Home Office

There are many of us who believed that working from home through COVID was simply a passing phase.

However, it is now very much the norm, and according to various stats released by the Office of National Statistics, it’s easy to see why.

? Nearly 80% of people who worked from home during COVID said their work-life balanced improved as a result

? Over 50% said they completed work more quickly at home rather than at the office

And finally …

? 53% said they felt less distracted when working at home than being at the office Of course, there are some downsides to working from home. We might be restricted for space or storage, lack the right equipment to allow us to do our jobs properly, or just feel distracted by family life.

But thankfully, many employers are willing to invest in their home workers' welfare. Plus, some types of equipment are so affordable that we can sometimes budget for it ourselves.

What will I Need when Creating a Work From Home Space?

1. A Spare Room

Please don’t work from your bed. It can damage your back, and this will cause you to become unproductive. Working from your living room is also a no-no.

What you need is a dedicated room for your work that you can make your own. A spare room is ideal, next to a window to help you feel invigorated and inspired.

If you’re short on space, you could use a guest bedroom and buy a foldable bed to save space. At a push, utility rooms or sheds could also be used, but they’re not ideal long term.

If you need to share your new office with someone, ensure your desks are arranged separately and consider buying headphones so you don’t become too distracted when hosting online meetings or trying to focus on an important deadline.

2. Privacy

If you’re working from home, you may have to deal with distractions throughout the day from other family members. This in itself is sometimes unavoidable, however, you shouldn’t feel obliged to complete chores throughout the day if it disrupts your flow or your ability to be productive.

Simply asking another family member to look after your kids can give you some free time to get some work done. Or, you could even have a door lock fitted to separate your office from the rest of your home and to avoid unnecessary distractions.

3. Equipment Furniture

The first thing to think about is buying the right office chair and desk. Using something like a kitchen table will only lead to bad posture and backache for years to come, so this is really important. Regardless of which chair you buy, ensure it is adjusted properly at the right height and that your arms and back are fully supported. Don’t just use a dining room chair - it’s not designed for long-term use.

When it comes to buying a chair, there is a lot of choices online, which is great, as this allows you to find something that matches your decor. Just remember, though, that actually turning up and trying a chair in a store is better, so you know it’s actually comfortable to use.

Using wrist supports and an ergonomic keyboard is another way to ensure your body gets the right support while working. Buy a monitor if you only have a laptop, and invest in a decent one - cheap ones have poor resolutions and can cause eye strain.

If you’re out and about a lot with your laptop but also use it in your home office, buy a docking station. This saves you from having to unplug and replug your cables all the time, which can be a pain.

Although not necessary for everyone, there are other pieces of equipment and tech that could benefit you in your home office as well. For example, a mouse, multi-function printer, surge protector, and external drive.

4. Tech for Video Calls

One drawback of working from home is that if we frequently join video calls, we lose some of our privacy, as the background is clearly visible to everyone. Green screens can counteract this. They’re affordable, and they allow you to change the background of your video call. Just make sure the background is appropriate. Would it feel right to pitch to a new client with beach background, for example?

Something else you might need is a high-quality microphone and webcam, and possibly even a headset. WiFi is also something you’ll need to consider, particularly if you make many video calls to customers.

While dropouts during a call may not be deal breakers, they don’t look good. What we’re saying is that don’t just choose the cheapest broadband package you can find. Choose something that actually suits your usage.

If there are lots of users and devices in your household, you’ll need to choose a high speed service. Finally, connecting your device directly to your router via ethernet guarantees a more stable connection.

5. And Finally… Home Comforts!

If you’ve moved into a spare bedroom for your home office, chances are the existing lighting won’t be suitable for work. The entire room needs to be illuminated, and you may also need a desk lamp for times requiring extra focus.

Regarding light, setting up a desk near a window is a great way to get this, and it can improve mood and focus. Just make sure the window is fitted with blinds as screens become illegible in bright sunlight.

You might need to buy some new furniture like a filing cabinet or cupboards, so there’s a place to store documents, files and stationery. And while we’re on the subject of stationery, don’t forget the basics. Wall planners in particular, are really handy!

For the final touches to setting up your home office in West London, add some pictures and wall art. Plants are also a nice touch as they can improve indoor air quality, improve wellness and even invoke peace during times of stress!

Written by John Rigg

Source London Estates

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