Carol Ann Guarino
Your "office" this morning includes your second grader who is currently trying to log into their music class, your pre-school (assistant) who is having a meltdown because you can't play race cars RIGHT NOW, you also just realized that everyone forgot to walk the dog this morning and you have a REALLY important Zoom meeting starting in 15 minutes!!! This is the "new" reality for so many of us. Here are some tips on how to "carve out space" to make your work-from-home experience less stressful.
Decide how much space and privacy you need. Use a guest room, finished basement, a closet, a large hallway or a room not often used like a grown child's former bedroom or dining room. If a private room with a door is not an option, consider investing in a room divider or screen which will also allow you to leave your space set up for work. Discuss the importance of "quiet time" with family members and make a Do Not Disturb sign to let them know that you are not to be bothered.
Check your WiFi strength in case you need to invest in a signal booster. If the space is lacking in electrical outlets, get a power strip and some cord organizers. Avoid eye strain with LED task lights, an overhead light and a light for video conferencing. Have a desk large enough for your laptop/monitor and papers along with a ergonomic chair with lumbar support. Use storage bins, tubs or baskets to store office supplies and files.
Add some style with personal touches will make you feel more comfortable in your office space. Photos, art, small keepsakes, decorative storage baskets or boxes will help improve productivity. along with your happiness. Incorporate principals of Feng Shui when setting up your office. If possible, place your desk diagonally to the door so your back doesn't face the door. Bring in the green! Incorporate green into your office to bring feelings of calm...even if it's a small plant. If you can, locate your office in an area with plenty of natural light (preferably south facing) to boost energy. Make sure your space is clutter-free. Keep items you don't use every day in filing cabinets, baskets or in other organizing products. If you put in long hours at your desk, consider purchasing a standing desk or adjustable desk to allow you to move throughout the day. Think about your backdrop when video calling. Make sure your backdrop looks professional and well-organized.
Our new normal may not be so normal but don't be too hard on yourself, take care of yourself, do the best that you can and remember....Dorothy never said "there's no place like work".