Creating Your Dream Home Office Perfect for Meetings and Work

Guest post by Virginia Cooper of learnaliving.co

When you work from home, you might spend a great deal of time in your office. In fact, the average business owner works around 49.4 hours per week, while some work over 50 hours per week. Therefore, it’s vital to create a workspace you love and that works for client or customer meetings.

Make It a Safe Space

Especially with the pandemic raging on, you and your clients or customers need a safe space for meetings. After each interaction, make sure you wipe down any surfaces either of you touched with a disinfectant wipe.

Before meetings, there are a few things you can do to make your space safer:

  • Ventilate the room. Open a window, when possible. A properly ventilated room helps remove germs from the room.
  • Add ultraviolet lights. Consider adding ultraviolet lighting into your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system. UV light helps eliminate pathogens in the air.

Implement Contact-Free Services

You can keep you, your family, and clients or customers safe through contactless interactions. Instead of meeting to exchange cash, use a service such as PayPal or Venmo for payment. These platforms allow you to receive payments and transfer them to your bank account online. Use video chatting software instead of in-person meetings. Steady Radiance Design can help you set up video chatting through your website or through an online service.

Create a Functional Space

Ideally, you want to use an extra room in your home as your office. If possible, make it a space that’s close to an entryway. By doing so, clients or customers won’t have to walk through much of your house. This can help ensure privacy and reduce the spread of germs throughout your home.

As you set up your home office, make it client-friendly:

  • Have seating options. Have a chair or two dedicated for visitors to sit rather than pulling chairs from other parts of your home for each meeting.
  • Organize your office. An organized office makes you look professional as a business owner. Use filing cabinets and shelves to organize and display items neatly This is an essential step for video calls as well, specifically in the area that will be in view of your camera.
  • Consider setting up a printing area. Having an area dedicated to printing means that you’ll have easy access to any documents you end up printing out.

Consider Reupholstering Furniture

If you have a damaged couch or chair you want in your office, have it reupholstered. You can find companies online. Be sure to read reviews on Angi as you compare your options. Keep in mind that a large couch could cost you $1,200 to $3,500, but besides size, your chosen fabric’s type and design impact the price as well.

Decorating and Staging

Don’t forget to create a space that works for you. Don’t hesitate to decorate your home office to maintain the overall feel of your home. Additionally, stage the space to make it suitable for client or customer meetings. Have adequate lighting to ensure your client or customer can read documents easily. On the other hand, if you’re holding meetings over the computer, use soft lighting and place it in front of you.

Setting the Ambiance and Creating a Safe Meeting Space Are Essential

By properly staging and decorating your home office, you can make it a place where everyone is safe and comfortable, and the space is functional.

Image via Unsplash

Prevent Burnout on Your Team – A Guide For Managers

More than half of employees in the United States say they’re burned out, and two-thirds say the pandemic is making their symptoms worse. That’s according to a recent survey by the job search site Indeed.

Burnout is a big concern for any manager. It lowers performance and morale and interferes with job satisfaction. The World Health Organization has deemed it an occupational hazard, and many experts believe it costs the economy as much as $190 billion a year.

In this current environment, how can you keep your team energized and engaged? Learn how to prevent burnout by recognizing and responding to signs in yourself and in the employees you manage.

Prevent Burnout on Your Team

You’ve probably read headlines about the Great Resignation, as millions of employees voluntarily quit their jobs. Exit surveys reveal that burnout is the main reason. If you’re proactive, you can help your team to enjoy more balance.

Try these tips:
  1. Be alert. While many employees have their own definitions of burnout, the official classification depends on three symptoms. Those are exhaustion, cynicism, and decreased performance. Recovery is easier if you can spot signs early.
  2. Monitor workloads. Set realistic expectations and watch workflows to see if anyone is having trouble keeping up. Use staff meetings and one-on-one sessions to adjust assignments as needed.
  3. Encourage healthy boundaries. Remote and hybrid work can make it more difficult to keep business matters from spilling into your personal life. Encourage employees to take precautions, like creating a designated workspace and avoiding excess overtime.
  4. Reward innovation. Feeling appreciated counts too. Give employees credit for effort and creativity even when some experiments are less successful than others.
  5. Provide flexibility. Arranging work differently could help employees to manage their responsibilities more effectively. Explore four-day workweeks, hybrid work, and job sharing.
  6. Ask for feedback. Use surveys and other tools to learn more about what your team members really want. Their priorities may be different than you think.
  7. Build community. Focus on inclusivity and team spirit. Establish ground rules for civil communication and respectful conflict resolution. A congenial environment reduces stress and strengthens connections.
  8. Hire carefully. Employees are less vulnerable to burnout if they feel like their company shares their values. Make cultural fit part of your hiring criteria. Talk with a professional recruiter if you need more guidance on understanding and implementing the process.

Prevent Burnout in Yourself

As a manager, your example has a big impact on your team. Investing in yourself makes you a more constructive role model.

Keep these ideas in mind:
  1. Set personal goals. Heavy workloads feel lighter if you’re passionate about your work. Reflect on the purpose behind your activities. Spend more time on the aspects of your job that you enjoy. Give yourself targets to strive for.
  2. Practice self-care. Look after your health and wellbeing. Eat healthily, and exercise regularly. If worrying about your job keeps you up at night, try sticking to a consistent bedtime even on weekends.
  3. Think positive. Project confidence and stay calm under pressure. Let your team know that you recognize their strengths and praise them for their contributions. Use appropriate humor to lighten up tense moments.
  4. Seek support. Cultivate relationships inside and outside of your workplace. Join professional associations and find a mentor. Spend time with family and friends. Ask for help when you need it.
  5. Consider counseling. What if you’re still stressed, but unable to quit your job? Talking with a therapist can help you develop coping skills and identify factors you can control.

Final Thoughts

Burnout may be an epidemic, but there are practical steps you can take to help your team and yourself. Recognize when you’re at risk of becoming overwhelmed and take action promptly to begin the recovery process.

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And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not to men; Colossians 3:23 AKJV