Lockdown is a word that we are now used since March 2020. From meeting dozens of people in the office, daily, to working from home and seeing colleagues only on the video call, the past year has shown us everything! It is now something that many of us are used to; some have adapted well to the situation, and some really want to get back to working from the office. Just like everything else, they both have their pros and cons.
If you live in a moderate-sized house where you have an independent desk just for work, 50% of the problem is taken care of; the rest depends on your organization. They can make life easier with better office policies and technology. Here’s how:
- Meetings on Video Call: Organizations must make meetings available to each participant on platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, or whatever else they are comfortable with. This way, no employee will feel left out, and it will create a more cohesive team environment. It does require some work at the onset, but will definitely be worth your investment!
- Flexi-timing: The work from a home culture has enabled people to work from anywhere on the planet. This means that your employees might not be working in the same time zone as you. Try and make work hours and meeting times flexible so that every one that is supposed to attend can do so, irrespective of their geographic location.
- Job role: Make sure that each employee knows what they are supposed to do and when. In the age of video conferencing and remote working, things can get a bit confusing until everyone is used to the concept. If an employee misses out on their task at hand, the entire team will lag behind, and that is something that no company would like.
A company can only help their employees in so many ways. Once you have the above three boxes ticked, it is time to set up your workstation! Want to know some of our must-haves while setting one up? Here goes!
- Pick the right spot: What is that one spot or room in your house where you can focus completely? That one area where you can block out all distractions. If you have it, great! If not, it is imperative that you find one as soon as possible. Minimal distractions are an essential part of working from home.
- Get a clean desk: The best way to work with an uncluttered mind is to have a clean desk. Make sure that the material and features suit you and everything that you would like to put on it so that there is no dearth of space once you have made the purchase.
- Office chair with lumbar support: Any working professional tends to spend the majority of their day sitting and working. If not done on a chair with proper support, this can affect your posture adversely. Make sure you try before you buy!
- Printer/Scanner: Offices are equipped with network printers. However, most homes do not need them. Purchase a regular all-in-one printer since it will be kept on your office table and can take care of both printing and scanning needs.
- Plug Points: This is by far the most essential thing on our checklist since everything tech works on electricity. Get a multiple plug point extension board so that all your appliances can be powered by a single plug point. It might seem like a small thing now, but you won’t be able to work without one!
- Lamp: Work from home calls for many late nights at the home office. An ergonomic lamp is a must-have for such nights! It will also help neutralize the ‘blue light’ effect from devices that put immense strain on your eyes.
- Water Bottle: Staying hydrated is of the essence for your body to work well. Get a 1-litre bottle and finish it at least three times a day. Add some lemon zest for a tangy and energetic twist; not to mention long-lasting freshness!
- Tea/Coffee Cup: Warm beverages are often had multiple times during the day. Keep yours handy in a trendy cup that goes well with the decor of your home workstation. An insulated one can help keep your drink warmer for longer 🙂
- Monitor: Most laptop screens are often too small for the average employee. However, since you are working from home, an external monitor that connects to your laptop might be a great idea for that wider canvas you want!
- Laptop Stand: Laptops, if kept on a flat surface, are not always comfortable to type on. A laptop stand can give you extra angles so you can find the perfect typing position for whatever the task.
- External Keyboard/Mouse: A keyboard and mouse are often more comfortable to use than the ones built-in to your laptop. Sometimes size is an issue; other times, trackpads are not people’s cup of tea. A USB/Wireless keyboard and mouse can sort this issue within no time!
- Internet Access: If there is no internet connection, there is no work from home. Get a broadband connection with good internet speed and ensure that the router is close to your workstation for uninterrupted surfing!
Work from home has been good for people in many ways, but there is one way in particular – no travel time! This means not taking your personal vehicle to work, which results in a happier environment. However, have you thought about how you can make your home office an environment-friendly place? We’re sure you’re bubbling with ideas, but here are a few of ours so you get a headstart:
- Brighten up the place with (natural) light: Light is a must when you have to be productive at work; preferably natural, of course! Set up your workspace near a window so you get maximum sunlight throughout the day, and install energy-efficient lighting such as CFL bulbs to brighten up the night!
- Indoor plants: Indoor plants are a fantastic ‘air-conditioner’ in addition to their aesthetic appeal. They are also known to reduce stress and create a more peaceful environment, both of which are essential for improving one’s productivity. Snake Plants, Orchids, and the English Ivy are a few of our indoor favourites!
- R-R-R-R: Reduce energy consumption by turning off all appliances when not in use. This includes lights, computers, printers, and air conditioners, among other things. Reuse paper by printing on both sides. If you need something for your reference, use the backside of rough paper rather than a fresh sheet. Recycle items like old electronics rather than throwing them away. Functional parts can be used in the future. There are many more items that an office can recycle. Refuse to use paper for writing if typing on a computer works; for drinking if glasses work; to buy regular paper instead of recycled paper (only if absolutely necessary).
- Reuse home furniture: Reuse that old cabinet for office storage instead of buying a new one. If you have a reclaimed wood desk, use it with pride. The same goes for cork stools and chairs made of recycled plastic.
- Open the window: If possible, open the window to ventilate your home office. This reduces the need for excessive air conditioning, i.e., unnecessary electricity consumption. Use the heater for only as much time as needed. That way, you will be in the ‘green’ zone for maximum time!
- Set up proper waste management: Avoid using dustbins in your home office. Instead, segregate it into different recycling bins. You will be thrilled when you see how much you have recycled rather than wasted by throwing into a dustbin.
EnerSavings Inc., is Canada’s leading customized lighting retrofits company, and we are proudly eco-friendly! We practice what we preach; as a matter of fact, we practice before we preach as well! Everything mentioned above has been tried and tested at our employees homes’, and we would love for this to become a global phenomenon. To know more, search for #WFHWithEnerSavings; join the movement by sharing your work from home images with the hashtag, and stand a chance to win an Amazon Gift Card! That’s two birds in hand with many more in the bush 🙂