How to set up a home office 

By Ritah Monica Mukasa

Employees have been asked to work from home. Whereas no one knows when the situation shall be tamed, some are struggling with the idea of working from home.

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KAMPALA- Desperate times call for desperate measures. COVID-19 seemed so far away, but it is now here and it is causing panic everywhere.

Fortunately, tight measures have been put in place to combat the virus, which was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation.

Following President Museveni's directives, in addition to closing schools and other institutions, such as churches and entertainment places, many workplaces have also been closed.

Employees have been asked to work from home. Whereas no one knows when the situation shall be tamed, some are struggling with the idea of working from home.

"It is a good idea, but it will only work for those who have the means to achieve it. For my case, it is not possible because I do not have a computer and my home is not as conducive," one employee said.

By and large, there is need to consider setting up a home office. It will give you the convenience you need to work while you keep an eye on your children.

Even before the advent of COVID-19, some people had already considered the idea, thanks to technological advancement.

The office can provide space for filing paper work, double as a place to do homework, hobby area or part-time work area.

For those who love to read, the home office is the best space.

 erandas can be used as office space Verandas can be used as office space

What you need

Mariah Kiwagama, an interior designer, says one does not need a big space for an office. She says any space that can accommodate a desk, chair and some storage is good enough.

It can be an idle room or a corner, where you can place a desk for work, children's homework sessions or for quiet time among others.

If you live in a small space, just carve out a small work space.

Depending on the kind of work to be done from the space, you may also need a printer and cabinets. However, the space should be a distance from the other rooms for privacy.

If possible, give it separate access door.

How to organise the office

Elizabeth Niwo, who has been working from home for the last two years, says she had to make use of an idle room. One might use the guestroom, store, bedroom or servants' quarters.

However, ensure the room has the dimensions needed for the office to be functional.

Once you get the space, start with the desk because it serves as the focal point.

Think about whether it should float in the room or be placed against a wall.

Additionally, choose a desk with shelves, rather than a freestanding design. This makes better use of space.

 Maximise under-used pockets of a home. It can be beneath a window in the living room or the bedroom.

You will not believe the amount of natural light you will enjoy while you work.  Besides, an office does not necessarily have to be inside the house. It can be outdoors.

For example, in a separate room in the garden. If you have a nook such as an attic or space under the stairs, consider converting it into an office.

"Do not under estimate small rooms of this kind because they can be excellent office spaces," she says.

For tight spaces, use foldable furniture, such as a desk and chairs which you can tuck away.

Elsewhere, if you have a spacious laundry room, you already have office space.

Divide the room well, to accommodate an office. Also, the kitchen, which is the heart of the home, is another clever place to set up a home office. Here, you can work as you cook.

Tips to remember

Choose appropriate furniture

 Opt for adequate lighting to avoid headache and eye strains.

Set up power points in the office n Plan for Internet connectivity in case you need to work online.

Set up a landline or desk phone.

 Make a list of the software you will need in the office.

 Have uninterrupted power supply, such as an inverter, generator or solar.

Plan for extra storage for your pens, folders, business cards and other supplies.