If you’re typically working from a cubicle, you’ve probably started to become more adjusted to working from a remote setting these past few weeks. You’ve gotten used to your Zoom meetings, and understand the importance of sending an email back on time. But since the world is likely going to keep their home offices until the summer (at least) you want to make sure your space is as cozy as possible.
Given the situation, you may not have a lot of space as-is. You may be working from your kitchen counter, or a weird space in your basement right by your washer and dryer. And, that’s okay. Based on how quickly companies went remote, you might not have gotten a lot of time to configure your set-up and personalize your space.
But, now’s the time. You’ll do your best work if you’re comfortable in your environment. Here are 8 personal must-haves you should consider to make your remote office just a little homier.
If you have the space, it’d be great to invest in one of Vibe’s digital whiteboards. You can also use it for Zoom calls or team brainstorming, making it an incredible all-in-one tool. If you’re working solo, or don’t have a ton of collaborative projects that you’re working on, using Vibe’s whiteboard app online or on your tablet is a good way to keep track of everything you need to do. Even better, you can doodle on it if you get a little bored during the day. Whiteboards are a good way to visually keep track of your work. And if you’re also doubling as a homeschooling parent, you’ll also be able to use it to help teach your kids.
Something to bring you a little peace.
For me, it’s a small desk fountain. It doesn’t make a lot of noise, but the noise it produces is very calming. It can also be a plant, or a zen garden, or just a photo of your family to help remind you of the truly important things to focus on right now. When you work remotely, sometimes it’s hard for motivated employees to get up, take a break, and remember that there’s more to life than work.
A Comfortable Chair.
If you’re working from a kitchen stool or a folding chair right now, consider investing in something that’s better for your posture. You’re sitting in that chair for hours a day, and your comfort and spinal health are a big priority.
It sounds strange, but you should become one of those people who has a cardigan draped over their chair. Right now the weather has been a little unpredictable, and it can still get a little chilly. Consider this period of time to be a bonus, just because you have full control over the thermostat at home. But if you’re just feeling a little cold, a cardigan will warm you up and make you more well-situated.
A Coffee Maker.
If you’re a coffee fanatic, know that it’s totally normal to bring a small brewer into your workspace. The one issue to think about is whether or not you might be tempted for another mug just because it’s there. Caffeine is a trial-and-error drug. Sometimes, it’s the perfect pick-me-up to get ideas flowing. Other times, it might make you focus on anything but work. The call is yours. That said, if a cup of coffee was the way you started every morning back at the office, that tradition may make you feel more motivated to sit down and get work done.
A pen and paper.
Even though most of your work is done through screen, having a pen and paper handy is great for small notes and reminders. Sometimes, writing things down is also a good way to help commit them to memory. This is also a good system if you suddenly have a lot of new programs to sign into and want to keep track of which one is important for what function.
When was the last time you were allowed to burn a candle in the office? Likely never, unless it was a coworker’s birthday and it was on top of a cupcake. “No one is allowed to claim dominion over the air,” Caity Weaver said in a Gawker column from 2014 regarding the subject. “Scented candles in the office preserve all the annoying aspects of a person doused in CVS Impression of White Diamonds, with an added element of DANGER.” That said, since you’re now on your own, candles can help ease your mind and make your space a little more appealing. Just remember to be safe and never leave them lit when you’re not in the room — even if it’s just for a brief break.
A small mirror.
Right now, you’re working in your element. But that may mean that you forget to check and see what you look like before a big meeting. A small mirror to peek at may save you a little bit of embarrassment during your next virtual hangout. Not everyone needs to know you had a spinach salad for lunch. This is the perfect time to manicure and perfect your work environment to fit your style. And with this new type of freedom, you may end up learning that you work better by listening to podcasts all day over office noise. Take what you learn from this experience and try to see what makes you more productive.