Written By: Andy Ogg – Editor for Travel Professional NEWS
First and foremost, thank you for joining us at Travel Professional News as we continue our three part segment of Investing in Your Success while working from Home. I hope that this portion will further offer assistance in the creation or renovation of your home office by looking at some more ideas, tools and necessities for your success. Let’s start off with a word that may either excite or create stress for you. Technology.
In an ever changing world of technological advancement, do you find it difficult to keep up on the latest technology? I do! It’s amazing to think how far personal computing has come in the past 20 years and as we continue our movement into the future, we are sure to only see more improvements, gadgets and tools. So with all of the options out there, how do you know what is best for you?
One of the valuable things to happen in the past 10 years is the evolution of “hands on” demonstrations from all of the major manufacturers of technology products. Apple was the first to initiate this movement with their Apple Stores that would allow you to fiddle, play and learn their products in an environment that offered assistance for any questions that arose. In recent years, Microsoft has become the next addition to this “hands on” approach, allowing consumers to actually use a product before committing to the purchase. This is huge and absolutely invaluable to all of us. How do we know what works best for us, without using it?
Every one of us has a different style of engagement, learning and work flow which is what makes us all so unique. We all work differently and as we continue to work forward it is extremely important for us to embrace the ways in which enable us to work most efficiently. Take a day and visit your local technology based store and try out the different computer systems, tablets, and other gadgets that spark an interest for you. There are many variations to the typical “desktop” that we once all considered a place to conduct work. Whether it is using your laptop on the couch and your television as the display or using a tablet with a keyboard to efficiently conduct work, there is undoubtedly a solution that fits your needs and work style in existence today.
Personally, I dislike working on tablets or phones, I prefer my work station which consists of a Macbook Pro powering a 32” LED monitor and wireless keyboard with a trackpad. I find that my work is much more efficient when using my desk rather than trying to use my Macbook Pro as a laptop on the couch for example. I will hold off on replying to emails until I get back to my desk, as my comfort in my particular workspace is much greater than using a phone or tablet. That comfort I feel comes across in my replies, work and so forth.
One of the parts of a home office that is often overlooked is the lighting inside that space. Most of your typical bedrooms converted to offices have very dim to little lighting. That situation can be easily altered with some LED desktop lamps. Lighting can dramatically affect the exhaustion your eyes may suffer from 8 hours of staring at your screen. Don’t hesitate to invest in the best for yourself. There are tons of great options out there that are slim and look great for a workspace. If you find yourself desiring more lighting, adding dimming lights to the roof of the space is a simple addition that can be completed by any electrician and may change your outlook altogether.
Speakers are a product so easy NOT to buy that many people don’t. However, have you ever found yourself pressing the volume up as high as it can go while on a webinar or Skype call? I suggest treating yourself to a decent set of speakers for the days that you need some noise to re-focus your efforts or for those Webinars on TravelProfessionalCommunity.com. Whether it be a podcast, video, news or some music, having quality sound at your fingertips is something to not overlook. I would suggest purchasing a set of speakers that contain a subwoofer for that added quality listening experience. Personally, I listen to music nearly all day while I work, and without my speakers, I may already have found myself in the crazy house.
A clean workspace is an effective workspace. Invest in organizational racks or shelves to assist you in keeping your desk clutter free and efficient. A friend of mine, who also works from home, spends his nights building off-road cars out of tubing and metal in his garage, he actually fabricated a organizational shelf that was extremely functional and totally cool. Use your imagination to create the tools to further assist you in your success and growth. Organizers don’t always increase efficiency, especially when they are crammed full of receipts or paperwork from 10 years ago, so do yourself the favor and enjoy the process of knowing where your tools for success are and the ability to easily access them.
As we conclude our second portion of Investing in your Home Office, I present the question that was asked to me several years ago. “How do you work, eat, and sleep in the same place?” We all will answer this question differently, but for me, the separation between work and family is of the upmost importance. It’s important to shut the office door and switch gears and be you during your personal time. It’s easy to let work consume us, its even easier to work 20 hours a day, however, why do we work so hard if we don’t allocate the time to enjoy the fruits of our labor? We will be looking into some tips and helpful rules of thumb to do just that in our next issue of Travel Professional News. See you in March!