Setting up an effective home office

As restrictions due to Covid-19 ease, it is looking more and more likely that we will continue to work from home on a regular basis. The logistics of moving back into a full time office job in the cities seems quite unlikely due to the high volumes of people and the “social distancing” measures that are in place in Australia and around the world

Covid-19 has made us rethink our workspace and as nice as it is to be surrounded by our colleagues, it seems that we need to make sure we have got our home offices sorted out so that we are comfortable to continue in this environment for some time.

Have you fixed up your home office and made it a comfortable and productive working space?

Are you working too many hours and is your work  encroaching on your home life?

Here are some  tips for managing the home office:

Set a routine

  1. Just as you would when going to the office – set a work routine and stick to it. Get up at the usual time, get dressed as you would normally and start and finish work at the same time you normally would.

Set up a designated  office space

  1. Set up a designated office space – even if you do not have a separate room – make a corner of your home environment a work zone and when you finish for the day – turn off your computer and move away from the zone!
  2. Look for an area with as much natural light as possible but avoid glare directly on your screen – you may need shades to prevent glare.
  3. If you are using artificial lighting, the best is overhead lighting but if you need to use a lamp for additional lighting – be careful of glare on the monitor and competing light sources (which may cause eye strain)
  4. Keep your work space organised and avoid spreading it around your home, obtain what you need to keep the space clutter free.

Be ergonomic!

  1. Make sure your desk is at the correct height so that your feet are firmly planted on the floor or a footstool (for shorter people)
  2. Use a supportive chair – one that supports your spine and you can remain erect
  3. Keep your mouse and keyboard within easy reach
  4. Your monitor should be an arm’s length away and most importantly at the right height. When you look at the monitor – you should be looking directly approximately one third from the top of the monitor – this will avoid long term neck problems.

Security

  1. Pay particular attention to your home internet security
  2. Check your password Security
  3. Change the default password on your modem
  4. Cover your webcam when not in use
  5. Log off when not using your computer
  6. Have a good anti-virus program and a firewall

Technology

  1. Connect to your home wifi
  2. Get a decent printer that will service your needs – a multifunction laser printer will enable you to print, scan and copy.
  3. Internet speed

There are many factors that can affect your internet speed – you may need to look at a better (and more expensive) internet service if your speed is too slow to work with, even temporarily.

If you are on a NBN25 plan, consider moving to and NBN 50 plan.

Always have a backup in place in case your regular home internet goes down so that you can still get in touch or attend the meetings.  One way is to be able to hotspot your computer through your mobile phone.

  • Use a large monitor – setup a second monitor or a large monitor to work with – maybe the company you work for can loan you one for at home.
  • Use appropriate video and audio technology – set up a webcam and microphone or headphones for best sound and picture quality

If you are wanting to know how to set up and secure the technology for your home office contact me at arlaine@cmbcomputers.com.au to find out about my online course on practical steps to setting up a home office

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