COVID-19 took us all by surprise. I bet your life has been affected too. One of the changes the raging coronavirus might have imposed upon you is that you have to switch your work place from your office to your home. Some of you are probably not unfamiliar with working from home, but it’s fair to say the majority of people work in an office, since it’s required by most employers. Now that you’ve suddenly been forced to stay home, you may find working from home isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
You can hear your family running around in the house and you’re itching to binge the Tiger King documentary on Netflix. It’s pretty hard to focus, right? If you want to get anything done, then first and foremost, you have to create a peaceful, comfortable and inspiring place in your home to work.
What exactly is the deal with a home office?
1. How Did the Home Office Begin?
Offices exist for a practical reason, as do home offices. When there’s a demand for working from home, people tend to put effort and thought into their home office. So, how did the home office actually come about?
The History of the Home Office
As the internet and technology gained pace some four decades ago, computers and all kinds of machines began to emerge in households worldwide. Many jobs had been created alongside these developments in technology, and business conducted in factories and offices were no longer limited by location.
Many small businesses started to embrace the idea of telecommuting or home office since they could cut costs and save space if some employees worked from home. On the other hand, employees could also save the expense and time of having to commute, whether they were self-employed or working with a company.
The Rise of the Home Office
According to GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics, by 2018, 4.3 million U.S. employees worked from home at least half the time. That’s about 3.2% of the whole countries workforce. It’s just a small percentage of the actual labor force, but growing rapidly. Remote work saw an increase of 159% between 2005 and 2017.
Now, as the coronavirus sweeps across the globe, the population working from home surges. Some of you might have just realized that what you did in the office can also be done at home as well. Working from home is an option and has been popular in specific industries, namely, human resources and recruiting, finance, education, media, software engineering and plenty more besides.
Working from home may be the way of the future but the practice called for by our current social isolation, however, is not without problems. The first of several woes you have to deal with is setting up a home office that can let you work productively and without distractions.
2. What Are The Challenges Employees May Face When Setting Up A Home Office?
Whether you are new to working from home or not, you should pay attention to your home office setup to ensure you’re still able to work and complete deadlines on time. However, sometimes it’s not easy to set up an ideal work place and it can take far more than a desk and a computer.
Not Enough or Proper Space
This probably won’t be a problem if you own a larger home, but for those who live in a small apartment where space is limited, the spot they use as a “home office” is the sofa, or the dining table. Fortunately, if your job allows telecommuting, most of your work can be done on a computer. Put simply, it’s more about picking the right spot and how to make it the place where you feel focused and inspired.
Mixing Work And Life
One great thing about working remotely is that you are near home or at home. But sometimes this can turn out to be a double-edged sword. It’s not easy to set a boundary between your work and your home life when essentially you’re encroaching on the space meant to be sacred solely for family. You can carve out a work space to separate it from other activities, but you can’t always control your family members or house mates.
This is a big challenge that’s hard to deal with. You can lock yourself up in the spare room, set yourself up at your desk, then when you need your USB disk, its lost on a mountain of papers and cables. Poor home office organization will not only slow down your work with constant distractions but maybe ruin what you’ve already achieved.
3. Quick Tricks To Help You With Home Office Setup
As you can see from the discussion above, you have to take many things into consideration when setting up your home office, otherwise, you’ll get half the results with twice the effort at the end of the day. Here are a few tricks that will help you set up your home office, so you can maintain the same excellent work performance as you do working at the office.
To Create More Space
First of all, remove items that don’t belong in the home office, or relocate items that you don’t need when you are working. Store and conceal small things like cables and wires which can easily cause a sprawling mess. Organize your things with drawers and boxes, or even invest in some furniture, such as a multifunctional desk, in which you can place almost all your devices and keep items that are not of frequent use.
To Separate Work And Family Life
Playing two roles under the same roof can be tricky, so, it’s best to keep them as separate as you can. When you’re busy writing a report, having your family around will help you procrastinate and delay completing work. A separate room, like a study, is better than open space where it’s hard to keep disturbances at bay. Once you’ve carved out the area you’ll use as your home office, the next step is to set some rules – asking your family to do an activity together in another room, or do something quiet such as reading or drawing during certain hours. If your family get out of control you should probably have some extra equipment to hand, such as noise cancelling headphones.
There’s a place for everything. Find the spot for your laptop, your phone, your cup and pen, and keep them there. Clean and dust regularly, removing trash and unnecessary items from your desk and check whether things are kept in the correct place. When your home office is unorganized, not only does it create distractions but also wastes your time.
If you don’t think you can achieve an organized desk, try some desk top accessories, such as, the Air Omni, a 6-in-1 charging station
4. Air Omni -- The 6-in-1 charging machine for the Apple family
Air Omni, the newest charging machine from PITAKA, is powerful, versatile and reliable.
Keep Organized While Charging
Air Omni can charge six devices simultaneously, be it iOS or Android devices, headphones or gaming consoles. It’s so powerful that it can even charge your MacBook Pro at 18W. Think about how many wall outlets, power adapters and cables it can save! Put everything you want to charge on the 6-in-1 charging station instead of scattering them around and messing up your space with the cables. Furthermore, the station provides a small hidden drawer to store a regular flash drive, paperclips or other small items.
Efficiency And Convenience
Nowadays, smartphones have become one of the most vital EDC essentials. A lot of crucial work is done using smartphones, so you don’t want to miss out on any message or task. However frequently picking up your phone while focusing on your laptop screen is annoying and distracting. With Air Omni, you don’t need to worry about that. Unfold the panel and place your phone into the USB-C or Lightning connector to let it charge. When you receive a message notification, just take a quick glance at the phone screen and decide whether it’s urgent or not. It works the same for the iPad. You can put your iPad in the portrait or landscape mode to take video calls or continue working.
It Takes Little Space
Although it can power up to six devices at the same time, the 6-in-1 charging station is only slightly larger than a notebook. When you only use wireless charging, easily fold down the panel, push down the magnetic dock for Apple Watch, and turn it into a one-piece of machine to take with you anywhere.
A report from Upwork predicts that 73 percent of all departments will have remote workers by 2028. Working from home will be more and more common, not only due to the current world situation, but because its advantages are recognized by many small businesses and employees enjoy the convenience and flexibility.
To guarantee or improve your work performance while working from home, start by setting up your home office and keep it organized. Don’t forget to use accessories like the Air Omni to help organize your home office or desk.