With lockdown upon us once more, those of you who made a tentative return to the daily commute, probably find yourselves once more working from home. Many of us will be hoping for a magic bullet on December 2nd, but in reality the chances are we’re planning to be working remotely for the foreseeable.
While some of us are well set up for working from home with a dedicated home office, for others, home working has been more challenging, whether due to the lack of space, the lack of camaraderie (or too much of it, in some cases!), or just the tedium of sitting at your desk all day. So now we know what to expect from lockdown’s version of working from home, it’s time to ensure an effective set-up which really ignites productivity and assures the financial viability of working remotely on a long term basis. With this thought in mind, we’ve compiled five ways you can improve your work from home set-up…
Location Is Key
The reality of home working for many of us is the need to get in touch with people over video – this requires a quiet and calm environment. If you’re currently working from a room that’s facing a busy road or local building works, you may need to rethink, because long-term, having your concentration and Zoom meetings interrupted with noise will get frustrating. Another consideration is the location of your Wi-fi. There’s nothing more annoying than finding that your internet connection is too slow to support your video-conferencing.
If you’re struggling for space, and the lounge coffee table is currently your best offer, a cost-effective way to create separate zones for different functions is to divide existing open plan areas. Sectioning off areas with the careful placement of furniture, or installing room dividers, will allow members of a household to live together without getting on top of one another.
For example, B&Q has launched affordable modular room dividers to help you create your own bespoke home office space:
Freestanding shelves can act as temporary partitions that also provide storage space for any home office essentials. Room dividing is also an ideal solution if you miss the companionship of being in a busy office.
An Ergonomic Work Position
So you’ve found yourself the ideal location (or as close as possible) to set up your desk. The next important job is to ensure that after a full day’s work, your back, shoulders and neck are still in full working order! Spending long hours sitting at a desk can play havoc with your posture, so invest in an ergonomic chair. Not only do they look swanky, they’re designed to keep you in the correct position and support you in all the right places. Ensure your keyboard and monitor are carefully positioned too. Any tools you can find which will keep you comfortable as you work can only be a good idea. Wrist rests are particularly useful for those who do a lot of typing.
Suss Out Your Storage
In order to be effective in your home work space, you’ll need a system much like the one you use in your ‘commute to’ office. This means having the right storage solutions which are specifically set up for your individual needs. Whether that’s a filing cabinet, a shelving unit or drawers built into your desk, bespoke storage will reduce the clutter, keep you organised and reduce the stress. Thus lightening the load and making your work space a nicer place to spend your time.
Establish A Routine
Whatever you decide are your working hours, make sure you stick to them and ensure everyone else in your household is aware of when you’re working too. This is to reduce the interruptions and help you keep your focus. Be strict with yourself – yes it’s useful to be able to put the washing on, and that’s clearly a benefit of working from home, but don’t allow yourself to get distracted. Keep to your schedule and this will stop your work drifting on and interfering with a healthy home-work balance.
It’s important too that just because you are no longer in an office with your colleagues, you take regular breaks. Walk the dog, take a proper lunch break and talk to other people. Be kind to yourself – your physical and mental wellbeing are crucial for your productivity.
At Hartleys we specialise in creating bespoke home study furniture. We will design, make and install a desk and storage to suit you and your work area, fully maximising all space available, however big or small. You can visit us online or call us on tel 01756 700471 to arrange a design visit in the comfort of your own home.