More people are working from home than ever before and if you are in that category, whether you are self-employed or work for a company as a remote worker, you want your office space to be a nice working environment. Before you start working from home, get your office space prepared, taking the following into account:
You need to separate home and work
It can be tempting to set up your office just working from your dining room table or somewhere in a room that you usually use. Whilst this isn’t too problematic if you are only working from home once in a while, this is not good for a permanent office set up. If you do not have clear borders between where you work and where you live, you will find it hard to switch off and stop thinking about work.
So you should be using a spare room or if you have space and budget, have an office set up outside of your home. This will enable you to detach yourself from work when you are trying to relax and have family time. You cannot work to your optimum levels if you are not having the downtime to recharge your batteries and clear your head of work.
Also, make sure that you do not leave work or reminders of work in your living space. It can be difficult to switch off and watch TV if you have got a pile of urgent work staring at you from the other side of the room. Keep your work in your office and out of sight when you are outside of your working hours.
When you are first setting up your office space, you might not have much budget but there are a few things that you really shouldn’t cut corners with. In particular, you need to take care of your posture, so a good office chair should be a big priority. Otherwise, you will start suffering from neck or back pains at some point and that could be avoided if you invest in a good office chair.
Also, make sure that you are not bending over your laptop. The NHS has addressed that there is a growing problem with people using laptops and have provided advice to help to avoid the issue –
- Screen should be opened at eye level (you may need a stand and separate keyboard to allow this)
- Use laptop on a stable base rather than on your lap
- Take regular breaks
- Practice a good sitting posture with lower back support
Another consideration you should make when setting up equipment is whether you can increase productivity with new equipment. If your PC or laptop is going slow then either take it to get it fixed or invest in a new one, as you will be losing out in terms of productivity otherwise. Take a look at how well all of your equipment/technology services are performing, from your website’s web host to your printer.
Being comfortable in your working environment is also going to help you to be more productive. So make sure that you have the right temperature in the room, if you don’t want to put the heating on in the whole house, you can always get a small heater for in your office.
Having natural daylight is also important, so try and set up your office where you can benefit from natural light, as this can affect your mood and energy. You might need some blinds to be able to block out the sun at certain times in the day.
If you don’t have enough natural light then artificial lighting should be carefully considered. Having bad lighting can affect your eyesight and your mood, whilst good lighting will help you to be more productive.
Decorate your office to make it feel more like an actual office. If it has children’s wallpaper for example, it doesn’t make for a great office environment, so give the office a fresh coat of paint to bring it more into keeping with a professional office.
Offices are generally decorated with lighter colors and some colors are said to actually help boost productivity or creativity. The colors can have a big impact on your mood and you will be spending a lot of your time in there, so think about the color scheme. Research has uncovered that green and blue improve efficiency and focus. Mellow yellow is viewed to trigger innovations and is ideal for creative workers.