There was a time in the not-too-distant past when all, but the most progressive industries would have scoffed at the notion of latte-sipping, pajama-clad American workers toiling away in their home offices. Not so in 2020. Last year’s Global State of Remote Work determined that U.S. employees are 66% more likely to work remotely in full-time positions than their counterparts across the globe. Millennials and Gen Z’ers, who now comprise the majority of the American workforce, count the comfort of working from home as “a necessary perk.”
Yet, for all of the recent reports on the efficacy of remote working, there is a significant downside. A New York Times report warns that social isolation is growing epidemic, with both young and older Americans increasingly at risk. Working from home can be lonely. What’s more, because work-from-home jobs offer flexible hours, work-life boundaries can (and often do) get fuzzy. A recent study found that nine of 10 millennials check their work-related email outside of designated working hours. And though videoconferencing is increasingly popular across most industries, there is no true substitute for face-to-face collaboration and camaraderie among colleagues.
With these cautions in mind, we hope the following guidelines will help you create an efficient home office, whether you use it for full-time work, running a family business, or just catching up on the bills.
Whether designing your home office from scratch or retrofitting an existing room, two guiding principles prevail: (1) Less is more (2) Multi-purpose/multi-layered. Seamlessly incorporating efficient workspace into your home demands pre-planning and creativity. In choosing the best space to set up shop, you’ll need to consider traffic flow and your ability to block out distraction.
Home office furniture should complement the other rooms in your house, but also serve your workflow to best advantage. With space typically at a premium, you’ll want to organize both vertically and horizontally (e.g. make use of floating shelves to get books and office equipment off the desk, and vertical file folders to hold important papers). When you think of the amount of time you spend here, a comfortable, ergonomic chair is one of the best investments you can make.
Home Office Technology
Once you’ve gotten the physical space for your home office squared away, the next step is choosing technology that best meets your needs and budget. The workflow experts at Copiers Plus are ideally suited to recommend process strategies and technology solutions to manage documents and data, including the Kyocera line of mid- or low-range printers. Designed for small work groups or individual users, these products include features such as:
Professionalism is key to the success of every remote employee. No matter your job and industry specific applications, communication is essential. To that end, it’s likely you’ll also require one or more of these essentials:
Along with these high-tech and higher-priced items, never underestimate the value of inexpensive products to keep the clutter at a minimum. Cord organizers and bins to conceal papers and binders are a must. Last but not least, seek out an eye-saving task lamp that you can adjust for your (varying) work environment.