How to Personalise Your Office For A Great Post-COVID Experience?
By Ryan Bradman
Your office. Not your company’s office, or your team’s office, but specifically yours. Does that still feel like a strange thing to point out? Even as we move towards a new year, the peculiarity of having abandoned the classic office model has yet to fully subside. To many, it yet feels like a temporary arrangement. They settle for mediocrity and discomfort in their setup because they don’t want to invest in something that won’t matter once this has all blown over.
Well, even if it does blow over at some point in the near future, things aren’t going back to the way they were. We’re going to be working from home offices at least some of the time for years to come — and realistically, given the advantages conferred by remote working (no more commuting stress, reduced traffic, more free time, lowered operational costs), it’s hard to imagine that the traditional office will ever earn back its former dominance.
That means you need to make your office as good as it can be, and it’s particularly important that you personalize it. You don’t need to worry about hotdesking or falling in line with company office branding. It’s yours to customize however you like — and here are some tips to help you:
Adjust the lighting conditions
One common approach to office lighting is to get as much of it as possible. Maximize the natural light when it’s available, and ramp up the artificial light when it isn’t. This is perfectly fine since it concentrates on wakefulness: the more light you’re exposed to, the more life you’ll feel. At least, that’s how it goes for most people. Some people can actually work more effectively in low-light conditions, so it makes no sense to stick with lights that aren’t doing what you want.
Think about everything from how much light you want in your home office to what temperature you want it to be. Do you prefer warm light or cool light? Lower temperatures are better for most people, but not necessarily for you. And what about mood lighting? Would adding a splash of color to the mix prove distracting, or might it help you feel relaxed and better able to focus on your work? It’s entirely up to you, so adjust the lighting if that’s useful.
Tweak your computer setup
The laptop you use for work probably isn’t up to you: in most cases, workers will have laptops provided for them, and they just need to make the best of them. But there are plenty of steps you can take to tweak your overall computer setup. Do you use multiple monitors? Maybe you’d like to use three monitors in portrait mode for whatever reason — if so, go for it. Configure your screens however you like. Use whichever type of keyboard works best for you.
Now, there’s only so much you can do as far as software goes because much of it will be mandated by your employer. The appeal of HR tools like BambooHR and task management software like GetBusy is consistency: everyone throughout the company is kept in line through one system, ensuring that important updates don’t get lost in transport. But you can do what you want beyond those. Want a different music player running? A different desktop wallpaper? Some games you can play during your breaks? You’re the admin now, so use that power.
Set out photos and decorations
Envision a sterile cubicle with one family photo allowed, now remember that you don’t face any such limits. Put up as many family photos as you want. If you happen to have a stuffed pelican lying around and want to perch it behind your laptop so it’s always watching you work, no one’s going to stop you. No one can stop you, really, assuming you have a lockable door.
Some people need their environments to be completely clear or they can’t get anything done. If you’re that sort of person, you don’t need to deal with colleagues leaving wrappers or other bits of rubbish on your desk. And if you have the opposite preference and can’t adobe a pristine desk, you can just leave your rubbish lying around.
There are always going to be some rules you need to follow when managing your home office, but it’s mostly under your control, so don’t make the mistake of thinking the right move is to leave it alone. Take charge of it and make it yours. You won’t regret it.