The joys of working from home
Are you totally and utterly at wits end with your work commute? Do you find yourself sitting in your car or on the bus, train or tram dreaming of how wonderful it might be to work from home? Perhaps you are about to embark on an exciting new start-up business venture and until you hit the big time - your head office is your HOME OFFICE?
Or maybe you simply yearn for a peaceful and comfortable designated place in your home where you can organise your life, your bills and let your creative juices flow.
Thanks to advances in technology, working from our homes has become not only a viable, but a much sought-after option for many workers. In a bid to attract, motivate and retain employees, many employers have adopted flexible policies to facilitate the possibility of working from home.
There are many benefits to working from home apart from avoiding that dreaded commute. You can save a small fortune on travel costs and flexible working hours can better suit your home life. You can also find that you are more productive working with fewer distractions. As we are all too aware, time is precious, so being closer to your family can help reduce your stress levels and contribute to a better work-life balance.
However, before you consider boxing up the contents of your desk and bidding farewell to your envious work colleagues, you should give this move some serious consideration.
Working from home can be particularly lonely especially if your role keeps you chained to your desk most of the day. Isolation can be a real issue for some home workers leaving them feeling cut-off from their co-workers. Distractions of children, pets, neighbours, home phone and even on-line deliveries can be difficult to avoid. Maintaining a busy household is highly demanding, so the temptation to clean, cook or even grab the washing off the line is always looming. There is no doubt, that you will require great self-discipline to motivate yourself and to work to your set hours, but of course avoid over working.
Once you have weighed up the pros and cons and decide to make that move, your main priority is to make a home office that works best to suit you! To be successful and productive working from home you need to be organised, so here are some of our top tips!
Easy tips for making your home office WORK!
Whether your home office work space is designed for running a business or a place to organise your diary, you deserve more than a desk and chair tucked into a spare room corner or nook in your home.
If you focus on creating an office that reflects the design, comfort and charm of the rest of your home, you will WANT to spend time here - lots of time!
1. Location, Location
Firstly, look within your existing living space. A guest bedroom, attic or garage conversion could work or if funds allow, look to your garden for an office pod.
To avoid two of the main pitfalls of working from home, distraction and disorganisation, you will have to ensure you can separate your work space from your living space. Your office space must offer a sufficient degree of privacy from surrounding goings-on in the rest of your home.
Take time to carefully curate your office plan, thinking about everything you want to do in it, put into it, how much space you will require, what equipment, how you will power everything and include your internet and storage space requirements.
2. Office Comforts
Make your home office as cosy as possible but avoid an office that is too casual. A comfortable office chair is a must but feel free to soften the space with a large rug or if space allows an additional large comfortable armchair chair.
Introducing a foot rest or a soft keyboard pad will also help enhance your working experience. Ensure all necessary equipment is within easy reach of where you sit.
A clean sharp and de-cluttered work space will give instant appeal, so go as paperless as possible and mentally declutter by using some of the amazing apps like "Trello", "Evernote" and "Teamworks" and not forgetting the every so useful "sticky notes".
3. Strike the Right Light
A good home office needs to be highly functional. Avoid eye strain and back pain by following ergonomic rules regarding the positioning of your computer screen, keyboard, and office chair.
Natural light is vital, so setting up your desk near a window is ideal but don’t forget about additional lighting in the form of a desk light for darker hours of the day. Make sure that you avoid any glare on your monitor from a window or over head lighting. The temperature of your space is very important, so adequate ventilation and heating are necessary.
4. Organised Office Chaos
Aim to cleverly utilise every square foot as efficiently as possible. You can streamline shelving on your walls for storage focusing on getting as much paper and files off your desk.
Always try and keep all your work in this space to facilitate finding things and working efficiently in this space. With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) it will be important that you are aware and meet compliance with all your stored data.
Make sure your office is fully stocked to avoid nipping out when you need something. Be creative with your office storage, maximising all available space. If space allows a mini fridge and kettle could be incorporated to create a tea station so you can avoid your kitchen at all costs!
Keep frequently used files close by with others stored in more remote locations. A carefully curated and organised office desk is essential to productivity. Aim at keeping pending work in order and avoid the chaos of having endless piles screaming back at you.
5. Office Styling - My favourite!
Now for the fun part!
Make the office your own by adding some of your personality. Choose your paint colours, perhaps add a feature wall, some floating shelves or a quirky wall clock. An ideas or whiteboard will define this creative hub and your could cover a notice board with some funky fabric to add an interesting twist.
Strive to create a comfortable uplifting office space that reflects YOU, so that YOU can enjoy being there and succeed at working from home.
Colour impacts on your mood and your energy levels so avoid a bland uninteresting space. Research on various shades of green have been linked to creative thinking, so there you go! Some carefully chosen framed art work, or some motivational quotes will add calmness to your workspace! A few small touches like a family or pet photo will make this space your own. Some lush green plants will add some life, while burning some essential oils will create a relaxing atmosphere, not to relaxing though - AS WORK NEEDS DOING!
By placing your stamp on your home office space and ensuring it's bright, functional and comfortable, will positively influence you and enhance your productivity.
Don't work too hard though - BEST OF LUCK!
For guidance creating your perfect home office, get in touch with Placelift on 01 2548070