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May 19: Earth to Command Post

Many of us have always had a home office - or at least have had one before covid19. Some were makeshift (a little desk off the kitchen, a corner in the living room.....) while others were full offices - with desks, chairs, file cabinets, printers, scanners, etc. For others, setting up a home office is new and made even more challenging when local sources of furniture, equipment and supplies may be closed. Whatever type you have or may need, it needs to be organized if you want to be your most productive!

A desk and chair that is comfortable to work in for long periods of time is a must. Nothing is worst that having your back hurt because your chair was not meant for work, or your desk is too high or too low to work comfortably. This can also cause hand, wrist, arm and shoulder pain if you're on the computer and your wrists are not in the correct position. If your monitor is too low, causing you to tilt your head down, this can lead to neck pain as well.

Ergonomic was the buzz word years ago and is still very relevant. Ergonomic is defined as fitting a workplace to the user's needs to increase efficiency and productivity and reduce discomfort. Employers realize the importance of this for their workforce and use interior designers to specify which products to buy. You are your interior designer at home so you need to be aware of what works for your body - and anyone else in your home that uses the office - and what doesn't. If more than one person uses the office, furniture and equipment need to be adjustable to provide comfort for everyone.

Where do you store your "office stuff"? A file cabinet is very helpful - not just for papers but also for small items like DVDs, cords, external drives, etc. You can find many on sites like Offer Up or Craigslist or at your usual retail stores. You may already have one that can be purged and used more efficiently. If you desk has a drawer, you can use a drawer organizer or a kitchen drawer organizer (usually less money!) to sort your pens, pencils, paper clips, etc. Jars and little boxes are good places to store little things and keep your desk clear of clutter. Make your work space an inviting place to work. Artwork (to meditate on) and flowers (for some low-key aromatherapy) help to make the space cozy.

Make sure you can control the light in the room (so you can see your monitor without strain), have speakers to listen to music while you work (it can be soothing!) and have a proper, clutter-free "back drop" for your video conference calls. Take frequent breaks - get up and walk around, stretch, meditate, etc. - so that you stay fresh while you work.

Take Away: Enjoy the opportunity to work from home while still being there for your family. You may not want to go back to your "usual" work location once we reopen and hopefully employers will allow more of us to work from home - at least part of the week - in order to maintain a healthy work-home balance. We've proven that it can be done! Happy home-working!

About the Author: L. Sidney Irving is the owner of Sidco Properties, a real estate company dedicated to educating and assisting those that want to buy or sell a home, Sidney loves to organize herself and those around her because she believes that an organized space brings peace and fosters creativity. May the power of organization be with you!

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