Still Working From Home? – Penny Lynch

You probably upgraded your internet speed at the beginning of the first lock-down, when everyone was at home and we were all wanting more bandwidth. But what about your work-station, is that fit for purpose?

It is important to carve out space that separates your job from your personal life, wherever possible. It will help you to focus on the work, at the start of the day, and allow you to step away from it at the end.

When choosing a place for your home office, think about how you’re going to use it. Will you be making conference calls? Will customers be visiting? Do you need to keep children or pets out? Do you need a place for storage?

  • Try not to be a floater! Having a fixed office/work space will make you far more productive by ensuring your work paraphernalia are in one place and not scattered around your home.
  • One of the best things about having a home office is that you can choose the colour scheme. A light and bright scheme will keep energy levels high.
  • A comfortable chair is the heart of a productive home office. You’ll spend nearly half your day sitting on it so investing in a good one will make a notable difference to your work life.
  • When dealing with variable desk heights, a footrest makes it easier to embrace the proper use of your other ergonomic furniture by keeping your feet firmly planted in the correct position.
  • We all know that sitting for extended periods is bad for our health and this might explain why many people these days are opting for standing desks, enabling you to raise and lower the height as needed. If your budget doesn’t stretch to a new desk, consider a riser that will still allow you to raise your work-station, without changing the whole desk.
  • Reducing clutter is great for calming the mind and enabling a sharper focus.
  • Basic cable management can go a long way towards improving your office aesthetic. It’s also fairly cost efficient, clamps and/or zip-ties work well.
  • A second monitor is the closest you can get to a productivity superpower. An additional screen makes so many tasks easier — coding, designing, writing and researching.
  • The humble mouse and keyboard are often ignored for larger, flashier equipment, yet they play a crucial part in improving productivity and comfort. Try using a mechanical keyboard, while they might be slightly more noisy, they offer unparalleled typing comfort. For the mouse, choose something larger that fits your hand comfortably.
  • If you are going the whole hog then sockets positioned just underneath the desk about 50cm above floor height ensures that you can have your cables hidden from view and loose cables can be secured onto hooks underneath the desk.
  • When it comes to a smaller home office, maximising floor space is a priority. Wall-mounting anything frees up both physical and visual space. Think desk and lighting to start with. This is particularly useful in a narrow room where a traditional desk might not easily fit.
  • Viewing nature has a strong effect on wellbeing, so if you have a great view from your home office, lucky you, if not some strategically placed art-work is the next best thing.
  • Appropriate temperature control and fresh air is important to consider when you set up a home office. It’s impossible to concentrate when working in a stuffy room, so make sure your working space is well-ventilated.
  • A few green plants will not only add a dash of colour to your office space but also increase happiness and reduce stress.
  • Natural light is good, but if your office is lacking light try placing a rope or two of LED lights around your workspace. They are fairly cheap to buy and create a lovely soft ambient light. A desk or floor lamp near your workspace can also add some warmth as well as a bit of personality to your space.
  • Unfortunately, when you work at home, the office cleaners don’t visit in the small hours to leave things spick and span for the morning, so do remember to clean regularly. Lots of equipment in your office means that dust can build up fast. Have a good quality microfibre duster to banish the dust-bunnies.

Penny Lynch
07763 862470

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