How to Build Your Home Office Oasis
Over the past few years, working from home at least a few days a week has become a regular occurrence. This way of work has shifted family dynamics, as many have turned guest rooms into offices, splurged on top-notch Wi-Fi systems, and even moved homes due to no longer having to commute to work every day. At first, your ideal home office may be as simple as a room that is secluded from traffic or lawnmower noises, but if you really think about making your workspace perfect for productivity, there are clearly other aspects that need to be considered. In my quest to put together my ideal home office, I examined all critical components, from hardworking hardware to a motivating ambiance.
Your Set Up
While working at the kitchen table or on the couch may have been feasible for the first few weeks of the pandemic, many companies have now established hybrid and fully remote working models, making comfort a crucial ingredient in your home office set-up. Investing in proper work furniture and a dedicated workspace makes the environment healthier, more productive, and secure – so it’s time to get serious about your setup if you haven’t already.
There’s a reason they dedicated an entire episode of The Office to getting new chairs. The proper chair should mimic your chair in the office, in that it allows for proper foot placement and supports your back. Working on a bad chair is like sleeping on a bad mattress – and you probably spend more time on the chair. Your back will thank you later.
No, your coworker is not using all caps because she knows you’re working on a tiny screen. While laptops are convenient for traveling or working from a café, a full-sized quality monitor makes things so much easier when working from home. You will avoid eye and neck strain by placing the monitor further away and at eye level. You can also work faster by using both your monitor and laptop screen to work on multiple documents at once. Not to mention, the lack of human interaction received working from home will be alleviated when your coworkers are three times the size!
Your Keyboard and Mouse
Since a laptop keyboard is flat and narrow, using one for a prolonged amount of time can cause stress on wrists, hands and forearms. Also, primarily using your touchpad to move your curser has its limitations, especially if you are working on an intricate document. Many brands like Dynabook offer more efficient wireless keyboard/mouse combos so that you can not only work more comfortably but can easily travel between workspaces.
Compact multifunction printers are ideal for working seamlessly and productively at home. To get the most bang for your buck, make sure the desktop printer of your choosing is not costly to maintain, has duplex printing (save the trees) and perhaps most of all, is user-friendly. Because let’s be honest, everyone in your household will use it at some point.
Your Team Collaboration
Keeping in touch with coworkers from your home office isn’t as easy as walking up to their desk and asking for those TPS Reports, but the right technology can simulate it. A simple video conferencing system is helpful, but the office experience requires a more holistic communication strategy. In addition to Microsoft Teams, the GoTo Connect Platform, which allows you to secure tools to call, instant message, schedule a meeting, meet ad-hoc, share files, see schedules and more is a great option. Additionally, implementing displays that enable seamless collaboration for both in-office and remote workers can provide more engaging meetings.
The security of your home network rarely comes to mind when navigating the challenges of a Wi-Fi system, but it is important not to lose sight of the dangers lack of attention can bring. Hackers are always looking for the easiest points of entry, and the hottest headlines to imitate. Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a massive spike in cybersecurity breaches. In fact, according to a cybersecurity data report by PurpleSec, cybercrimes are up 600% due to the pandemic and will cost $10.5 trillion annually by 2025. It is important to take steps to ensure the security of your company’s IT infrastructure. Always use your company’s virtual private network (VPN). VPN encrypts communications, prohibiting interception from unauthorized individuals. You should also use malware detection and anti-spam software to guard against cyberattacks. If you think your company could use a security checkup, the Sharp Managed IT group can give your company a quick assessment to make sure you are as close to Fort Knox as possible.
Finally, keep the online gaming to your personal computer. Even though your company laptop may be the bee’s knees, allowing family members to use your business computer, whether it’s for games or homework, introduces the possibility that malware could compromise it.
The secret to a home office oasis is creating a space that inspires you to get to work instead of back under the covers. An office away from your normal office should include comfortable amenities that motivate you and keep burnout far away. Personalizing the space will allow you to confidently turn off your computer at the end of the day feeling accomplished. Not every home office oasis is the same. Sharp can help you find the technology, but it’s up to you to find the rest.