People who work from their work from home office around Los Angeles, Orange County, and the Inland Empire have distinct advantages, but they face certain risks, depending on their circumstances.
Read on to see what those are and how to handle them so you can work at home successfully.
Working from Home’s Upward Trend in SoCal
In Southern California, working from home has been a trend that’s on the rise and tripled between 2019 and 2021. Clearly, the COVID-19 shutdown impacted working habits. The six-county Southern California Association of Governments reported the results of a research study from 2021.
In Los Angeles County, about 22% of employees work from home. That’s about one in every five employees.
Orange County has fewer work-from-home employees with 20.9% while San Bernardino County tallies in with 13.7% and Riverside County follows with 13.6%.
In 2006, only 4% of people identified as working from home, and that number only bumped slightly for the next 15 years when 6% of those surveyed said they worked from home.
Photo: SitOnIt Switchback Desk
Work From Home Office Trade-Offs
Does any more need to be said?
If you have to commute more than 10 miles from your home to the office you know what you face each morning and each evening on most freeways and surface streets.
Working from home eliminates commuting time to the office, but your trade-off can mean less contact with other professionals.
The other issue to handle is blending work life and personal life. Are you caring for others? Kids or aging parents? Those needs may replace your commute and be more demanding.
Working from your home office or other remote spaces has pitfalls to watch for and guard against.
Home Office Boundaries
Defining your work-from-home space is essential to being productive and moving from a personal mindset to a professional point of view.
The morning and evening commute gets a bad rap because of traffic from the 405 in West LA to the 215 in the Inland Empire. But do you know the benefit of a commute? It provides a separation between work and personal life. You may be under pressure, but mentally you can move from one space and adjust to another.
Create those boundaries by planning an office space that’s just right for your needs. The space needed for a desk is often minimal. You need a surface area, some storage, power cords, and an online connection. And the types of desks available can be equal to a set-up in the company’s headquarters.
Look for what’s light and sleek like the iDesk M Series Desk with a storage panel and multiple configuration options.
The iDesk D Series Private Office Desk Workstation works well in either corporate spaces or home offices.
Photo: Loftwall Hitch Space Divider
Photo: Loftwall Split Space Divider
Use space dividers if you have others coming in and out of the home throughout the day. Check the Loftwell Hitch Space Divider and the Loftwall Split Space Divider for models that provide a boundary without making users feel closed in.
Photo: Friant System 2 Workstation
If you like to see your day and tasks visually then a whiteboard on a wall or a moveable whiteboard can also be used to separate work and personal life.
Structure is Key
You need structure to be as productive as possible at your work from home office. It’s not hard to envision what that may be, but develop a structure that’s workable and doesn’t cut into your most productive times.
Try not to deviate from your morning routine. Make those first few hours count. If you don’t have a morning commute then take a brisk walk before you begin working and take one again toward the end of the day. If you drive kids to school or have to care for aging parents then work mild exercise into your schedule. It can help settle your mind and any feelings of jumbled nerves or feeling like you’re in a mad rush.
Focused Time and Break Time
Try to eliminate multitasking. It may work as a parent who’s handling a couple of different children while cooking meals and doing laundry, but handling multiple work tasks at one time isn’t productive. You lose momentum and thought when switching from one task to another.
If you have 90 minutes, then make sure nothing else interrupts that time. Take a break and then come back for more focused time.
Work From Home Office Communication
If you’re an employee who works remotely or on a hybrid schedule and the arrangement is beneficial then be a good example by being an outstanding communicator.
Check-in regularly with your team at the office whether via email or virtual meetings.
Here’s an idea.
Photo: Scale 1:1 Telemeet Tables
Have a wall monitor for your virtual meeting space instead of using your laptop or phone. Use a separate media table and the corporate office can design its own videoconferencing space using attractive architectural walls.
Take initiative and suggest times you could drive in for updates. Many corporate executives fear that employees who are out of sight are also out of mind.
Eliminate those fears that the company has of losing accountability. Hold them accountable and communicate so they’re aware of your efforts, progress, and challenges.
Turn to Expertise
The team at 2010 Office stays up to date on trends to help clients plan their work areas as well as work from home office spaces. They help design environments to improve employee engagement, and equip companies for improved productivity. Get input on connecting home offices with corporate spaces.
Contact 2010 Office and let them know your project needs.
2010 Office works with clients who are among Southern California’s most distinguished corporations, nonprofits, and small businesses.