I’ve been trying for some time to develop a lifestyle that doesn’t require my presence.
Living and working the digital life
Here I will explore the joys, frustrations and elation’s of working from home. I will share tips, and tricks that I find are useful in my efforts to get work done, in the comfort of my own home.
The Home Office
No, I am not talking about the UK government department responsible for protecting the public from terrorism, crime and anti-social behaviour. My "Home Office" is the hub of my digital life. It is the room, nay, cell, where I lock myself away in solitary confinement. In a self imposed exile, I beaver away towards paying the rent.
I am fortunate enough to have a spare room, which I use as my work place. In a former life it used to be a dining room. However we decided it be more usefully employed as an office rather than a place for all the family to gather at meal times. Our kitchen now multi tasks as a dining room.
Sure, the family have had to make a sacrifice, but in our previous home, my office was a desk in the corner of our living room. Having a separate room as a workplace is a huge improvement, and for any serious home worker with a family, pretty essential. If you don’t have this luxury, and you work on a computer, headphones can help isolate you from the general household throng. I used to work with headphones on, but prefer to work in silence. I find it difficult to do more than one thing at a time, but your experience may vary.
Tools of the trade
There are some gadgets in my life that I really can’t imagine living without now. Here is a list of my current tools of trade:
- Apple MacBook Pro 17" 2.33 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo 2GB SDRAM
- Mac OS X Version 10.5.4
- Apple Cinema Display 20"
- Apple Wireless Keyboard
- Apple Wireless Mighty Mouse
- Apple iPhone 8GB
- Moleskine Notebooks
- HumanScale Freedom Ergonomic Office Chair
- Ikea Desk
Home Office Ergonomics
It is very important to get your desk setup right. I am not exploring Feng Shui, or anything else as esoteric at the moment, that is an idea for another article in the future. But working long hours from an office desk and in particular on a computer requires that one gets it positioned right. Otherwise death and injury might occur. Extreme, yes but forget about how much RAM or hard disk space your computer has, you the computer operator need to be comfortable. Repetitive Strain Injury, bad posture leading to bad backs and necks could be the death of your income.
Before you step out and spend millions on ergonomic chairs, remember the best advice is to have frequent breaks. This alone is better than any chair, and a lot cheaper. Positioning your monitor at the right height, and your keyboard and mouse are good first steps, and if you predominantly work off a laptop, get an external keyboard and mouse! Similarly, if your business demands mean you spend half your life on the phone, a simple solution is to use a headset.