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Now that the UK government are stipulating that people must work remotely whereever possiblein reaction to COVID-19, it is the case that, many don't have a dedicated home workspace or are not aware of how to create an acceptable ‘workstation’. Working remotely isn’t the worst outcome and can actually benefit you. Remote working gives you the advantage of better work-life balance, and takes away endless hours of commuting stress. However, when you’re working from home you need to create the best possible workspace at home. Whether it be creating an instant home office using your existing resources or sourcing new furniture to create a productive workspace, here are some tips that we recommend.
The first step in your “work from home” journey is to designate an area of your home specifically for getting work done. If you have a spare bedroom or a study, it’s probably time to use it as an ‘home office’. Try and avoid working from your bedroom as it’s a productivity killer, so even if you do not have a spare room, working from a kitchen or living area could make all the difference. Psychologically it's really not conducive to work out of your bedroom and can induce cabin fever (that’s if self isolation hasn’t done so already). Regardless of space or location, establish an area of your home where you will work, and commit to working in this space every day. Finally, it’s best to make an effort to create a quiet workspace so you can focus on the task at hand.
Although the comfort of your own bed or sofa may seem like the ideal place to plant yourself for the working day it isn’t entirely recommended. Understanding the body’s mechanics and the importance of sitting correctly is an essential thought when designing your home office - working with the correct posture can help avert the most common causes of back pain and work-related disorders. It's likely that your most-used office tool is your computer, so creating a space to accommodate that should be an important consideration. The ergonomic advice is that the top of your monitor should be at eye level, and your forearms parallel to the floor in the typing position. The next item to address is your choice of seat, although it may seem easy enough to use a dining chair or even a bean bag, it is not recommended! If you are putting in the hours, it is key to have a comfortable and reliable ergonomic chair, one that offers high ergonomic qualities, comfort and durability. If you are lucky enough to have a bigger budget, you can even match the chair to your interior design with a vast range of style options.
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Suitable lighting is an essential aspect to a productive workspace. Having access to natural sunlight is the best option, however isn’t always accessible, so ensure that you evaluate your indoor lighting options. The traditional main light may suffice although there are other options available that will promote a successful workspace, such as task lighting. Although commonly deemed as a luxury, a task light is an important feature in a perfect workstation. Task lights help to reduce eye strain, improve computer-based reading comfort and reduce energy use and costs. The majority of modern task lights feature a sustainable design and use LED technology, so you can work in comfort and shrink your carbon footprint simultaneously.
One of the greatest benefits of a home office is you can personalise it to your liking, without any restrictions from your corporate overlords, so don’t forget to add your own personal touch. Adding elements which directly appeal to yourself can help spark creativity, provide inspiration and give you spurts of happiness throughout the day helping to boost productivity. Common additions to a home workspace are your favourite artworks on the walls, pictures that mean alot to you or posters of your favourite sport team/musical artist. It’s also common to decorate the walls with favourite colours/patterns and fill empty spaces with ornaments. There are limitless possibilities available so make sure you create an environment in which is one you feel comfortable and excited to work within on a daily basis.