Whether you have a dedicated space or just a corner to prop your laptop, here’s how to get the best from your home office.
Create a work bubble
Having a dedicated office zone at home is important psychologically as well as practically. It shifts your mindset into admin mode, and that in turn improves productivity. It also means you can separate work and home life more easily – an aspect that’s essential not just for you, but those you live with.
Even if you don’t have room for a separate home office, you can often squeeze a desk into the tightest of spaces. Consider every nook and cranny, be it a forgotten alcove or under the stairs. Even a large cupboard could be adapted with a pull-out desktop and shelving for the printer.
Corner desks can help bring an awkward-shaped room to life. And you don’t have to spend a fortune on a new desk – scour charity shops (or your own home) for vintage options you can easily upcycle.
Multi-purpose furniture can also work – but bear in mind this may require an organised approach. A console table that doubles up as a desk, for instance, is all very well, but you’ll need somewhere to store your work paraphernalia at the end of the day.
Every desk area needs a safe and adequate power supply for your laptop, desk lamp, printer and so on, so you can work comfortably and effectively.
Trailing wires and extension leads can be unsightly, annoying and dangerous so explore the best cable-management options – from tidies that keep your ‘electrical spaghetti’ neatly bundled together to desks with built-in apertures for cables to run through. (This is especially important if you have little ones who might find their way into your work station.)
There may also be the possibility of installing sockets in the back of a permanently positioned desk unit or inside your cupboard-based micro-office. Always use a qualified electrician to make sure any work is safely done.
Choose your home office furniture carefully
If you are at your desk for several hours a day, you should ensure your furniture is fit for purpose. Invest in or speak to your employer about supplying an ergonomic chair that provides adequate lumbar support and can be adjusted. Similarly, a desk should be deep enough for your computer or laptop with enough space to allow you to comfortably place your wrists, and plenty of room for your legs underneath. Take a look at NHS guidelines for more advice on getting positioning right. Your employer should also provide you with a health and safety checklist for setting up your home workspace, and be able to supply you with a display screen assessment.
Consider the aesthetics of your home office
Home office design and layout is an aspect well worth considering. If you can, arrange your desk near a window – studies have found being able to glance outside from time to time enhances mood and productivity. You may still need to invest in blinds for certain times of the day as direct bright light combined with screen work can strain your eyes.
Consider treating yourself to a few stylish office decor essentials, too – from neat filing trays to stationery along with a good-looking pinboard, and maybe even a plant for your desk. These little touches make going to the office – even if it’s just a few steps from the kitchen – a much more enjoyable experience!
While working from home can be challenging, setting up a great home office or workspace can go a long way in making it easier, improving both productivity and your mental health. Hopefully, the above tips for creating the best home office possible will help you get it right.
If you are working from home more these days, UIA Home Insurance covers you at no extra cost, as long as the work you are doing is desk-based.