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Months ago, when COVID started to spread, many of us hastily switched to teletherapy and set up temporary home offices. We thought everything would return to normal in about 2 weeks, and unfortunately this was far from the truth. The weeks stretched into months and many of us continue to see clients via teletherapy.
Keeping this in mind, I thought I would share some of my home office essentials in this week’s blog post. Hopefully, it will give you the inspiration you need to be comfortable and productive while working from home.
Some of us are fortunate enough to already have a home office, while others have learned to make do with the corner of a bedroom, a basement, or even a walk-in closet. Whatever your set-up may be, there are a few things you can purchase to make your home office cosier and more efficient.
A comfortable office chair
My dream chair is a Stressless® recliner, one of the most versatile chairs on the market. The chair has amazing features like an adjustable backrest, balance control and super stylish designs. But for now, I have a really comfortable armchair that I purchased from IKEA, and it’s serving me well.
It’s so easy to overlook the importance of a comfortable desk chair, however, you have to think about how much time you’ll spend in that same chair every day. A good quality desk chair will support your back, cushion your body and prevent you from feeling muscle pains after a long day of consultations with clients.
A high-quality webcam
My MacBook is an awesome device with so many wonderful specs, but I have to admit the built-in camera is kind of grainy. For this reason, I decided to upgrade my webcam and the image quality improved tremendously. If you find yourself in a similar situation, I highly recommend purchasing an external webcam of your choice.
I’ve had the Logitech HD Pro Webcam for years and it’s exceptionally reliable. The camera quality is crystal-clear, and I know I’m giving my clients a professional experience.
A ring light
The lighting in my home office varies a lot throughout the day. Sometimes there’s a decent amount of natural light, but it’s not enough for my face to be well lit. In order to deal with the unpredictable lighting, I invested in a ring light. It helps me to keep the lighting consistent and make sure clients can see me clearly. Better yet, a ring light makes the entire setup look more professional, making your clients feel at ease.
At times it can be difficult to feel like a working professional when you’re based at home. Nevertheless, all you have to do is create a space that’s as professional as it can be. Ring lights help to reduce shadows in the face, minimize blemishes and illuminate the eyes. In a nutshell, they make everything look a whole lot better.
A sound machine
If there are other people in your household working from home, a good quality sound machine will help you to silence any external noises. In addition, it helps to maintain your client’s confidentiality as outsiders won’t be able to hear them speaking.
There are several sound machines on the market, so you’re sure to find one that suits your needs. There’s also no need to spend money on a sound machine if you’re not up for it. An affordable option is downloading an app for your phone, iPad, or other devices. Once you’ve done that, you can place it outside your door as you work. I’ve personally used the White Noise Lite app and I really enjoy the train track sounds. Some other popular sounds include rain, ocean waves, wind, or a roaring fire.
An ergonomic mouse and keyboard
I can’t stress enough how game-changing an ergonomic keyboard and mouse can be for your home office. Ergonomic keyboards are designed in a manner that prevents your hands from typing in awkward positions. It protects the joints in your hand and reduces your chances of getting carpal tunnel syndrome. An ergonomic mouse serves the same function.
I like to use my MOJO Bluetooth mouse. It looks a little funny due to its ergonomic design, but I swear it’s so comfortable and it saved my wrist. I have yet to buy an ergonomic keyboard, but I certainly should. At the moment, I have my eye on the Perixx Perriboard. It’s another strange-looking ergonomic device, but I know it’s totally worth it.
There are plenty of ways to make your home office perfect for teletherapy. It’s important to make sure you enjoy working from home as this could be the reality for a very long time. There are clients out there who enjoy teletherapy even more than in-person consultations. This means you might be able to help certain clients in ways that you never could before – all from the comfort of your own home.
I’m Cecilia Racine, and I teach therapists how to help immigrants through my online courses. As a bilingual immigrant myself, I know the unique perspective that these clients are experiencing. I’ve conducted over 300 evaluations and work with dozens of lawyers in the various states. Immigrants are my passion, I believe they add to the fabric of our country.
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