I’ve been working from home for many years and I have to tell you that one major benefit is having your own space to work. My wife just bought me a ceramic-heated coffee coaster and I couldn’t be happier. It fits perfectly in it’s assigned space on my custom-made reclaimed wood standing desk, in front of my second monitor. Yeah, man. I’ve got it good. But it hasn’t always been this way.
In my line of work, I frequently work for new clients on a regular basis and therefore do not keep offices there the way I did fifteen years ago. Before I got my home office together, it was a itinerant life: carrying the only office I knew in a backpack from one client’s office to the next Wegmans cafe to the next library. Even long-term contracts never seemed worth setting up permanent offices at. It’s only been since I’ve taken the time to set myself up in a home office that I feel at home working anywhere.
Now, if you’ve just found yourself suddenly without access to your office, it may be too much to ask that you have a whole “office” to yourself at your house. And unfortunately, the vagabond life is also no good when you’re trying to keep some social distance. Nevertheless, the first thing you need is a spot to work.
You may not have a room that can be sacrificed. Maybe just a spot in the dining room. Or a bedroom. Perhaps a small, darkened corner where the kids never look for their toys is what you have. Ok, not great. But it’s something. Move in.
Get some office stuff, whether that means gathering up second-hand crap around the house or getting something from Amazon and having to wait. Pens, paper, stapler, tape. Sticky notes, a keyboard wrist rest; stress ball, your favourite hunk of lapis from the gem show, a USB-powered fan, a pair of decent speakers. Get it. And while your at it:
- Get the good chair. You deserve it.
- Phone access
- Printer access
- Fax access
- Internet access
- A window? Let’s hope so!
Just because you don’t “go to the office” does not mean you should not have a place to go. The separation between work and home continues to be very important and a physical distance helps. Let others know that the office is where you go to be alone with your work.
I’m a parent and don’t plan on spending a heck of a lot of time in my office, to be honest. If you’re a parent, you already know what I mean. But it needs to be there and it needs to be respected. Because when things about the job just require your undivided attention, you need that resource.