The pandemic has arguably changed the way we work in the space of just a few months. Who last year would have thought offices and cities would be closed down and many of us would be working from home? Myself, I’ve been working from home for the past five years, so things haven’t changed a great deal for me.
However, it did take me a great deal of time to settle in and establish myself from home, and I can empathize with many who are facing the struggle. It’s very different and there are many new challenges to face, but once conquered, in my opinion at least, I think the advantages of working from home outweigh the disadvantages. This is the first of two posts I am writing which covers my own challenges I faced when starting to work from home and how it took me several years to get the home office that works great for me. In these two posts I’d like to share my experiences and what worked best for me in the hope that it can help others facing the same dilemmas now.
My home is a modest three bedroom house. It has a separate dining room and also a front room which was originally used as a playroom til the kids grew up. After that, it was just a room, never used. When I started working from home around 2015, this would be the perfect place. It is out of the way somewhat although it had a wide entrance and no door. I would eventually resolve that by installing a 6ft wide barn door style so now I can close things up if needed.
So that was my primary consideration, where to put my office which is away from the rest of the home. In other words, separation.
Secondly was the positioning of my office furniture. When I first set things up, I had a very simple desk from IKEA and a basic chair. It worked for a while, but it did cause back and neck pain and I ended up upgrading my equipment. But it was better than working from a couch or kitchen table. One thing I did do was have my desk in the middle of the room with my back to the wall. I like to look out into the room rather than looking up at a wall. It helped me mentally and helped make me want to be there.
I would say for the first 6 months of working from home I wore office attire. A nice pair of pants and a shirt. This helped me get into the mindset of work and further added to separation of office from home. Once I was disciplined and in a good routine and habit, I began slacking off on the work attire and now wear simple comfortable clothes.
I am an early riser and so found it helped me a great deal to begin work as early as possible. My normal routine is up at 6, feed dogs, drink coffee and sit down with laptop on couch with TV on and do some simple mundane daily tasks. I know it’s not the best to be sitting on the couch, but it helps ease me into the day. Around 8am I’ll go upstairs, get showered and cleaned up and then come down to my office and get ready for the day. Mentally, I know I’ve already done something, it helps give me that push to continue that momentum and carry on working. I’ll typically finish around 3 or 4 each day.
It took me a few months to work out what worked for me. I tried various things, but this works the best for my needs. In the next article, I’ll elaborate and provide some good tips that have helped me to work from home successfully.
In the meantime, if you’re experiencing back or neck pain, head on in to Back and Body Medical and get treated. You’ll be out of pain in no time.