If you’re new to the world of working remotely, it takes some getting used to. Whilst there are plenty of benefits – wave goodbye to the commute and welcome extra time in bed and lunchtime workouts – it can also be a challenge. Here are some tips on how to make your home office the most efficient, comfortable and creative space.
SET ASIDE A SPACE TO WORK AT HOME
Even though your morning commute is now simply down the stairs or into the next room, arriving at a designated workspace will create that same feeling of getting into the office and work mode. Having a study or spare room is ideal: your quiet ‘office’ is already waiting for you. If, however, you have some space constraints, don’t worry – the essentials are a comfortable chair, a surface, and a little creativity.
A room divider is perfect for open-plan living spaces; it will add a design element as well as cornering off an area for you to work. All you need then to consider is a desk that suits your scheme and professional requirements. Other simple alternatives are dressing tables – transformed into a desk in a matter of minutes – two bedside tables pushed together, or you could even open a large, tall cupboard and use the interior as a workspace. Wherever you choose, your chair should ideally offer strong lower back support and allow your feet to sit firm and level on the floor. If sitting at a dining chair, opt for one with a high back, as it will naturally make you sit up straighter.
NOISE & LIGHT
The impact of noise and light is also worth considering. The quieter the space the better: it’s easy to get distracted if you live with others or have children. Natural light is proven to boost productivity, mood and reduces the chances of headaches and fatigue that can occur when focusing on a screen all day. So, if possible, choose a spot that is close to a window – fresh air is a plus as well. If you’re using table lamps, try and choose a lampshade that roughly aligns with the top of your screen. Doing so will ensure that you’ll get maximum light and minimum glare.
ADDING CHARACTER TO YOUR HOME OFFICE
One of the great things about working from home is that you can inject as much personality into your workspace as you would the rest of the house. Start with the essentials: stationery and storage. If you’re short on space or working from a makeshift desk, items like box files and pen pots are all the more important. They can be used to introduce decoration in addition to being practical. Even if you have plenty of space to work with, bookcases are an excellent choice as they provide ample storage whilst taking up very little real estate on the floor.
Visually interesting spaces stimulate creativity. Staring at blank walls all day is no good for your mindset, so try to incorporate some colour. Warm tones are the best for creativity and coolers ones for more logic-based work.
Rugs are perfect for introducing colour; they also bring a welcoming element and help to break up your space. Artwork is a simple and effective choice as well. You don’t want to get distracted, so try and choose pieces that feature only a few shades. If you like to switch up your prints and pictures, your home office is an excellent place to experiment as your mind will appreciate the change of ‘scene’. If you sit at the trusty dining table, put a pin board up on the wall that is the width of the space. It will delineate where you work without encroaching on the living area, as well as provide some visual appeal.
Conducting plenty of virtual meetings and video calls? Your backdrop is important here. Position yourself in front of well-arranged artwork or a blank wall, it will look much more professional than the view of your kitchen or those you live with.