As the COVID pandemic continues and many businesses are looking to switch to remote working on a long-term basis, now is the time to look at setting up a more permanent office space. Creating the right setup for remote working is important for your health and ensuring that you’re able to do your job effectively. In this post, we take a look at how you can redesign your space to create a productive home office.
Make space for a home office
If you started working from home unexpectedly when the pandemic hit then you might have just set yourself up with a small space and a laptop. But if you’re not going back to an office any time soon then you should consider upgrading your workspace from the dining table or sofa and create a permanent home office.
If possible, choose somewhere in your home that’s separate from other living spaces — a spare bedroom, your garage, conservatory, or a corner of your living room. If you’ve got an open plan living space then consider sectioning off an area using bookshelves or room dividers.
Being able to work in a separate space will help you to get into a focused work mode at the start of the day, and also encourage you to switch off and relax when you’re finished. If your office is in the spaces you’d usually relax in then it’s all too easy to end up checking your emails in the evening or worrying about tasks you need to complete.
Choose somewhere light
An important thing to consider when setting up your home office is the lighting. Pick somewhere with as much natural light as possible. Place your desk near a window, but not looking directly out. Facing a window can make it harder to see your screen and hurt your eyes, and you can get easily distracted looking at the window. Fresh air from an open window can also help you to stay alert and focused.
If your office space is quite dark then use mirrors to bounce the light around, invest in a good desk lamp, and overhead lighting. Working away in a gloomy room is going to leave you feeling unmotivated, and adding more lighting makes a room feel bigger.
You could also paint the walls in light, neutral shades of white or grey that brighten the room, and consider using an accent color that boosts your mood and energy. For example, green is often good for office spaces as it reflects nature and encourages concentration. Purple is also supposed to encourage creativity and imagination. You can find a huge range of paint colors online from somewhere like Dulux, and they also have a visualizer to help you pick the right color by showing you what it will look like in the room.
Pick the right furniture
Long hours sitting in the wrong position are going to cause problems for your neck and back. It’s important to avoid hunching over or slouching down while you work so invest in the right desk and chair to stay comfortable and focused.
Pick a desk that’s big enough to hold everything you need each day, and has drawers so that you can keep your workspace clear. And opt for a chair that allows you to adjust the height and provides the right support for your back. You can find plenty of affordable office furniture online, places like Furniturebox have a range of desks and chairs that will help you set up a productive home office.
If your work involves a lot of paperwork, files, or equipment then you should consider getting drawers or storage furniture. You want everything to be accessible but keeping things tidy and organized is going to help you focus.
Improve your desk set up
A laptop is good when you need to move about a lot, but if you’re working from home for the foreseeable future then you need a proper desk setup. Add a wireless keyboard, mouse, and second monitor that’s adjustable so that you can have it set up for the right height and you don’t have to lean over to look at the screen. It’s not just beneficial for your health though, two screens also allow you to switch between tasks more easily and increases productivity.
It might be quieter than in the office when you’re working from home, but if it’s too quiet then add a speaker and listen to music to help you focus. On the other hand, if you’ve got noisy neighbors or building works going on outside, then noise-canceling headphones are going to be essential for staying productive.
Make the space your own
Your home office doesn’t just need to be functional, with everything you need to work lined up perfectly, it also needs to feel personal. Adding some extra touches that make the space your own will make you feel more positive and motivated to work.
Houseplants are a good way to add some nature and give you something to look at when you take your eyes off the screen, plus they can also purify the air. Or you could add photos, prints, or quotes from somewhere like Poster Store to the walls around your desk space that help motivate you. It’s important to create a positive space that encourages you to focus and promotes productivity.
Creating a productive home office is all about creating a space that minimizes distractions, and helps you to switch into a focused mindset. Not only will a well-designed office help you stay motivated, but it could also add value to your home if you decide to move, as more people switch to remote working.