So now you’re working remotely! All because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

You may have been told not to come into the office and to work from home because of the corona virus. You may have decided to stay at home for your safety and the safety of others. It’s a pandemic, that’s a good call on your part!

Many of us have shifted from working in the office to working at home. We’ve had to do this quickly and with short notice. Here are some basics in setting up a remote office in your home. These are basic tips and basic is what we need to move out of a place of stress to a place of calm.

Desk

  • You may have a designated home office or are scrambling for a flat surface. You don’t need a lot of room. Clearing a 36 x 24 inch space is all you need. It’s small but just enough space to work. This should be enough room to hold your laptop, phone, supplies and papers.
  • Choose a space near an electric plug.
  • Try to alternate between sitting and standing.

Computer

  • Make sure it’s not teetering on a surface.
  • Plug your computer into a surge protector.
  • A light source, like a window behind you, can cause a glare on your screen. Check to be sure there isn’t a glare or close the curtains if there is.
  • Make sure to back up your computer.
  • Be careful of cords that can be pulled or tripped on.

Chair

  • You may have to cobble something together, try to find the most comfortable chair possible.
  • Grab pillows if you need to support your back.
  • If you are sitting on a hard, wooden chair having a chair pad adds comfort.
  • If you have chosen a chair with wheels be sure it’s not scratching your flooring. If you move a chair with wheels to a carpeted surface, be careful as it may not roll smoothly.

Supplies

Gather supplies you need. These are the basics and if you don’t gather them up, trust me, you’ll be searching to find them when you are deep in a project. If you have children who are being homeschooled, they will likely need these supplies as well. Fill a shoebox, bag, plastic container with all the supplies you’ll need.

  • Pens, pencils, eraser, highlighter, sharpie
  • Post-It notes
  • Scissors, tape, glue stick
  • Paper clips, binder clips
  • Stapler, staples and staple remover
  • Elastics or rubber bands
  • Postage, envelopes

Other supplies to consider:

  • Clock-If you need to manage your time, you need to know what time it is!
  • A timer for the pomodoro method. Here’s info on the pomodoro method.
  • Your journal or notebook
  • Paper Calendar
  • Glasses-The ones for your face, AND yes, you need to stay hydrated so grab a glass of water too.

Ergonomically Correct-Make sure your work area is ergonomically correct, this is important because over time you may experience back, neck and arm pain. You are at risk of long term effects of a poorly set up desk area with issues like carpal tunnel syndrome. Here is a Wave Productivity Pinterest board to help you set up an ergonomically correct work space. This Pinterest board also has some great stretching exercises to do at your desk.

You may need to expand and contract your work– If you are working from an area that’s not designated work space, like your dining room table, you’ll need to expand and contract your work. Expand when you are working and take up the needed space. Make the space as mobile as possible by having your supplies in a box or bin, your papers in a file box, and your electronics safely stored away from spills and liquids when they are put away.

Wash your hands-Keep doing this. Sanitize your workspace, phone, keyboard, light switches, doorknobs.

This week I’ll be posting several blogs on ways to stay productive during the corona virus outbreak. Go to www.waveproductivity.com for daily blog posts.

Margo Crawford is a Productivity Coach with Wave Productivity. If you are struggling to stay focused, organized and productive at work during the COVID-19 outbreak, you are not alone. Margo works with entrepreneurs, small business owners and business professionals to help them get more focused, organized and productive in their workplace. Set up a consultation today. Margo coaches by phone nationally. If you want to get more organized in your office call 602-677-8275 or email margo@waveproductivity.com.