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Working from home: a guide to creating your new home office
The current situation we are facing has unfortunately changed our way of life more than we could ever have imagined in a very short amount of time. With working from home being actively encouraged wherever possible, it’s something that many people are now going to have to become accustomed to.
While some people may be able to easily adapt to this change, others may struggle. Getting into a new routine without the commute or the normal workplace atmosphere can be difficult.
One way to solve this problem is to create a working environment in your home that suits you. Whether you have a dedicated home office, or the kitchen table is your new desk, it’s important it creates a sense of calm to get you through the coming weeks or months.
How to make it work
We all know how easy it is to stay in your pyjamas and lounge around with your laptop. However, we can probably also all agree that this might not be feasible when we are looking at working from home for a long period of time.
In order to make your home office successful, it needs to be a working space which will inspire productivity. It needs to be a dedicated, organised area where you can fully focus on your work, in the same way you would at your office. A study from the University of Queensland has found that a workspace ‘enriched with plants’ can make you happier and boost productivity by 15%. It can provide benefits physically, mentally and emotionally. That is pretty incredible, isn’t it?!
Establish a boundary and routine
You should treat your home office in the same way you treat your real one. Just like your physical office was an entirely separate entity to your home, your home office should try to be the same.
By doing this it will encourage you to stick to your old routine. If you know you’ve got to get up for work in the morning, you’ll set an alarm and wake up on time and get yourself washed and dressed. This should apply when you are working from home too.
With your kitchen cupboards probably just metres away, maybe think about giving yourself a snack schedule. As the access to food is more limited right now, it’s important to ensure your cupboards will provide you with what you need until your next shop or food delivery.
Find time to exercise
Whether you wake up extra early in the morning for a jog or go for a walk on your lunch break, exercise is important. Fresh air can clear the mind like nothing else, and who doesn’t enjoy the sun on their face or the sound of chirping birds? For those lucky people who have gardens, you could do laps or lengths. Maybe even bring back the school bleep test?! However, not everyone has some outside space. For those in flats or apartments, try out some yoga or even burpees if you want to push yourself. There’s always PE with Joe!
Stick to workplace recommendations
Make sure you have easy access to fresh air and that you’re at a comfortable temperature.
If you’re going to be sitting at a desk all day, then you’ll need ergonomic equipment to take the strain away from your wrists, neck and back. These are all regulatory requirements of a standard workplace, so the same rules should be followed at home. Your home office should be equipped with a comfortable desk and chair which provides the support you need to sit for long periods of time.
It’s important to stand up, stretch and take regular breaks while working. In your normal office, you might chat to a coworker or go for a cup of coffee which is taking a short break without realising it.
If you’re now sitting at your home office working away for hours without any breaks or catch-ups, you can become tired and feel run down. Be sure to keep active in order to boost your productivity and look after your mental health. Leading mental health charity, Mind has some great tips on how you can still focus on your wellbeing during this time.
Having greenery around is always visually appealing, but it’s even more beneficial if it’s actually helping to clean the environment and free your headspace.
The next steps
To make this change work so you can adapt as soon as possible, the best option is to dive into it headfirst. No one knows how long this period of uncertainty will last for, so the sooner we get used to our new way of life, the better. Who knows, you could end up loving working from home and find that your home office really works well for you.
Just remember, staying in is the new going out. Stay safe everyone.
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