Published in El Pais, 2 September 2020.
It used to be that working from home was used as a rare exception, something that was done as a result of commuting problems or maybe you have to stay home because of home repairs being done. Now of course it is the new normal as even offices that are starting to open up are doing so at a limited capacity. Meaning many will be working from home several days a week for the foreseeable future. Initially employees put their laptop at their kitchen table and sat there for 8 hours like they would if they were at their desk, and while this may be acceptable for the short term, the fact is a more permanent work set up is needed to work effectively throughout the day. Here are some things you should factor in when setting up your new office.
Desks. Having a dedicated work station instead of a table can make your work life at home much less stressful. You will not have to juggle your laptop off the table when it is time for dinner or any other event that requires the use of that furniture. For those who have limited space, a small wall desk to the side can be very helpful and not take up too much of your living room, and when you are off the clock it is like its not even there.
Gaming monitors. You read that right, when looking for a monitor try not to economize if it is possible. You may wonder why it is important to have a clear sharp image of that spreadsheet but the fact is high quality monitors cause less eye strain and far less frequent headaches one normally experiences when looking at a screen for to long. Gamers usually spend hours looking at their monitor so if you know any ask what type of monitor they use, it may be a good one for yourself as well.
Chairs. Your office may not have the finest desk chairs available but they are still meant for you to sit at for long periods of time, so why are you using the same chair you use at the kitchen table? You will be sitting down for hours so it is important that you use a chair that is comfortable and work appropriate.
Following these steps will lead to your work life at home more enjoyable and more efficient. Now that we are in this for the long hall it is time to invest in ourselves, you and your employer will thank you for it.