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Working from home: Plan your perfect home office
by
Checkatrade

With more of us working from home than ever before, people up and down the country are looking to transform spaces in their homes into effective workplaces.

In an ideal world, a home office or work pod shouldn’t compromise on productivity or comfort. But, it’s not always easy to find a dedicated place to work from home, especially if you’ve never done so before.

That said, if you do need to work from home, it’s essential to create a space that is separate from the rest of the household, so you have a dedicated area to concentrate and get stuck into your work.

What’s more, home working can make it all too easy to blur the lines between work and leisure time, which is another reason why having a home office or work pod is vital. It enables you to leave the space and switch off at the end of your working day, just like leaving your usual place of work.

So, if you’re currently battling for laptop space on a crowded kitchen table or sitting on the floor in front of the coffee table, this is for you. Here’s our guide to creating the perfect home office or work pod.

Where to set up your home office

Many spaces in the home make great home office environments. Consider the spare room if you have one, creating an alcove office in an unused space or even under the stairs. You could even set up a garden office that is separate from the rest of the house.

First and foremost, determine how much space you actually need to complete your day to day tasks in comfort. Think about the type of working environment that will work for you and what will help you to be more productive during the day. Could supportive office furniture help? Would it inspire or distract you to position your desk facing the window?

After all, the location of your office will have a huge impact on your productivity.

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Keep your home office minimal

A space that is cluttered and untidy can have a negative effect on your efficiency and your general mindset. A home office should have minimal distractions.

Opt for simple furniture and office accessories that are easy to keep clean and organised. Make use of all your available space, including above you, but don’t overcrowd your office.

Organisation

Plan a home work podOrganisation is key in any office environment. Ideally, your home working space should enable you to be just as organised as you are in your usual workplace.

So, as well as keeping your office space as clear as possible, you should also invest in effective storage solutions. Everything should have its place so that you’re not left surrounded by piles of paperwork.

There are lots of office storage options available, from shelves and bookcases through to storage units, files and desks. Storage solutions should make your life a whole lot easier, without compromising on style.

Good lighting

Good lighting is paramount when you are working from home.

Of course, daylight is the most evenly balanced source of white light available. But, if your office or work pod isn’t near a window, there are plenty of lighting solutions available, including high-quality task lights and ergonomic lighting fixtures that will allow you to dim or maximise the light based on your preferred working needs.

Daylight-replicating light sources are also a great option.

Conference calling

The world of business rarely comes to a halt and just because you’re working at home, it doesn’t mean that you won’t be expected to conduct regular conference calls with colleagues, partners or clients.

With this in mind, when you’re creating your new home office, you should also make sure that you have the software, equipment and technology needed to be able to carry out all aspects of your job role, including conference calling.

There are lots of different platforms you can use for video and conference calls, including Zoom and Google Hangouts.

Let’s face it, video conferencing from your sofa isn’t very professional, so creating a dedicated home office environment is important if you’re going to be working from home. Think about what’s visible behind you and create a plain, uncluttered backdrop if you can. Oh, and remember to ditch the PJs for your call!

Ergonomics

Your health and wellbeing should always be a top priority, even when you’re working from home.

So, make sure to opt for home office furniture that is ergonomically designed, such as a comfortable office chair with lower back support, an ergonomic mouse shaped to fit your hand, a footrest, and supportive keyboard pads.

Personal touches

Finally, as you’ll be spending a significant amount of time in your home office, make it feel like yours. It’s your home, so it will already be more than familiar, but take time to think about giving the space a new identity as a place of work, complete with personal yet motivational little touches.

Of course, if you can see your move to home working becoming a permanent one, now could be a great time to put some grander plans in place.

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