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Reflecting on Today's Workplace Disruption: Adapting to a Home "Office"

Most folks who typically work in an office setting are now working remotely from their homes. For some, that's an easy transition - they enjoy the quieter days and opportunity to focus on a particular project or two. I fall mostly into this category. I have a home "office" already, and my husband and I are pros at being reclusive on the weekends. Even so, I needed a space to work that was conducive to focusing and didn't feel like I was hunching over the laptop all day.

I've not had the opportunity to work remotely much in the last several years, due to the pace of things. So when I was able to earmark a morning or afternoon to focus on a particular task, I just spread out on the dining room table, and that was great. But for an 8-5ish schedule, taking up the main part of the house with conference calls made my husband feel like he had to be quiet all of the time. Plus, we have a large hound who likes to greet walkers with loud barks and serious tail wagging. As much joy as that brings as I watch her run back and forth along the windows, it's not super helpful in staying present. Plus, I realized that we were going to be in this new mode of working for awhile.

So I scrounged an extra keyboard and mouse from my husband's supplies to set-up a work space with a lovely view of the greenbelt behind our house (check out this new podcast, The New Corner Office, from Laura Vanderkam on curating your office view). My home "office" is more of a cross between PCs, crafting, junk and memorabilia that make me happy. I'm vulnerable about what folks can see on the wall behind me during meetings, but I rather got over that. It's just me - just like it's just me, as I take advantage of these days to skip the cardigan and wear my favorite flannel shirt.

This is my make-shift set-up for the 8-5ish part of the work day.

You can see that those textbooks are finally coming in handy, and I've gratefully not seen OSHA posts about home workplace inspections for power-cord trip hazards. I used the weekend to tidy up, clearing away piles, sorting through stuff stashed into cubbies and giving the office a good cleaning. It seemed to help my mindset when I sat down to start the day on Monday.

You can see my go-to items:

  • A good mouse and clean keyboard. Yes, clean up that equipment you've had stashed away. Staring at cracker crumbs between keys was distracting and grossing me out.

  • Planner. Yep, don't judge, I still use a paper planner (and yes, I have tried all the virtual tools already). During the last two weeks, it's been a terrific productivity tool. I'm particular about planners, and this one from Levenger has worked well).

  • Pen and highlighter. Cuz notes.

  • Tea & water cups. Stay hydrated. What a great opportunity to focus on our health. Zero commuting gives us time to make healthy meals, drink lots of water, maybe even detox.

Next week I may scrounge up a second monitor.

I'd like to hear about your home office spaces. What have you adapted to make work well for you in your home work space? If you're a pro at working from a home office, what low-cost ideas do you have for other Talent Folks?


Stay positive, Friends. Make the most of this unique time. Connect and share your insight with us.

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