The communal kitchen table. Everybody’s favourite place to dump their things and go about their day. It’s also everybody’s favourite place to sit while getting out of the way to use the phone or eat a snack or complete homework or apply for jobs or… just about anything, really. For most of us, it’s the one flat surface in the house that affords us the space to free our hands and do important things. That’s why, if you’re working from home (or if you are about to be working from home), you and the kitchen table have no doubt become unlikely business partners.
There are, however, a few bridges to cross before your home office (read as: dining room table) is ready to play host to your business mind for eight hours per day. As much as you believe you may have planned for everything by purchasing a notepad and a pencil and by making sure that your webcam works, you’re missing many tricks. Take printer ink, for example. You’re going to need a lot of it (printer inks also use toners). You may need an in tray and an out tray. You could need an external hard drive. You might need additional software. Maybe a personalised lap tray to shift away from the busy kitchen table. When you start to think about it, your personal laptop perched on a dining placemat next to the fruit bowl isn’t much of a home office at all…
Smile, you’re on camera
You need to think about how you look when presenting things or chatting to colleagues/clients on a webcam. If you are sat against a wall with sofa cushions for your background, everybody knows that you have the TV on in the background and that your focus and concentration today is hardly going to be at peak levels. However, if you have a little space around you, and if you are sat upright and dressed in smart-casual clothing, you instantly start to reveal a different side to things – this kind of basic presentability says ‘Hi, I may be working from home, but I’m taking my responsibilities seriously, and although I’m wearing pyjamas under the desk, you can count on me”.
Light it up (wish desk lighting)
When you commute to the work office, you can expect to work under bright lighting. No matter if you arrive before sunrise or leave well after sundown, your working environment is going to be lit up to the same level throughout the day. Working from home is a different story. You may begin work before you have opened your curtains, for example. You need desk lighting. This is overlooked by many, and super appreciated by those who take the importance of lighting to heart as early as possible.