Working from home has become a sort of normal thing, so if you’re one of those favouring the remote way, don’t feel guilty.
Remote work may be comfortable, but this doesn’t mean you have to take it lightly. Separating this space from other parts of the house is crucial; otherwise, peak productivity could be lost. Just like commercial offices, home offices should be built with health and protection in mind, focusing on the exact same thing an employer does when it comes to ensuring employee safety. Thus, ensure you express that sense of ‘off-limits’ and avoid interruptions that could interfere with your work efficiency. And most importantly, treat this environment with much seriousness and make ergonomics a priority. Whether we talk about a small or large space, it has to promote healthy balance, meaning it should be neither too cluttered nor too empty and benefit from the technology needed to do your job effectively.
If you’ve just gone remotely and are looking for ways to build a home office that suits your needs (or perhaps you’re renovating your actual one), start with these tips:
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Use ergonomic furniture
It’s crucial to build your home office with ergonomic considerations not only for your safety but also for your well-being. Therefore, ensure you pick ergonomically designed furniture, such as chairs promoting a good posture. Your body size and shape are essential factors to take into account when purchasing desks and chairs for your home office. The desk, for example, should suit your height when you sit. Make sure you choose a desk robust enough to support the items you’re going to place on it, from desktop and laptop to mouse and keyboard. You should also be able to move comfortably and perfectly see the computer, so think about that when purchasing a desk. As for chairs, we recommend looking for chair manufacturers that value comfort and adjustability. It’s important to choose a chair that protects your spine and back during computer work and, if possible, that features free shoulder tech and a pelvis balance point. This might sound exquisite, but since increasingly more manufacturers have started to research the biomechanics of seating, finding such advanced chairs is more than reachable nowadays.
Apart from desks and chairs, also pay attention to items such as footrests, soft keyboard pads that promote rest for the wrist, and ergonomic mouse instruments designed to fit your hand. Since it’s your job to create or write most of the time, you should make it as enjoyable as possible, and you have no idea how much furniture contributes to this. Not to mention that ergonomic furniture is a must for employers, too, who have the legal obligation to ensure their labourers are safe from workplace hazards. Don’t forget that if your employer doesn’t provide you with adequate working conditions and, as a result, you get injured or develop a disease, it’s your right to claim compensation for the damage. Specialists from AccidentClaims.co.uk recommend employers conduct regular risk assessments and provide the right PPE.
Design a space with adequate ventilation for air quality
Air quality is often neglected when it comes to a room’s safety, but it is crucial to one’s health. Proper temperature and ventilation contribute to a healthy respiratory system and make the environment much more comfortable to work in. You may want to consider an HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system to control the air quality and temperature in your home office and thus adapt it to your preferences and needs. You can choose from various types of HVAC equipment, so don’t worry about not finding what you might be looking for. If natural light is also accessible, ensure you utilise it to reap the benefits of vitamin D.
Prioritise layout and be organised
A place where everything is in place promotes productivity and welfare. So, ensure you design your home office with storage requirements in mind and avoid the chaos of clutter and disorganised piles. Solutions in this regard are as simple as business card holders, trays to keep writing instruments in a single place, or pencil cups. In fact, there are so many storage solutions out there that you will find it hard to choose something. However, what matters, in this case, is your flow of paper and work. You can organise your office exquisitely and at a rational cost if you plan it all wisely.
Pay attention to the lighting
Lighting is an essential detail to be mindful of as it contributes not only to the room’s overall design but also to your safety. Proper lighting in your home office protects your eyesight from damage or harm while promoting concentration. On the other hand, poor lighting can disturb your sight and, in the long term, even result in serious eye conditions. That being said, ensure your office features both general and task lighting. You should avoid shadows, excessive brightness, and glare, as they might impact your focus and hence decrease work productivity.
Preferably, include as much natural light as possible. So, if the room has a window, be sure to place your desk at the side of it. A common mistake is placing the table in front of it, but this way, you will only have part of that unwanted glare. However, if natural daylight isn’t available, ensure you incorporate a mix of task and general lighting and, if possible, get a dimmer switch to control the amount of light in the room and suit it to your needs.
Ensure you have the right equipment
It doesn’t matter that you’re not in an actual working environment but one of your house’s rooms – you still have to pay attention to the equipment used. Apart from a desk, chair, and computer, you may also need a wireless hub or a large colour copier. A separate phone line might also be required, so be sure you assess your needs carefully. In some cases, the employer you’re working for (unless you’re self-employed) provides the needed equipment, so feel free to ask them about this before signing that contract.
You have to design an office that encourages productivity and health when working from home.