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2020 has been a year of dramatic change and upheaval for the whole world. There is no doubt that our working way of life has been dramatically altered, maybe even forever, many city-centre offices have yet to reopen and people are realising that many many jobs can be performed more than adequately at home but a good home office environment makes all the difference. This means that for the foreseeable future at least many people are based at home and working in an environment that wasn’t designed as a modern office space – cramped in a corner of the lounge, or the stiflingly hot box room or competing for space with your other half on the dining room table?!

This article aims to give some ideas on best practises and how to make working from home more streamlined.  

Firstly here are our top 5 rules for best practise when working from home;

  1. Stick to the same work area – ideally designate somewhere out of the way of main house traffic, a bit quieter, with good lighting and air quality. If you can sit facing a window this is ideal.
  2. Get a good chair – You need good back support, a firm & adjustable-height seat so you don’t feel uncomfortable or strain your back hunching or stretching. Look on second hand Facebook sites or Ikea has reasonable value office chairs.
  3. Get separate keyboard & raise your laptop screen – Laptops are great for when you are on the move, or just dipping in and out of doing work, but there’s a reason we have a separate keyboard and a mouse, ergonomically it’s terrible for you to be stretching or hunched over a small keyboard so invest in a Bluetooth / USB separate keyboard and also a laptop riser to bring the screen to the level of your eyes (or a couple of thick books would also do).
  4. Follow a routine – start at the same time of day and end at the same time and allow yourself breaks as you would on a normal working day, also get dressed and ready to sit in front of the laptop (no Pj’s) it makes a difference to how you feel i.e. professional vs slob!
  5. Celebrate being productive - Install a time tracker on your browser (try Clockify)– this celebrates your productivity and you’ll feel good about yourself when you realise despite being distracted by the cat/dog/children you still managed to do x amount of solid hours of work!

The Under the Stairs office

This is usually a small space used for storage in most homes, but have a look at these images to see how it could be transformed. Light is usually a problem so think about getting a pendant light installed, or if you are lucky enough to be on an outside wall, how about a small window? This will transform the space. 

Copyright: Pinterest

Out of home but at home offices

If you happen to have a garden big enough then there are some fantastic solutions out there for really stylish home offices (or even home office/gym) have a look at these images below for some inspiration (All from Pinterest)

Copyright: Pinterest

Make things pretty…

Try to resist seeing a home office as an encroachment on your home space, see it instead as a way of making creative use of an existing space and make it pretty so it will be a pleasure to sit in the space. If you don’t have room for a desk and have to use the dining room table can it be moved to be nearer a window? Maybe make a nook on the table with a desk lamp and some file folders and invest in a really great chair? If you have to sit facing a wall with not much natural light, consider putting some pictures up of greenery and the outdoors or even a wall mural sticker that gives the illusion of bringing the outside in. And maybe invest in a great new rug, so it clearly delineates your new space, it all makes a difference in how you feel about working there.

Thanks for reading, if you’d like to add any comments on your working from home tips do let us know!