There has been a monumental increase in the number of people working from home over the last ten months or so, largely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic forcing offices to close their doors. However, even before the pandemic took hold, remote working was becoming a more popular option for many people. This is because it can boost employee productivity and job satisfaction, save employers money, and also enable companies to hire talent from all over the world. All of this means that you may well find yourself working at home – at least some of the time – on a more permanent basis. In which case, you want to be thinking seriously about setting up a decent home office space to work from!
When it comes to creating a home office, there are lots of different factors to think about. Of course, two of the main issues are budget and space, but beyond that, there are still other aspects to consider. Here are some top tips to help you out in setting up your new, productive workspace.
Work out your requirements
This is the first step to take before you do anything else. Have a think about exactly what you need from your home office. What kind of equipment do you have to use? How much storage will you require? Do you spend a lot of time on the phone or in video meetings? How much space do you need on your desk? All of these factors will have an impact on how you set up your home office. It might also be worth speaking with your company and seeing if they will cover any of the costs, particularly of equipment – assuming the job you do was not initially a remote working position.
Think about ergonomics
When choosing your office furniture, you should always have ergonomics in mind. If you’re going to be sat at your desk most of the time, it’s a good idea to invest in the best desk and chair you can. Make sure that the desk is large enough to easily hold everything you need, whilst also leaving space for you to work. Your chair should be supportive and comfortable in order to reduce the risk of back pain. Once you have both of these large items of furniture in place, take care when setting up your computer to make sure that your posture is good. Of course, you don’t have to stay chained to your desk all day, though! There’s no reason why you can’t also include a huge bean bag in your office from a company such as SumoLounge to mix things up – especially if you’re trying to spark some creative ideas.
Get the lighting right
Lighting is a factor that many people overlook in a home office, but it is vital to consider when setting up your workspace. If the light is too bright, it can cause glare on your computer screen, which is more likely to cause eye strain and headaches. Conversely, if the light is too dim, you’re likely to end up with bad posture as you struggle to read documents or look at your screen. If possible, you should try and work in an area with lots of natural light – however, be careful not to place your computer directly by the window as this too can cause glare. If you’re using artificial light, a lampshade that diffuses the light is preferable, as well as having an adjustable desk lamp that you can use to direct the light exactly where you need it. Finally, if you’re working on the computer late at night, you might want to consider purchasing a pair of blue light blocking glasses to minimize eye strain.
Add some greenery
One of the nice side effects of having your own home office is that you can decorate it in any manner you like without worrying about what your boss will say. An excellent choice when it comes to home office decoration is to include a houseplant or two. Not only do they look nice, but they also help to purify the air and even reduce stress and anxiety – ideal when you have a big presentation coming up! More than that, plants have also been shown to boost productivity and creativity. Don’t worry if you don’t have a good track record of caring for plants, though, because there are plenty of species that are easy to look after and can survive the occasional missed watering! Some of the best include snake plants, peace lilies, ferns, and spider plants.
There are lots of things that can distract us when we’re trying to work, not of all which we have control over! Try to remove all the distractions that you can in order to enable you to focus on your work. For example, noise-canceling headphones can be a real help if you have noisy neighbors or family members – in fact, simply shutting the door can be a sign to your kids that you’re not to be disturbed. Clearing out any clutter in the room can allow you to concentrate more easily, and it’s also a good idea not to work in a room with a TV, games console, or anything else you might be tempted to pick up instead of working!
Include productivity boosters
In order to maximize your focus when working at home, you can do more than just remove distractions – you can also add productivity boosters to your home office. This could be anything from a noticeboard that helps you to visualize your upcoming tasks and goals to posters with motivational quotes. Colour is also a factor to think about. It’s been suggested that blues and greens are most conducive to productivity and a calm mental state, so these are great options for your workspace. Depending on how you work best, you might additionally find that a well-chosen soundtrack – whether upbeat or relaxing – to your working day helps you to get more done. Try experimenting with different ideas to find out what’s most effective for you!
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