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How to set up your ‘work from home’ office

 

Back to Inspiration
Mar 23, 2020

 

 

 

Been told to work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic? Or maybe you’ve been working at home for a while now? We can imagine the temptation to slump on the sofa with your laptop positioned precariously and the TV on is strong – but try to resist!

Having a good working from home office set up will make you more productive and less prone to injury and overworking. Here’s some tips on how to set up your work from home office.

Separate work from home as much as possible

At the moment, your brain probably associates home with relaxing after work, eating and sleeping. Now you’re asking it to work instead of all the other fun stuff it usually does at home, there’s bound to be some confusion! Help yourself out by setting yourself up a dedicated working space so you can separate work life and home life more effectively.

How to set up a dedicated working space:

  • Whether it’s a separate room or your dining room table, try to establish a clear boundary around your working space. Perhaps close the office door when you’re working to let people know not to disturb you. Or face away from distractions and use headphones if you’re going to be sharing the space with family members, etc. Classical music or music without lyrics can be great for your concentration.

Remember to take regular mini-breaks to make hot drinks or simply walk around a bit. Nobody expects you to sit in front of your screen for 8 hours straight, so give your mind and body a little break every once in a while.

And when you’re done for the day? Log off, stop responding to emails and do what you’d normally do when you usually walk out of the office. This can be a little more challenging when you are working from home but you need to be strict with yourself to protect your health and wellbeing.

It is so important to unwind after work and make sure you’re getting good quality me-time. Here’s a few ideas to help you unwind:

  • Call a friend or family member for a good old catch-up. It can feel pretty isolating working from home all day so it’s important to maintain that social contact
  • Take a nice hot bubble bath and get stuck into that book you’ve ‘not had time’ to read lately
  • Get moving with a home exercise video or workout routine and get those endorphins pumping! It’s important to move after sitting at your desk all day
  • Go for a walk – it’s wonderful what a bit of fresh air can do for your mood

Get your lighting right

The way you light your work at home space has a direct correlation to how productive you will be. Think about it, would you rather work in a dark and dingy office block lit only by harsh artificial lights or an open-plan office space filled natural light? Good lighting can keep you focused, alert and at your creative best, while bad lighting can lead to headaches, eye-strain and a lack of motivation.

You may be a bit limited on how good your lighting quality is when you’re working from home but try to make the most of it. At least you have the control now, not your office manager!

How to light your home office space:

  • Make use of natural light as much as possible – try setting your work hours for when it is lightest outside
  • Test overhead lights and lamps to find the perfect balance for you – you may end up hogging all the lamps in the house but so be it!

Get comfy – you might to be here a while!

If your job requires you to sit down and look at a screen for most of the day, you should make yourself as comfortable as possible. Follow these monitor setup tips to support your eyes and neck:

  • Always keep your spine in a neutral position
  • Keep the top of the screen to eye level or slightly below
  • Position the monitor at least 50 cm from your eyes or futher away if you have a large monitor

All of these steps should result in your eyes looking down slightly when focusing on the middle of your screen. Tilt the screen back if not to help keep your neck correctly aligned.

Clean up the clutter

‘A cluttered room is a cluttered mind’, we have all heard that saying before, and it may have some truth in it. Spend a little time every morning de-cluttering your desk, making sure its clear of used mugs, food wrappers (no judgement here, snacking more while working from home is definitely a thing!) and other stuff you’ve accumulated the day before . This will clutter-ridden space will be less distracting while you work and will free-up space for important documents.



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