Working From Home: Church Staff Find Their Place During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The office is closed. So are the library and the coffee shop down the street. You feel like you’ve been left to wander in the wilderness like the Israelites in search of the Promise Land. There’s just no getting around it—you’re working from home now. Whether that’s a dream come true or a frightening prospect full of giants (or, you know, children), you can conquer the transition and reap the blessings of a job well done. Here’s what to look for in a home workspace or home office:

YOUR OWN SPACE

Ideally, you’ll have a nice home office to work in while the rest of the family is at school or work. But with many schools and businesses closed, you may find your home isn’t the sanctuary it once had the potential to be. You might be limited on space. But you do need to carve out a corner somewhere that you can claim as your own. A place where you can keep your calendar, planner, paper, pens, books, etc. You want a place you can return to each day without having to worry about your kids spilling orange juice on your sermon notes. Having a consistent space will also help you focus and get into work mode when you need to.

A COMFORTABLE SET UP

You’re going to find yourself increasingly interested in ergonomics. The couch might feel okay for the first day or two. But you’ll find your back is going to want more support and your neck and shoulders are going to tire of your laptop being propped up on your lap or that TV tray. 

You may feel reluctant to spend money on what seems like a luxury right now, but check with your accountant—office furniture and similar items may be tax-deductible. Otherwise, it’ll end up being a medical expense when you have to see a specialist for your chronic neck pain.

A QUIET-ISH ENVIRONMENT

If you live alone, “quiet” while working from home may be an easily attainable goal. But if you have family or roommates, you may want to invest in noise-canceling headphones or earbuds. You can download a white noise app or borrow your child’s white noise machine to drown out extraneous sounds. Some other good options are study/focus music on YouTube, a classical music radio station, or a good movie soundtrack. Some people find listening to a song on repeat is a helpful alternative. Try some different options and see what works for you.

These qualities seem simple, but they’re easy to overlook. Next thing you know, you’re cranky, sore, and can’t find your weekly planner. But if you invest wisely in your home workspace, you’ll discover a place while working from home that meets your needs, just as promised.


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Working From Home: Finding a New Normal During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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