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Creating The Right Working Environment At Home
Millions of employees are currently working from home. With uncertainty permeating the air, it remains unknown if or when people will return to offices, call centres and other workplaces en masse. If you’re based at home, it’s essential to ensure the environment in which you work is suitable. Here are some tips to help you adjust.
One of the most difficult challenges posed by the unexpected shift to home working is finding space. Many people haven’t got an office ready and waiting at home. While the dining room table or the sofa might have sufficed at the start, sitting on a dining chair tapping away at a laptop balanced on a coffee table isn’t a long-term solution. For those who don’t already have a home study, there are options. Turning a spare room into a temporary office could work, and it’s also worth exploring more extensive renovation work if you’re likely to be working from home for a prolonged period. Options include adding an extension, converting an attic or a basement or investing in a garden room. If you plan to do any kind of remodel, use sites like Snupit to find approved, reputable tradespeople, ask for a series of written quotes and figure out your finances first. Taking on a project will cost money, but it should add significant value in the long-term. Home working is likely to become increasingly commonplace, and buyers will be looking for spaces to work when viewing properties. If doing work to your home isn’t viable, section off a zone of the living space. You could use a screen, a curtain or simply close internal doors during working hours.
It may seem like the dream to wake up, throw on a dressing gown and commute to the sofa every morning, but it’s not sustainable to spend long periods slumped on the couch or perched on a kitchen chair. Your posture is essential when sitting or standing for hours on end. If you’re not comfortable, you’re not sitting straight, or you’re reaching to type, you could be at risk of shoulder, neck and back pain. It’s worth asking your boss about providing office furniture if you’re going to be stationed at home for a long time and investigating desks and chairs if you’re a freelancer or you hope to work from home more frequently in the future. Your chair should be adjustable and it’s wise to look for a chair that has additional lumbar support. If you can change the height of the chair, this will enable you to make sure that your computer or laptop is in the right position. The monitor should be at eye-level, and you should be able to rest your wrists on a flat surface to type. It’s also useful to buy extra storage for your home if your kitchen table or spare bedroom has become overrun with papers, files, notebooks or computer paraphernalia.
Most of us work better when we’re in a quiet spot. Our homes are often not designed for working, and you might find that you have to contend with the TV, children playing, pets making noise or sounds outside. Try and choose a spot that is as far away from the hustle and bustle of everyday home life as possible. If you’re next to a road, or you have young children or housemates and you don’t have the space for a separate office, keep your door closed during working hours, use noise-cancelling headphones and make sure everyone is aware of your schedule so they know not to disturb you during meetings. If you have room in the garden, and you’re looking for a more long-term solution, it’s worth looking at garden rooms, large sheds and log cabins.