While a small, yet growing number of people work from home on a full time basis, it’s becoming common for many workers to spend some time working from home, even if only an odd day here or there.
With employers recognising the value of a good employee, and technology making it possible, many companies are allowing workers to structure their work around family and other commitments. When managed correctly it can be a win-win for both employer and employee.
There are pros and cons to working from home—less time spend in traffic gridlock and minimal interruptions by co-workers stopping by your desk—however, on the flipside some workers can feel isolated and out of touch with what’s happening in the office or find it difficult to stay focussed when there’s housework to be done.
Whether you’re buying a new home in the near future or staying put, there are many things you can do to ensure you have a workspace that will inspire you and be functional at the same time.
Allocate Dedicated Work Space
If you work from home on a semi-regular basis don’t be tempted to simply ‘make do’ with working on the kitchen table or perching on the lounge with the computer on your lap. Find dedicated space, no matter how small—there are plenty of slim desks available or have one custom built into a nook or irregular space in your home.
Those who work from home on a regular basis should aim to have a larger workspace. If you have a spare bedroom consider converting it to an office (bonus: you can close the door at the end of the workday), or alternatively, allocate a section or corner of a room where you can work quietly. Try to avoid spaces where other family members will gather during your work hours.
Source the Right Equipment
Each person’s requirements will differ depending on their job, however, you should give some thought to the equipment you’ll need to work productively. If you work long hours consider a desk that allows you to stand up and invest in a quality ergonomic chair. Buy clever storage or filing solutions to accommodate any paperwork, stationery or equipment you use. Make sure you use a reliable internet provider, buy quality electronic equipment and create regular backups of your work. Investing in reliable equipment and services will mean less stress and minimum downtime.
Keep a Schedule
While it’s okay to be flexible (after all that’s one of the bonuses of working from home), aim to keep regular start and finish times. Don’t be tempted to constantly work late into the evenings as you’ll rob yourself of ‘wind down’ and leisure time.
Natural light is the best medicine when it comes to working long hours, especially if many of them are spent looking at screens ie. computer, tablet, phone. If natural light isn’t available where your home office is located then invest in good quality lighting and lamps to help reduce eye strain.
An advantage of working from home is being able to personalise your space without it affecting co-workers. Include a few things that make you feel uplifted and happy such as family photos, wall art, scented candles, plants, soft music.
If you’re currently looking around for a new home, remember to add ‘perfect home office space’ to your wish list and take it into consideration when you’re attending open for inspections.