Working from home can have its advantages. You’re able to save time and money by eliminating the need to commute, whilst also having the flexibility to set your own schedule. However, when deciding to work remotely, it’s important to carve out your own working space that is separate from your home environment. Below are five tips for working from home that will help you personalise your workspace to suit you.
5 points to consider when setting up your home office:
- Home office location
- Best work from home desks
- Home office lighting
- Essential home office technology
- Home office chair
1. Home Office Location
Location will play a key part in how you set up your workspace at home. If you live alone, then you can play around with working in different areas of the home, until you find what works for you. This could be a dedicated home office, or the dining room or kitchen if there’s no desk available, or the lounge for comfort.
However, if you live with family or have roommates it could be beneficial to choose a room where noise and distraction will be kept to a minimum. A spare room or office with a door would help or choosing an area where other members of the household aren’t likely to pass through regularly. Quiet areas of the house will be especially useful for those who frequently need to take video calls or phone calls, as it helps to reduce the likelihood of being disturbed.
2. Best Work from Home Desks
For some, having a desk is a must-have when working from home. There are many desk options available to suit every need, from the traditional to the makeshift, for those low on space or on a budget.
A traditional office desk is often the go-to, but if you’re on a budget or lack the space, you can also substitute an office desk for a dining table or kitchen worktop. It’s all a matter of what works for you.
For the health-conscious, a standing desk would be the ideal. A standing desk is an adjustable desk that can be used for both standing and sitting. Standing desks have a number of benefits, including increased productivity and reduced fatigue. They are considered a healthier alternative to sitting at a desk for prolonged periods of time. Static sitting can cause some health issues in the long run, including back and neck problems, high blood pressure and cardiovascular issues. See our infographic which provides tips on how to counter the effects of prolonged sitting.
But standing for long periods can also come with its risks. Standing in a static position for too long on a cold, hard floor can cause fatigue, which in turn can cause a loss in concentration. We recommend Orthomat® Office, which is designed to make standing more comfortable. The high-density foam allows for increased blood circulation, which reduces the onset of fatigue and pain that comes from standing on hard flooring. See our article ‘The Science of Standing’ for more detailed information.
If you’re on a budget, it’s possible to create a makeshift standing desk, using books to create a higher platform for your laptop to rest on.
3. Home Office Lighting
Lighting is also an important factor when working from home, although it may not seem it. Natural light is ideal for workspaces as it prevents eye strain and reduces headaches and fatigue. Setting up your home workspace with plenty of natural light, such as by a window will allow you to remain alert and productive.
If natural light is limited or not an option, make sure that your light bulbs aren’t too bright or too dim. Too bright and it will cause strain on the eyes, but too dim and it will tire the eyes out more quickly.
4. Essential Home Office Technology
The right technology and equipment will help you to work more comfortably and efficiently from home. For some, a laptop will suffice, but for others, a desktop or multiple screens would be more beneficial.
Regardless of the layout of your screens, it’s important to make sure they are set up with the correct brightness, to reduce strain on your eyes. This may take some experimenting to find which setting works for you. However, with newer computers, you can automatically adapt your screen’s brightness based on when the sun rises and sets in your location. There are a several tools which achieve this, such as Windows ‘Night Light’ and ‘Flux’ Apple’s built-in ‘Night Shift’ mode on Macs.
5. Home Office Chair
Your home office chair should provide you with enough comfort and back support to allow you to work efficiently. This could be a standard office chair or an ergonomic office chair, for those who are conscious about their posture. For those without a desk to work at, a dining chair or the sofa can be sufficient.
However, regardless of the chair, it’s important to still move around occasionally to avoid being static for too long. Posture should also be kept in mind while working. Sitting up straight, maintaining contact between your back and the back of the seat, and keeping your feet flat on the floor all help to maintain good posture. Also, try to avoid slouching or hunching forward as this can lead to neck and back pain.
Roundup: Working from home advice
Following these tips for working from home will allow you to separate your workspace from your personal space. It’s ideal to take some time to find out what works best for you when selecting the right environment, furniture and equipment for your workspace. However, it’s important to make sure that your workspace allows you to remain productive, but also comfortable, making sure that your eyes and posture aren’t being compromised. We hope you’ve found our working from home advice useful.