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Home Office Makeovers Made Easy

Is it Time for a Home Office Makeover?

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Working at home can lead to the dilemma of “getting used” to your surroundings. You may not realize how issues of comfort , lighting, noise and organization are affecting your performance.  Much like reading in dim light, you don’t realize how much easier it is to read the page until someone flings back the curtains.

Comfort

Making your home office comfortable may seem like a no-brainer, but we are far too likely to compromise and adapt to uncomfortable chairs and awkward work spaces.  Make sure your chair fits you and not the other way around, and  take the time to notice if back pain or leg pain are becoming too common. Choosing the proper foot and back support for home office work stations can help. If you work at a laptop, setting it at the proper angle can prevent strain in wrists and hands. Even excessive use of your tablet can cause strain on your wrists. Use wrist and keyboard supports if you are working long term at the computer.   Use document holders so you are  not peering down at papers on your desk while typing.

Lighting

Poor lighting can cause you adapt by squinting. Lots of sunshine may seem like a good thing, except that it may be causing screen glare on your computer without you realizing it. Make sure  you have adequate lighting for both day and night work.  Also, be aware of your environment throughout the day  to see if the change in natural light is not going from gorgeous to glaring.

Noise Issues

Keeping a quiet work area can be difficult at home, especially with kids home for summer.  Making quiet time rules during your work hours helps you not only get work done in peace but also helps structure your time with the kids.

Organization

Staying organized can sometimes be harder at home where expectations of organization are not as strict as in an office setting. Ensure your files and desktop don’t degrade into clutter. Take time at the end of each work day to evaluate your clutter ratio and fix it then and there before it gets worse.

Breathing Room

Comfort sometimes can be invisible. Like the air in your home office. Make sure you are not situated under a vent circulating dusty air in an enclosed space.  This is especially important if you suffer from allergies. Change your air filters and use air purifiers if necessary so you are not contributing to a sick office at home.


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Hot Desking: The Wave of the Future, or Just a Positive Spin on Downsizing

Hot desking essentially means creating one central office workstation for multiple employees, or in some cases an open plan office-no cubes or private closed door offices; instead a  cluster of communal workstations becomes the hub. This kind of an arrangement works well with alternating shifts and limited office space. Hot-desking also saves money by minimizing the work footprint and maximizing the output of a few workstations.

For entrepreneurs and many startups, hot-desking is the future of office work. Creating a hot desk location helps many small business owners get their businesses up and running when there are limited funds for office space and when operating costs need to stay low. If they have employees, they distribute the workload between home office, mobile technology and hot desk locations.

For any hot desk, the needs are simple:

  1. Maintain office supplies at the workstation and keep it organized.
  2. Make sure the station is comfortable for everyone who needs to use it. That means including well-being and ergonomic features that are adjustable and flexible to fit the needs of multiple computer users on a single computer.
  3.  Aside from a PC, copier, fax and printer, equip the hot desk workstation with other essential business machines including a shredder, binding machine for presentations, and a laminator.

As exciting as hot desking may seem for some, others see the trend as nothing more than an opportunity to downsize the office environment: limiting the comfort of the workplace, while expecting the same productivity.  Though there are no hard numbers on the trend, there are consistent complaints. The “odd couple” syndrome is by far the most common: a highly organized, very tidy individual sharing a desk with the complete opposite. For those situations, good management skills come in handy, matching the right workers at the same workstations.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Hot Desking

What’s Good                                                                  

1. Saves money                                                             

2. Better work/life balance                                       

3. More interactive work environment               

What’s Not So Good

1. Nothing personal about your workspace

2. No sense of permanence

3. One workstation+ multiple workers=lots of germs

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