Before 2020, only a small percentage of us got to work from home, and so the thought of needing a separate space to work from wasn’t top of the priority list. Fast forward to almost a year of employees working remotely and more, and more of us are looking for the best ways to create an office at home.
If we’ve learned anything from working at home, it’s that it is vital to have a separate space to work, to not only help you be more productive but also to be able to shut the door on your work at the end of the day and create clear boundaries between your personal and professional life.
If you’ve got a spare room at home, be that an empty bedroom, a tiny box room or extra capacity throughout the house, you could make some small design changes to maximise its use as a home office.
The Best Way to Create an At-Home Office
No matter the size of your spare room, you can make an office space work with a few simple design techniques. Here are our top tips for making working from home as enjoyable and productive as possible.
Invest in Proper Office Equipment
When you first start on your working from home journey, you’ll likely be pitched up for the day on your sofa, dining room table, or in some cases, from bed; these are unfortunately not the best places to work from in the long term.
One of the best investments you can make for yourself is to purchase a proper workstation. This includes a desk (of some sort), a comfortable and supportive chair, and the right office supplies, such as a laptop stand, mouse, and keyboard.
Position for Productivity
There are many options available to you when it comes to positioning your workstation for optimum productivity, from facing a wall, door or out of the window. However, for you to be able to produce top-quality work, the ideal spot for you to face would be where you can let the natural light flood in without being in the direct light.
If you’ve got your back to the window, you’ll likely get a glare from the light on your screen, and if you face the wall, your creativity will be oppressed, and your desire to work will struggle.
Space Saving Multi-Purpose Furniture
If space is tight, purchase some multi-functional furniture that will help keep your space tidy. From built-in drawers to shelves and hidden functions, having the extra storage is a good idea to keep your space as orderly as possible. Tidy desk, tidy mind.
Why not try: purchase some cable-tidies from your local DIY store to help keep all your wires discreet and neatly tucked away. Add Natural Elements to Boost Wellbeing
Try to bring natural elements into your space to encourage a relaxed environment but to also support with concentration. Pick up some houseplants – they are good for air quality and can help improve concentration and productivity. Not to mention, they’re pleasant to look at.
Natural light is another huge factor for energising you when you’re working. Great for suppressing stress-induced headaches and better for the eyes to avoid straining, natural light will give you a good boost of vitamin D to get through the day.
Get Creative with Colour
Traditional offices are not usually colourful, inviting spaces; they typically have white walls and harsh lighting. Now you’re decorating your own space, consider being a bit more creative with its design.
It’s thought that there are certain colours that stimulate productivity and focus, so try to incorporate the following into your colour scheme for maximum output.
Blue – a soothing colour can help to calm the mind in stressful situations.
Red – a stimulating hue that’s thought to get your heart pumping, great for energising.
Green – the colour of balance, a good choice for harmonising your space.
Yellow – radiating positivity, the ideal colour for keeping your mood boosted.
Making the Workspace Work
Having an effective workspace at home isn’t as simple as popping a laptop in the corner and logging on.
If you were in an office, you’d be given a desk assessment to ensure that everything is working in its optimum state, including you.
Poor posture and back pain are the biggest complaints of office staff, so here are some ways to alleviate pain and make sure you’re working as efficiently and effectively as possible:
Position of your screen – adjust the monitor, so the top of the screen is marginally below your eye level. Your eyes should be looking ever so slightly downward. Anymore and you’ll feel the strain in your neck long term. If you can, invest in a sit/standing desk to help reduce back pain.
Type of chair – you can’t sit on any old chair for eight hours a day, so invest in an appropriate desk chair, with lumbar support. When seated, your legs should be bent at a 90-degree angle and your feet comfortably on the floor, unless you are using a foot stool.
Task-based lighting – different lights have different functions, so pick up a selection to help you through distinct tasks and various times of the day or year. You may even want to pick up an SAD light to help combat the darker mornings and evenings through winter.
Whenever you’re working, but especially at home, be sure to take regular breaks as research shows that most of us work harder and longer hours when we’re logging in from home. There’s no rest bite of chatting with your colleagues or heading off to a meeting room. Plus, a lot of us feel pressure to prove we’re working when we’re in the comfort of our own home. Taking regular breaks will help your mental and physical being, so try and grab a break every hour or so.
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