setting up a home office for remote work

Setting up a Home Office for Remote Work

The world is different now, we have all been affected by COVID-19 and for now, it looks like there is no going back.  Setting up a home office for remote work seemed like it something we would never need. It seems however that at some point, we will get a vaccine and be significantly safer than we are now, but for now, we are where we are.

How has this affected you?

If you are on this page reading this post you are likely in one of two camps, either you are completely working from home and will be for the foreseeable future, or you are in some kind of hybrid system where you work in multiple places.  Regardless of which camp you are in it is likely that before the pandemic you were not doing any work from home, or a minimal amount.

What Are the Basics For Setting up a Remote Working Station?

Your Physical Work Station

When you are setting up a home office for remote work The first thing you will need to consider is, “where will you setup?”

If you already have a home office or an empty bedroom then you are set, but if neither of these things exist for you then you will need to make some adjustments. Renovating is certainly an option, moving walls, creating a new space or just adjusting a current space.

You will need a desk, a storage solution and an organizing solution. That could be any combination of drawers, shelves and cabinets.

A Chair

We will leave the bulk of this conversation for another article, but our recommendation is to get an office chair that works for long term office work. You need something that is comfortable, ergonomic and attractive.

Communication Devices and Technology

You might think your phone or computer is enough, but I know from experience that there are other devices out there that can really help with communication and collaboration while working from home.

  • Bluetooth or wireless headset/headphones with a microphone for voice calls. The key is that you are handsfree.
  • Webcam either built into your computer or purchased.
  • Multiple Screens for workflow.
  • Speakers for Sound and atmosphere in the home office.
  • Reliable and fast wifi for zoom, email and remote desktop software.

Decoration and Environment

So when you have your space figured out, much like your work office you will want to decorate in some form or fashion. Put somethings on the walls, things that inspire you and things that make your space feel inviting. Add plants. Add memories like pictures and art. Get creative and make the space yours.

What are the Benefits of Working From Home?

Job searches for working from home online have always been really high.  Many people don’t LOVE their job and are often searching job boards for a replacement, especially if they can work from home.

The perks are pretty awesome.

You can wear whatever you want, you can control the coffee and you can also control the environment with music, lighting and decor.  Although not necessarily ideal for people that really need structure in their workplace, working from home provides a whole number of benefits.

  1. Tax Writeoffs.  Even if you are an employee there are a number of tax benefits that you can enjoy when working from home.
  2. Money for Renovations.  Many people don’t know that your employer and the government will both help you with things that you need in order to make working from home a viable option.  If you need a desk or renovations there are grants and workplace benefits that you can access.
  3. Zero Commute.  Think of the time and money you will save from not having to drive your car to work or get on the bus.
  4. No Distractions.  This really does go both ways and is fairly dependant on your personality and what you need in the workspace, but for those of us that need quiet and consistent environments working from home is ideal.  For those of us that need more social activity and structure, it may be more of a challenge.

Financial Aid

The Alberta Government is making $5000 available to small and medium sized businesses during Augusts relaunch phase for upgrades and expenses.

Here is a link to the Alberta Government page regarding getting money for a work from home upgrade. LINK

It says that it is for small and medium businesses and to be used during the relaunch after COVID. However, there may be an opportunity to work with your employer to access these funds even if you are an employee and you now have to work from home.

Bedrock Can Help

If you need additional help or if you are looking to get a renovation done so you have a suitable home workspace Bedrock Construction is here to help.  We not only specialize in home renovations but we also specialize in commercial construction and renovations so we know what a great working space looks like, and we have a significant amount of experience helping people manage their space effectively. Fill out the form below and we will get started right away.

What are the Challenges with Remote Working From Home?

Setting up a home office for remote work and working from home has a number of challenges that come with it.  Even though so many people want to work from home and think that it will be better there are a number of issues.

  1. Space.  This is probably the biggest issue.  Your home probably doesn’t have a home office in it because that wasn’t part of the plan.  Likely you will either set up at the kitchen table or a living room situation of some kind
  2. Quiet.  This will be dependant on who else is in the home with you and what your family situation is.  For so many people that have children, they are at home from school too, and that has added to the dynamic.  It can make things significantly challenging to find the right environment to get work done.
  3. You’re Alone. On the other side of the spectrum, you may have a quiet place because you live alone, and now you work alone too.  This can be a major adjustment for many people who thrive on the social aspect of their work environment for mental health and also for collaborative productivity.
  4. Staying Organized.  Not all of us are naturally organized.  This may provide a challenge for people that are a little messier.