In the current environment of many people needing to work from home, it’s important to create a working environment that is both healthy, but also conducive to productivity, and makes you want to be there (and work!). Here are some tips on creating a lovely work space at home.
Creating a space
Firstly, you need to create a space that you can work from in comfort and free from distractions. If you’re fortunate enough to have a separate study or work area, that’s ideal, but if not, then create a space in your bedroom, in the 2nd living area, or somewhere where you will not be easily distracted. When I had my baby – I had my desk in her nursery (not ideal, but the best I could do at the time). I worked when she slept!
It’s also really important to make a space that you want to work at. You like being there. It feels great and it represents you. This could mean having artwork around you that you love. Have your favourite colour on the wall, or in your desk accessories. Surround yourself with family photos and other personal items. It’s what we do with our desks in the office at work, so be sure to create your own ‘office’ sanctuary at home. It needs to be something you love going to each morning (even if it is only downstairs or up the other end of the house)!
And be sure to have some plants or some flowers on your desk too. They create a sense of calm, filter the air, and just make things look and feel better, period.
What do you need?
- An ergonomic chair is critical. The most important thing. Working at a desk for 6-8 hours a day is totally different to paying some bills online and checking a few emails on your laptop. A dining chair or similar is not going to cut it. It’s not good for your posture, your back, and you will end up with some sort of injury (and lots of aches and pains). Get a chair with removable armrests, is height adjustable, has a recline option, and is flexible to suit your needs.
- An adjustable desk with drawers– I love desks with a return as I can have current work on my desk to the side, but drawers are critical for all your daily stationary being close at hand. You don’t want to get up every 5 minutes looking for note paper, pens, post-it notes, scissors and so on. Have everything in a drawer next to you. Having a desk that adjusts in height means you’re able to vary your working environment by being able to stand or sit at your desk.
- A monitor at eye height– Working from a laptop is ok for a few hours, but if you’re going to be working from home for a period of weeks, it’s important your screen is at eye-height so you’re not sloughing your shoulders and looking down at the screen. Having a separate monitor connected to your laptop means you can have it at the right height, and it’s much larger, so better for your eyes too.
- Natural light– Position your desk near a window, ideally one you can look out of (rather than opaque or a highlight window). It makes such a difference to your state of mind. Being couped up in a space without natural light is not great for the mind, or the body. You also need excellent task lighting, so a desk lamp is also required. Sitting for long periods under harsh downlights is not suitable long term.
Other tips for working from home
- Schedule regular breaks, including lunch, and be sure to leave your desk.
- Have team meetings via video link (zoom or skype) so you can still see people, rather than just talking on the phone. We may be in social isolation, but seeing people’s faces is important, so take up being social via video. I do a team huddle via video with my team each morning.
- Treat yourself to some gorgeous stationary and a really nice pen. Life’s too short to be using a boring biro.
- Break up your day and go for a walk. The normal office routine of catching up with people for lunch, or popping out for a coffee is diminished when you’re working from home, so ensure you get out to stretch your legs and get yourself in the fresh air!
If you need assistance with making your home office space inspiring, gorgeous and productive, then let us help you with our Creating an Ideal Home Office Consultation for only $197. Find out more here.