Our new “working from home” status is likely to continue long after the coronavirus is deemed under control. Many of us have had to adapt our lives to working from the kitchen table, or for those lucky people, from a dedicated study/home office.
We’ve put together our top 10 list of what to consider if you’re setting up a study in a new house, or just wanting to adapt a room in your current home.
1.) CHOOSE THE RIGHT ROOM
If you’re buying a new home with a dedicated study then you’re halfway there! If you’re looking to use a bedroom or dining room for a home office then choose a room that is ideally away from road noise (and children playing), and one that is light and airy. You don’t need a large room for a study, just one where you can walk around and sit back down, so try to avoid your desk being next to a wall.
2.) AN ERGONOMIC CHAIR
You’ll spend a large part of your day sitting so you need a comfy, ergonomic chair to ensure good posture that supports your back (get the best you can afford and look for good reviews).
3.) A GOOD SIZED DESK/STORAGE
There’s a lot to fit onto a desk and being uncluttered will help with your productivity and mindset. Ensure you have enough room for your PC, screen and paperwork. To keep the workspace clutter-free, think about storage and shelving. It’s useful to be able to keep pens, post-its and staplers in a drawer. If you need a printer, consider where this will go, and if you need suspension files, you’ll need a suitable set of drawers for these. Although we should aim for a paperless office, having a good set of drawers and/or paper trays will keep your paper trail under control.
4.) NATURAL DAYLIGHT
It will certainly boost your mood but in the darkness of the winter months and for night-time working, choose a mix of ceiling lights, floor lamps and lights that suit the work you are doing. Think about where you will position your screen as you don’t want it facing direct sunlight.
5.) GET THE TEMPERATURE RIGHT
Whilst daylight is important, being too hot or too cold will affect your work. Having a well-ventilated room will reap many benefits, and if it’s too cold, then pop your radiator on, or invest in a portable heater to warm up in those chilly moments.
6.) KEEP IT CLEAN AND TIDY
Easier said than done some days, but a clean room and tidy desk will help keep you focused and your mind on your work. Try to spend 5 minutes at the end of every day putting things back where they belong and tidying up, ready to start afresh.
As Zoom and Teams become the norm, your study should be clean and tidy and highlight your professionalism. Even if you do tend to be a bit untidy, clear up for meetings – or at least on the side of the screen your colleagues will see!
8.) MAKE IT YOUR OWN
We all have personal lives and most of us like to surround ourselves with familiar objects. Although we’d suggest you don’t over personalise your office if you have a lot of meetings, a family photo or child’s drawing will make the space feel welcoming and personal to you.
Even if you’re a long way from the kitchen, getting up and stretching your legs to go and make a coffee/get your lunch is important to your well-being.
10.) TAKE TIME AWAY FROM YOUR DESK
It’s easy to get caught up in a ‘work all day’ scenario. Research shows that having some downtime is very important and can actually make us more productive. Take time to move away from your desk/study and get some fresh air if you can, and certainly for mealtimes. Take regular 5-10 minute breaks throughout the day and after sitting for a long time.
For some extra inspirations, here are a few of our favourites from our luxurious showhomes!