Creating an Effective and Professional Workspace at Home
For employees that work from home either full-time or part-time, creating an organized and professional workspace is important for setting yourself up for a successful work environment. It’s also important, if you’re on a lot of video work calls, to present a professional space as your background. Here are some tips on creating an ideal workspace at home and some things to consider if you’re on a lot of video calls.
Having a designated workspace for your home office is key. Whether that’s a small desk in the corner of a room, or having a private office all to yourself, first decide where you plan to work from and don’t switch it up day to day. On video calls as well, if you're background is constantly changing, not only could it be distracting to others, but it could also make it look like you haven't finalized your home office space. You’ll want to make sure you are working in a well-lit room either with plenty of natural or artificial lights to ensure you’re working in a bright space. Overall good lighting is important for video calls as well and can make the difference between a dark and grainy video and a bright and professional one.
You want your background to be clean and organized so remove anything that could be distracting to others on a call. There are a couple of “rules” to follow when thinking of your background. One is to not have a window behind you since having the light behind you, instead of in front of you, results in dark shadows. Another rule is to keep the decorations and knickknacks to a minimum. While it is nice to have some warmth in your background, such as a shelves/bookcase, plants, a painting, etc. you don’t want it to be too busy and distracting. This article dives in-depth on how to style your background for video conference meetings and may be a helpful resource if you need some ideas.
One final note, while we’ve focused on having a professional environment around you, how you present yourself on camera while working remotely is also important. How you show up, and the effort you made, comes through. You don’t need a perfect magazine-style workspace or be dressed to the nines but do think about how you come across to others and the professional and polished image you want to present.