FOR Julius Segovia, a former journalist and now a college lecturer and communications consultant, finding a work-life balance while working remotely during the height of the pandemic was quite a challenge.
So to set boundaries between his professional and personal life, he decided to set-up a dedicated space in his home for work.
With the equipment he bought mostly from online shopping platforms, he was able to build a small “studio” in his house, which he used in teaching students online, attending webinar and virtual meetings, and in hosting an online program in his municipality in Cavite where he also works as a consultant.
“Nagset-up talaga ako, kailangan kong mag-invest during that time….Nag-invest tayo dun sa ilang gamit na palagay ko makakatulong, hanggang ngayon nakakatulong sa akin,” he said.
Among the things he bought were two softbox lights, a microphone, lapel, compact table and computer chair.
He also bought a simple sound card which he used in playing sound effects to make his online classes more engaging.
Julius said, it costs him more or less P5,000 to convert a space in his home into a working station. Of course, the amount does not cover his cellphone and computer which he also uses in work.
But aside from equipment, he said, getting dressed or wearing work clothes made him feel more focused because it signals that he is in a work mode.
“Importante na nakaayos ka pa rin para mafeel mo na andun ka sa work set-up mo…pero yung pang-ibaba, hindi na naman ako nagpapantalon, normally naka-shorts lang para comfy,” he said.
With remote work being seen as part of the “new normal,” setting up a small space at home might help a worker to be more productive and to clearly set a line between personal and professional life.
Here are the few things to consider when creating a work-from-home space that won’t cost too much:
1. Choose an ideal spot, away from distractions, as it will help you stay focused when working. If television will not be an integral part of your work, then putting this away from your “office area” might be necessary.
2. If you can’t avoid working in your bedroom, have a physical space between your bed and your working table. This can be easily done by using a curtain so you can separate your work and sleep areas. Other barriers such as a bookcase might also be of help.
3. Setting up a workplace in front of or near the window will provide natural and good lighting.
4. Putting a thin pillow or cushion on your working chair can help you work comfortably and avoid back pain.
5. Having a desk or table with enough space for your pen and paper, laptop or computer, gadgets and phone.
6. Using a headset when attending a virtual meeting or webinar would also help to stay focused and reduce noise.
7. Psychologists suggest that having an indoor plant in your working area might help promote a calm environment. Plants also help in lowering stress and in maintaining a positive mood while at work.