Top 5 tips to create the perfect home office
Working from home has some unique challenges not least of which is setting up a decent workspace. Not everyone who decides to work from home has the luxury of a spare room they can set aside specifically for their home office but even if you need to use part of another room for work here are some useful tips to getting set up and avoiding spending your days hunched over your laptop at the kitchen table.
1. Use Natural Light
If you can make sure you position your desk near a window, the natural light is good for your general wellbeing as well as making the work environment bright and welcoming. It also means that you can take in the view from time to time which rests your eyes if you are looking at the screen for hours on end. Be mindful that as the sun moves around you might get some glare, so blinds or curtains should also be a consideration. Use overhead lighting that is gentle on the eyes – really harsh strip lights can cause eye strain and headaches.
2. Keep your workspace separate.
This can be really hard to do if you don’t have a room for your office, especially if you have children or your partner at home during the day. If you are lucky enough to have an office in a spare room then invest in a do not disturb sign for your door.
If you are using part of a room that is set aside it might be helpful to invest in a couple of cubicle panels to separate the space from your domestic environment. Not only can you then put a notice on this saying that you are not to be disturbed but it also shields any distractions from view.
Try and be disciplined in the amount of time you spend in contact with people for non-work related issues. If you think about how you would behave in a work office environment and try to bring that into your home office it really helps keep you focused.
3. Be Mindful of your comfort.
You wouldn’t keep quiet at work if you were given dodgy office equipment so make sure you keep the same standard in your home office. Tables, chairs, lighting and other forms of office equipment should be purchased with your comfort in mind. Make your office ergonomically sound – look at support for your back, footrests, the height of your desk, screens and so on. Make sure you use properly designed wrist rests and mousepads with gel wrist support. In short, maximise your well being.
4. Consider your space
Home offices tend to be compact and bijou especially if they are sharing a domestic space. When you are planning your office room or space make sure you take into account what sort of work you will be doing, how much equipment you need, how large it is and how much storage you need for files, documents and so on. If you have to share a space then shelving is super helpful for keeping the office compact and unobtrusive. Space is at a premium for most home offices. When planning your home office, think about your workflow. To avoid a dining room suddenly looking like a makeshift workspace, for example, you will need to get creative. Consider using normal home furniture for storing your office files and equipment rather than industrial looking office furniture.
5. Enjoy the home office
One of the real joys of working at home is that you can have whatever you like in your home office – you can choose your own colour scheme, posters, pictures, in fact, anything you please. It is always worthwhile considering adding a plant, they make the workplace more pleasant and can also improve the air quality. Plants like Peace Lilies are inexpensive to buy, really low maintenance, and really give the office a lift.
If you are working from home in your own business you need to get super productive and working on optimising the home office environment really is time well spent.
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