Working from home is a great way to save time and money on travelling so that you can spend more of that time with your family, but none of that will matter if you can’t get things done.
No matter where your boss and colleagues are based, they’ll expect you to get a good amount of work done each day – and the pressure is even greater for anyone who runs their own business or works as a freelancer.
With the wrong home office setup (or no setup at all), you could be risking your mental health and job performance in the short- and long-term future.
So how can you make sure your job – and your health – are safe?
Set yourself up in the right environment for success by answering these 5 questions!
What if I don’t have a home office space?
Before the pandemic hit, not having a home office space was more common than you might think. Now, the shift to working from home has forced many people to find work-friendly spaces in their homes that may not have previously existed.
The good news is that you don’t need a whole lot of resources, time, or money to pull together an office space on a budget! All you really need is a good-quality chair, a desk, and of course, whatever device you’re using to do your work. Set it all up near a powerpoint and you’ll be ready to go!
How much storage space should a home office have?
The amount of storage space you need in your office is entirely up to you. That said, no one wants to work in a broom closet or a cardboard box, so don’t short-change yourself.
The average home office space takes up between 15-45 square metres – plenty of room for a sizeable desk, a comfortable chair, and a few home comforts to keep you in good spirits throughout the day.
If your room is smaller than that, or you have a team to account for, you might be better off hiring a coworking space or just taking regular breaks throughout your day. Your brain will thank you for it!
What kind of lighting is best for the office?
After a litany of different studies into workplace productivity, there’s no doubt that plenty of natural sunlight is the ultimate office lighting situation. However, there are times when natural light isn’t quite enough.
If you’re struggling with the glare from screens and experiencing headaches, it could be a sign that your office lighting is letting you down. Don’t panic, though – you don’t have to knock a hole in the wall just yet!
Start by moving your furniture around so that your work surfaces receive as much natural light as possible, and then prepare yourself for work after dark with a quality overhead light or strong desk lamp. For bonus points, invest in a pair of blue light glasses to offset the screen time.
Productive home offices start with natural light (source: https://unsplash.com/photos/p8DjPfqEhW0)
What kind of indoor plants are best for offices?
It’s no secret that plants are awesome for lifting the mood in a room, but nothing brings it back down again like brown, wilted leaves and dead flowers.
If you know you want plants in your home office, do your research into what each type of plant needs and create conditions to suit. This way, you’ll get to experience the joy of watching your plant grow and flourish alongside your productivity – and your career.
As a general rule, the best indoor plants for offices include Bromeliads, Peace Lilies, and Walking Irises for your desk, while Yuccas and Janet Craig plants do very well on the floor.
How do I choose a home office chair?
Without a doubt, your chair is one of the most important pieces of furniture in your home office, and it pays to put some thought into the selection process.
There are plenty of features to consider, from the height and width to the type of material and the support it offers – all important questions when you’ll be spending hours in the chair each day.
Research is great, but the best way to choose an office chair that works for you is to go to a dedicated office supply or furniture store and take a few options for a test drive!
To create a positive, productive environment in your home office is to invest in your career and your mental and physical health, three things that always deserve your attention. If you’ve been feeling stuck in your home office space, these tips will help you get onto a different path and change up your approach for good.