Top Tips for Creating a ‘Work Space’ in Your Home

With working from home being advised where possible, it is important to ensure you have a dedicated workspace in your home. Reportedly, there has been a huge increase in the number of employees experiencing physical ailments, such as back and neck pains, since working from home. Office spaces are imperative to maintain physical and mental wellbeing when working remotely or completing administrative tasks and study at home. Regardless of whether you have a spare room available to use as your home office or if you are required to work in a shared space, such as a dining room or kitchen, there are many ways to create an ideal workspace which is fully adaptable to your needs. We have compiled a list of steps you should take to create a space in your home specifically for work. 

Location matters!

If you are fortunate enough to have a spare room, such as an unused bedroom or a cellar with windows/lighting, this should be your first choice. If you do not have an empty room available, you can still create a workspace. If there are other residents in your home during your working hours then it may not be ideal to choose a central space, such as the living room as your office area. Consider using quieter rooms, such as the dining room, or section off a room, such as a kitchen, creating yourself a small home office that is separate from the rest of the space. When setting up your workspace, consider practicalities such as if you will be interrupted by people walking behind you during video calls or if you will be dazzled by sunlight entering the window. The placement of your workspace makes a great deal of difference to your productivity and comfort.

Furnishings and Décor

You will be spending most of your day at your work station, so investing in quality furniture and decorating your office to your taste is a crucial step. The 2 most important items to invest in are a desk and an office chair. Some companies are happy to provide, or help fund, office furniture; speak to your managers for clarification. The most recommended office chairs are often ergonomic types. Ergonomic office chairs have been specifically designed to support the body. They are built with key factors in mind such as comfort levels, support, posture and general health. You should look for features such as lumbar support, adjustable back and arm rests and adjustable height. The desk you choose will depend on your personal circumstances, such as budget and how much space you have to play with. You may opt for traditional desk which is fixed and not adjustable. However, it might be worth exploring your options and looking into different types of desk, such as standing desks and height adjustable tables. If you are using a corner of a room, consider getting a folding desk which can easily be stowed away once the working day is finished – although, this is more practical if you work on a laptop as opposed to a desktop. If it is not possible to get a desk, you can use dining tables, but ensure you use equipment, such as a riser, to avoid unnecessary aches and pains. The décor and accessories you opt for are completely individual to you. If you are painting your home office, it might be best to opt for neutral palettes to create a calm atmosphere free from distraction. Consider investing in houseplants, which have many benefits for health and wellbeing. It is believed house plants can improve productivity, help to reduce noise levels and can decrease stress and anxiety.  

Take measures to create a private and quiet work area 

If you have a whole room for your home office, it is far easier to obtain privacy and peace and quiet. However, if you are working in a shared space, consider investing in room dividers to section off your office from the rest of the room. Wherever you are working, ensure you log off when you are away from the computer and place important and confidential documents securely in a filing cabinet. If you know you will have meetings and calls, make fellow residents aware of this and request that noise is kept to a minimum. Headsets are recommended for communication with colleagues and clients. Whilst working independently, consider using noise cancelling headphones to block out distractions.

Complete working from home risk assessments 

Many companies will ask you to complete a working from home risk assessment to identify the effectiveness and safety of your home office. The risk assessment is your opportunity to highlight any concerns and request necessary equipment to support you.

Be neat and tidy

Maintain cleanliness in your office and keep it free from clutter. Use pots to store stationery, filing cabinets to securely store important documents, invest in a cork board, calendar and diary, and have a mini bin underneath your desk. Clutter and disorder could result in disorganisation and impact your concentration and productivity.

However you decide to set up your home office, work with the space you have and design your office according to your personal needs and preferences. If you are seeking further advice on surviving working from home, our Wellbeing Advisor, Nikita, composed an article containing top tips on how to survive working from home. 

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