Working from home can have great benefits, like no commuting and flexible hours. But if you don’t have the right setup for your home office, you could be doing damage to your productivity and your health.
With attitudes towards working from home increasingly shifting, due in part to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s more important than ever for people to make sure they are working comfortably and healthily from home.
And we have some tips to help you set up the perfect working from home space.
Find a Space
First things first: you need to find a designated space to work. Ideally, you shouldn’t need to unpack and set up your work equipment each day. Otherwise, it can be hard to start each morning on time and with a positive attitude.
While a separate room is best, you can also designate an unused or little-used area of your home if space is in short supply. If this is the case, do your best to make this space feel separate from the rest of the room.
You can do this by creating visual boundaries, like laying down a stylish and modern rug or even setting up a partition screen. If you have pets, make sure you choose a pet-friendly rug or a screen that isn’t a tempting climbing frame.
It’s also important that your space is set up with a desk and chair. While it may be tempting to work from the comfort of your sofa, this will end up being very bad for you back and your productivity.
Set up Lighting
Next, you need to think about lighting. Natural lighting is best, but you may also need to incorporate artificial lighting, depending on where you set up your office. Try and have at least one window nearby and make the most of the light that comes through it.
When choosing artificial lighting, avoid harsh or bright lights. Additionally, avoid having light (natural or artificial) directly in your eyeline, as this can lead to headaches.
You want to be lighting up your workspace so that you can clearly see what you’re working on without needing to strain your eyes. A small desk lamp or a nearby standing lamp may be sufficient.
Remember, when it comes to lighting you need to find that healthy balance. Too much or too little and you’re setting yourself up for eye strain, which can affect your concentration, energy levels and can lead to vision problems.
Clutter is a concentration killer. Have a good think about what you need in your workspace and how much space you need to accommodate it. Do you need a large desk to work on papers by hand? Or would a smaller desk do with room for just a monitor and keyboard?
Think about what you use on a regular basis and try to keep all work equipment to a minimum. This can help prevent the space from becoming overcrowded, which can make your workdays uncomfortable and your office less appealing to work from.
Have Organisation and Storage Solutions
In that same vein, spend time putting together organisation and storage solutions. This might be a small filing cabinet or a set of drawers, or even just some trays to keep your desk tidy.
Make it a point to always use these solutions rather than leaving your desk messy at the end of the day. You’ll likely find you can think more clearly with a clean desk, as well as find exactly what you need when it has been carefully filed away.
Make Sure it’s Comfortable
If you’re only working from home for a few days, you can get away with a slapdash setup. However, if you’re intending to truly create a home office, you need to consider comfort and ergonomics.
You may need to purchase a specific office chair with appropriate support for your spine. Your monitor should also be raised to be at your eye level, so you aren’t unnecessarily bending your neck.
If you feel tension in any part of your body after a day at work, this is a sign from your body that your setup isn’t right. Try moving things around or adding ergonomic furniture until you can work without pain. Don’t forget to get up and stretch and move around every few hours too though.
Finally, while you mightn’t love your office as much as other rooms in your house, it should still be pleasant to be in. It can help to decorate to your tastes to make the space more inviting and agreeable.
Plants provide many benefits to a home office, including improving your mood, while other decorative touches like pictures or knick-knacks can make the space feel more your own. Experiment with the space and see what you like.
A home office isn’t as simple as a desk and computer. If you want to do it properly, you need a dedicated space that is comfortable and allows you to work as productively as possible. By following the steps above, you can create a home office that you love to work from.