Learn How You Can Make the Perfect Home Office
Working from home has never been more common across businesses than at this moment in time. With a worldwide pandemic spurring companies into action, those who once feared the idea of letting employees work from home are now embracing it with open arms. It’s up to employers to provide the right technology and provisions to make it work. This, however, stops short of providing the office equipment needed for your home office.
Office furniture and stationery suppliers, Viking, have used their expertise to put together a few simple steps to creating the perfect home office.
Make the Desk Your Centre
The desk is the centrepiece of any office, so it’s important that you get this right in your workspace. This means finding a desk that’s the right shape and size for the space you have available, giving you enough room to do your work effectively and not feel cramped. Further to this, setting up an office in your home means you need to like the look of your desk and have it look stylish in the space.
Placing your desk in the front room or kitchen might seem like a good idea. However, these areas can be very distracting. Where possible, try to put your desk in a separate home office room. A place where you can get your head down and work without distractions. If the only space available is in a front room or kitchen, try to face your desk away from tempting distractions, such as a television or that pile of washing up that needs doing.
The Chair is Key
Every office should be set up to comply with HSE guidelines for health and safety, this should be the same in your home office. A good quality, adjustable office chair plays a key role in making your office ergonomic and avoiding any potential health issues such as back injuries from working.
Keep it Well Lit
Find an area in your home that is well lit by natural light in which to set up your workstation. Not only will this natural light and warmth help improve your mood, but it’ll also make your workspace feel much more appealing. Working from home can make it difficult to sit down and focus, an inviting environment should be a big help with that.
Make Sure You’re Equipped
When you’re working in an office, it’s easy enough to go and get new supplies from a store cupboard. A pen running out doesn’t have to be a major issue. If you’re not fully prepared in your home office and this happens, it can stop you in your tracks and cause major inconvenience. Make sure you’re fully stocked with everything from highlighter pens to printer paper.
Don’t Allow Clutter
A cluttered workspace can lead to a cluttered mind. Make sure that you keep your desk and the surrounding area nice and clear of any unnecessary items. Your desk should just have a computer, notepad and anything else you specifically need to do your job. Resist the temptation to have your mobile phone or anything else that could lead you into distraction sitting on there.
Set Your Goals
When you’re setting up your workstation, consider things you could implement to help you reach your goals. If motivation is a problem, try using an area of wall for post-it notes that you can remove when a task is complete, or invest in a wall calendar to keep a track on your ‘to do’ list. These ideas will help you physically see the progress you’re making.
How Employers Can Help With Your Home Office
All employers will be aware of the HSE guidelines in place for working in the office. But what happens when staff have been uprooted and are now working remotely? It’s not expected that employers carry out an inspection of your living room, making sure you’re set up to work effectively. But, there are several steps that can be taken to help ensure employers are doing their bit to care for their staff. Further to this, employers are still obliged to have a duty of care over employee health and safety. This is regardless of whether they’re on company property or not. Some steps to do this could include:
- Reminding staff of HSE and desk setup guidelines.
- Offering support to staff who are struggling to find the equipment they need.
- Ensuring line managers are regularly checking in on staff.
- Not asking staff to carry out any tasks that are unlikely to be possible at home.
Perhaps most importantly, employers should be keeping in regular contact with their employees. It’s vital for home workers to feel connected to their company. Checking in on how they’re feeling becomes more important than ever.
As much as this is expected of employers, there are also things that employees should do to help themselves. If you have a health and safety concern when working from home or something needs to change, you must let your employer know about it.
Working from home is something that many of us have probably spent years wishing we could do. However, the reality of it can be quite tricky. Being placed into a situation where this kind of work is forced upon us means we’ve had to adapt quickly. Don’t be afraid to do this with your home office environment too. If something isn’t working for you – change it. Make sure your space is set up to meet your needs and you’ll find success working from home.
For further tips and information, you can take a look at our Ultimate Guide to People Management Skills and our People Management Skills YouTube Channel. Also, check out our award-winning blog to see more People Management Skills Tips and HR Management Tips.