Setting up your home office

With the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic forcing much of the world into lockdown, we know that many of you will be trying to work from home and struggling with some of the pitfalls staying home can present when it comes to your productivity.

If you are one of the lucky ones who are able to continuing working remotely, you’ll realise that it’s not quite as idyllic as it sounds. Working from home for extended periods of time requires a very different set of skills and disciplines than working in an office, or at home for the odd day here and there. Make sure you read our tips for working from home!

With the lockdown extended for another few weeks, its just as important now, as it has been over the last month to follow the advice provided by The Department of Public Health and the Government. Staying home will not only help to protect more vulnerable people but also help relieve the strain on the NHS.

As specialists in office fit outs and designing the best office environments around, we are probably best qualified to help you to set up your own home office. Take a look at some of our top tips.

Natural Light

This is a recurring theme when we talk about office design. Make the most of any natural light you can, if possible you should position your desk near a window; that way regular breaks from staring at your screen can be filled taking in the view. Be mindful to avoid glare or direct sunlight as this can cause you to become uncomfortable.

If you are working in the evenings, make sure you get yourself a suitable desk lamp to help avoid eyestrain – some people have also recommended “screen glasses” which filter out blue light from computer monitors – some monitors will already have a setting to deal with this.

Separation

If you’re going to get anything done it is important to get rid of distractions. Working from home can prove challenging, as generally your home is full of the things you love and get distracted by. Make sure you separate your ‘work time’ from your home time. Find a space in your home which can be a dedicated work space, and we’re not talking about the sofa in front of the TV.

It can be a tricky balancing act especially when children and partners are involved but a short conversation can help people understand when not to disturb you. Alternatively, you could be less subtle and ‘get a do not disturb’ sign to place on your desk or on the office door.

Comfort

What would you do if your employer gave you a stool or a dining chair to sit on at work? You wouldn’t use it. So hold yourself to the same standard. Get yourself a comfortable chair which is suitable for the purpose. After all, if you’re going to be sitting in it for the best part of the day it needs to be fit for purpose.

When setting up your home office it is definitely worth investing in a good chair with lumbar support as well as laptop/monitor stand and mouse mat or wrist rest. Speak to your employer, in some cases they might contribute towards the cost – if not, they’re still worth the investment.

Paraphernalia

If you’re setting up a home office, the chances are that you won’t have an awful lot of space in which to operate. Make sure you only have the essential equipment close at hand; files and peripheries can be stored elsewhere until required. Depending on your role, you might find other ways of working which you can transfer to your office environment when you return.

Try different combinations of layout to keep things interesting and find the best way for you to work. If you have little space for storage you may have to multi-purpose a wardrobe or bookcase in order to keep your work things out of the way.

We have a feeling that this lockdown while demonstrate to many traditional businesses that it is possible for their teams to work remotely and we are likely to see a shift in mentality which could allow you to be working from home on a more regular basis.

It’s important to make your home office space a place in which you enjoy being and that fits in with your home; remember it’s a home office not, an office home.

Get in Touch

With a change in mentality on the horizon you might be looking to refresh your office premises. If you or your employer would like to speak to a member of our team about your workplace requirements make sure you give us a call on 01344 303504 or email us.

We are experts in commercial office fit-out so, whether you are looking for a major overhaul or simple alterations to your existing workspace, get in touch. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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