Is this the year of the home office?
Let’s be real here – 2020 will be remembered for so many different things… Covid-19 being at the top of the list followed by how we have all had to change the way we live in order to fight it. Alongside this, is the rise in working from home and the need for employers to introduce flexible working. Has there ever been as many people looking to create an office in their home as there has been this year? It’s hard to imagine when that would have been.
As some people have found out, setting up a home office – while not complicated – isn’t always as straightforward as they thought it would be. Many started off at the kitchen or dining table, setting up make-shift desks and working environments before moving to a spare room (if you’re lucky to have the extra space).
In this blog post, we’re going to take a look at a few tried and tested tips that’ll ensure that you end up with a home office that works for you, not against you. Integrate some of these tips into your home working space, and you’ll be a productive worker in no time.
Pick a Quiet Corner
First things first – do yourself a favour – and choose a quiet area of your house for your work space. Sometimes you can be limited as to where you work, since it’s unlikely that you have too many spare rooms that you transform into a working area. It’s vital however, that you choose a quiet area of the property. One where you know you’ll be able to work in peace. If that’s not possible for whatever reason, then look at soundproofing whatever room you have available.
When you walk into your home office, you should know straight away that it’s a place of serious business and work. You won’t feel that way if there’s laundry in the corner, or your box of childhood memories tucked under the desk. Sure, space in your home may be at a premium, but it’s worthwhile figuring out a solution that’ll allow the room to function solely as an office. You’ll find that you’re able to get down to work much more easily if there are no distractions. Ideally, you will have a space that takes you ‘out’ of your house – you should feel like you’re elsewhere, a place where you work.
Once you’ve identified the space, look at having a clear-out. You’ll find it much easier to design and implement an office space into your home if you’re working with a blank canvas, so to speak.
Office and commercial design has come a long way in recent years. It used to be that we all worked in uninspiring, grey offices. Indeed, the whole point seemed to be to make things as uninspiring as possible; if there’s nothing colourful, then everyone will focus on their work more?! That’s the only reason we can think of. However, we now know that an uninspiring office doesn’t motivate people to work harder… It actually has the opposite affect. So let’s make sure that your office is different.
There are many ways to add touches of colour, including works of art on the wall and adding plants. Plants are highly recommended especially if you’re likely to spend most of your home in your home office. They can purify the air and seem to give us a boost on a subconscious level, which helps us to make us happier. But we don’t need to overthink things; the simple fact is that plants make life that little better.
Also, it is worth thinking about the scent within the room. There is some incense / diffusers that can put you in a calm, working frame of mind. You’ll find that it can make a big difference to the overall feel of your room – and that it makes a more enjoyable place to be.
Invest in Good Furniture
If you’re going to have a professional office in your home, then you’ll want to look at investing in the furniture that will allow you to work well. Your desk chair is particularly critical. As you’ll come to find out, not all office chairs are created equal. It’s one of those things where it can pay to spend a little more than you usually would. The added comfort and stability that you’ll get from a good chair will be worth its weight in gold, since it’ll allow you to work for extended periods of time without feeling uncomfortable. Plus, poor chairs can lead to posture problems and other issues that you’ll have to consciously work to improve later on down the line.
The Right Lighting
There’s an underrated aspect of home offices that’s worthy of particular attention: the lighting. While this is easy to overlook, it can make a big difference to how well you’re able to work. Why? Because lighting influences your eyesight; at the end of the working day, you could feel fine, or you could have sore eyes. It’ll be how you handle the light matter that influences which it is.
The lighting doesn’t just refer to the room’s lighting, but of your technology too. It’s recommended to invest in some blue light glasses so that the lighting from your laptop and other devices doesn’t impact your eyes or your quality of sleep. For the room itself, it’s best to play around and find a style that works for you. The key thing is to avoid making things too bright or too dark.
You may or may not have loved making the commute to the office, but there was one positive – it gets you moving, especially if you had to walk up the stairs multiple times a day. When you’re working at home, you won’t need the same level of mobility – and this can have a negative impact on your health. It’s therefore recommended that you spend some time figuring out how you can get your fill of exercise throughout the day. Do you have space for a treadmill or an exercise bike? If not, you may consider downloading one of those 7-minute workout apps; they’ll help to get your heart-rate up, and keep you fit.
That wraps up our top tips on how to create a home office that works for you, and not against you, so you can be just as productive at home as you would be in the office.
How have you adjusted to working from home? Have you set up your own home office? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!