture which is crafted to suit the angular built of the human body.
If possible all your furniture should be ergonomic else a basic ergonomic office chair is a a must.Also note that true leather chairs shall cause sweating faster so if you do not intend to keep your air-conditioning on in summers & especially if you do not live in colder countries, choose wisely.
Ergonomic chairs are built using special mould layouts that help in retaining body comfort for longer durations.You can buy ergonomic chairs or get them designed with height flexibility at your local furniture market or reach us.
The aura of your office room gets affected even by external factors such as the colour combination of the surroundings.
Dark coloured painted walls sometimes, dampen the mood.
A white home office furniture can be used in combination with darker surroundings to lighten the mood.
When in doubt, go with white or beige colored environment.
Last but not the least, in the present year 2020, WFH suddenly became a reality for the world because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
During such times, it becomes essential to discuss a little about cleaning and sanitizing procedures.
Please note that we are not an authority in this and you should consult proper medical professionals. We at Natty Decor try to follow CDC and W.H.O guidelines. Always approach and consult proper phsycians for any kind of advice realated to COVID-19. Also, always hire proper professionals for any work or renovation rather than trying it yourself to avoid injury and loss.
Ways to cope –
- Keep your work space separate and isolated. Try to make sure that no one besides you has access to it.
- Do not bring your laptop onto your bed.
- Clean your desk setup regularly with micro-fibre cloth.
- Sanitise your office table and chair with sanitizing agents like wet wipes with more than 70% isopropyl alcohol and other recognised sanitising agents.
- Wash your hands regularly.
- Use a Hand sanitiser.
- Note that mobile phones screens and tablets are known to be breeding grounds for bacteria. Keep them clean and sanitised and do not share them with others.
- Do not eat food at your office table.
We have written a blog post about it in more detail from an interior decoration perspective. You can read our post here.
Hope this has been a helpful post for you. Stay safe!