Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the global workplace has been seeing more and more employees working either remotely or in a ‘hybrid’ fashion, meaning half the week is being spent in the traditional company offices, with the other half of the week being spent working from home.
In the UK, 60% of the adult population worked from home during the first coronavirus lockdown, and as much as 26% of Brits plan to continue to work from home permanently after lockdown.
In pre-pandemic times, ‘working from home’ always used to be a cryptic for ‘not doing very much work’, and was frowned upon by the majority of major companies. However, hybrid or remote working is becoming part of the new norm in a post-pandemic world, and this article will show you our top tips for setting up your home office to be as productive but comfortable as possible.
Try and set-up your office in a place with some natural lighting
Natural light is often seen as a way to improve productivity and concentration. If you tend to work later on in the day or you can’t set up your home office by a window, consider getting a daylight lamp.
If you decide a daylight lamp isn’t for you, make sure you adjust your lighting at home so that it isn’t so dark as to make you drowsy and cause strain on your eyes, but also not so bright that it’s off-putting and likely to give you a headache.
Don’t stay in one place for too long
When most people think of an office at home, they imagine a desk in a small room — but that sort of home office setup isn’t for everyone all of the time.
It’s a good idea to have a space where you can keep important work-related documents – but you don’t have to spend all your time at a desk. It’s equally possible to work well from your dining table, your sofa, or with a bluetooth headset in your garden, if you find that the weather is nice enough.
The important thing is to make sure you’re comfortable and that you can concentrate on what you’re doing.
Avoid those distractions!
If you’re in the 60% who worked from home during the first national lockdown, you’ll know how easy it is to get distracted. There’s always laundry that needs doing, a dog that needs walking or something else niggling at you when you’re trying to work.
If you’re lucky enough to have your home office in a separate room, then it’s easy to close the door and focus on your work. It’s much more difficult if you tend to wander around or like to sit on a sofa.
Calming music can help if you have pets, children or even a partner who might prove distracting otherwise. You could invest in some noise-cancelling headphones if you aren’t able to play this out-loud. If you know which room you’re going to be working in, see if you can tidy it ahead of your working day – that way, you won’t start doing it when you’re faced with an inbox full of unopened emails.
Lastly, make sure you have the right equipment!
If you find yourself working more productively in a traditional office space, you should consider investing in a proper desk and an comfortable, adjustable chair. This will be the heart of your home office after all, and it’s where you’ll be spending most of your time.
Although desks and chairs may be expensive, they will be worth investing in, especially if you intend on working from home in the post-pandemic world. You can also look on different marketplaces such as Gumtree, EBay, Craiglist or Facebook Marketplace for second-hand items which will usually always be cheaper.
Depending on your work, a laptop is usually more practical than a desktop computer, and it gives you the freedom to work from other spots around the house. A second monitor is also useful if you need to spend a lot of time cross-referencing spreadsheets or researching.