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How to create your #WorkFromHome space

Readers Lounge By Michelle Langi
A dining table that sits against a wall can also convert into a home office of sorts (Shutterstock)

With the threat of the virus now on our doorsteps, a good number of people are taking up online jobs, working remotely and running businesses from home.

But even if it is not practical for you to work at home, you still need space in your house where you can crunch a few numbers, file taxes, study, help your children print out assignments, sort bills or make budgets.

A home office can be any space equipped with a few essentials for work.

You will need:

  • A desk
  • A chair
  • A lamp for late nights
  • A storage system
  • An in and out tray
If you are using part of a room already serving a different purpose, fit your table in a corner, against a window or along a wall (Shutterstock)

Here are a few tips on what to consider when creating one.

Colour

Colour affects our productivity and energy levels. People respond differently to different colours. Pick a colour that gets your engine revving and splash it on your home office walls. Do not be cowed into conforming to boring, quiet colours if you have a warm, vivacious spirit. The reverse is also true. As painting a room is the last thing on your mind right now, you can add colour with accessories like a lamp or a cushion for your seat or with wallpaper.

Set up

The next step is to set up the space in a way you would use it up best. If you have an entire room dedicated to your office, you can set up your desk in any position. However, if you are using part of a room already serving a different purpose, fit your table in a corner, against a window or along a wall. Add a comfortable chair and lamp.

A dining table that sits against a wall can also convert into a home office of sorts. If you’ll be working from your dining table, try your best to find an actual office chair because dining chairs do not provide the right back support for long hours at the table.

Remember this isn’t like watching a movie or a series over the weekend -- working from your bed or your couch will leave you exhausted and can actually damage your back long term.

Colour affects our productivity and energy levels. Pick a colour that gets your engine revving (Shutterstock)

Storage

Imagine going back to work only to discover your child has doodled all over an important document? You can prevent this by figuring out where your storage will be. You can make use of vertical space for your books and décor but this might not be safe enough for your documents.

Use the lockable drawers under your desk for items you would not want anyone touching. If you don’t have any lockable storage space, get a carton or storage box that you can store on a shelf that is out of reach every night.

Consider getting a lockable storage box or portable safe for more sensitive documents or items such as rubber stamps and seals. You can cut cereal boxes in half to use as your in and out trays.

Ambience

Consider your office your quiet and creative space. You will need to cordon yourself off from distractions and noise so choose a spot away from the TV, kitchen and children’s play area.

However, if you’re the one supervising the children while you work, this can be a tricky balance as you will want to keep them within your view.

If this is the case for you, consider doing the bulk of your brain work when they are asleep (set an earlier bedtime), leaving lighter work and live communication like phone calls for daytime.

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