In just over one year, an
unprecedented number of people have transitioned into working from home. More
recently, many of those same workers have returned to the office. For many,
however, that change has become a permanent one.
Whether you’ve moved into a
new remote role or your job has evolved into a work-from-home position some or
all of the time, you’ll inevitably need a home office or workspace to get the
best results. From getting the best light for Zoom meetings to finding the
ideal balance of being comfortable but not too comfortable, a lot goes into
perfecting a professional home office.
Refine your idea of professionalism
When working in an in-person
office environment, there are certain expectations you’re obligated to meet.
Your at-home workday looks differently, whether that’s because you’ve started a
new career path as a streamer or blogger or because you’re balancing your
assignments with childcare and home maintenance. The image of a professional
workspace, then, needs to change too.
Rather than the fluorescent
brightness of a traditional overhead office light source, you might research
the best lighting for streamers, even if it’s only to make a
better impression on video calls. From adding a ring light to creating a whole
new setup, your ideal professional workspace will almost certainly look
different in a remote role.
Begin with yourself
Before you start diving into the pros and cons of fill versus key lighting, consider how you will function within your home office. Will you dress in your typical workwear or pair your favorite professional white blouse with pajama pants because no one will see your lower half on the webcam? Should you add particular details to improve your productivity at home, whether that’s a certain type of light, an essential oil diffuser stocked with energizing blends, or simply an extra surge protector for your necessary AC adapters on the average workday?
A beginner or experienced
remote worker will each know themself better than any article could—consider
how you can get yourself into a focused, productive mindset whenever you enter
your home office, be it with a certain type of blouse or a particular sort of
Despite its plentiful
benefits, working from home can feature certain health risks and wellness
concerns. From isolation and a lack of physical activity to screen-triggered
headaches and poor work-life balance, it’s important that your home office—and
the work you do within it—is crafted with mitigating these risks in mind. If
you know that staring at your computer screen all day triggers migraines,
consider investing in a pair of blue-light-blocking glasses, setting up good
lighting to ease the strain of screen time, and taking regular breaks to look
away from the laptop for a few moments each day.
If you find that your work-life
balance is suffering, be it at one extreme or the other, implement stronger
boundaries by signing off entirely at the end of the workday or hiding the
remote control and turning off non-work-related smartphone notifications while
you sit in meetings or reach your deadlines. By making sure your health and
well-being are taken care of, you’ll not just feel better at work, but you’ll
be more productive, motivated, and professional while you’re in this space.
As remote work becomes increasingly prevalent, it’s key that you create a healthy, professional workspace at home, be it a full home office or a set corner of the living room. A distinct place of work, even within your home, can make it easier to maintain a beneficial work-life balance, exceed your employer’s expectations, and generally make a better impression as a professional who’s working from home.