Working from home is a modern phenomenon, with hundreds of thousands of people now swapping their daily commute to work for a swift shuffle in their slippers into their new home office.
But just as performance can be enhanced in an ergonomically planned and aesthetically pleasing environment at work, the same is true of your home office set-up.
Whether you have a custom-built home office set-up, perch on the end of the bed, or opt for a standing desk in the kitchen, there are a number of things you should consider to get the most out of the space.
Here the home business insurance team at Adrian Flux, no strangers themselves to working from home, offer 10 tips for creating your perfect home office set-up.
1. Choose a room with a view for your home office
If you have the luxury of space – perhaps a guest bedroom or a conservatory that’s not used too regularly – finding the right place for your home office can be easy.
If space is at a premium in your home though, you will have to plan a little more creatively to find the best space to use.
You may need to consider a breakfast bar in the kitchen, an understairs cloakroom, your bedroom, the garage, a converted loft room or even a shed if it can be suitably powered-up and insulated.
Whichever space you opt for when creating your home office, it’s always a good option to go for a room with a view and plenty of natural light as this can help you feel good and may even boost your productivity.
2. Consider what you need
When planning your home office layout, you need to consider the essential equipment you need and then the little luxuries that you want.
If your work is computer based and you simply need a laptop, your choices will be simplified, but if you need access to a printer, reference books, and other equipment, you might have to spend a little more time thinking about where things should go.
3. Create a plan before buying equipment
It might be tempting to wing it, buy what you think you need for your home office and then move the furniture around until the space falls into place.
It would be better, however, to measure your proposed office space and create a floor plan of it. Then, when you invest in your desk, chair, cabinets and other equipment, you will know what sizes you can squeeze in and where each element would be best positioned.
4. Make sure your computer screen is at the right height
You could be spending eight hours a day staring at your computer screen when you work from home, so it is essential that you place it at the right height to reduce stress on your neck and eyes.
You may want to splash out on a screen riser to sit the monitor at the correct height for you, or you may rely on a pile of old cookery books. Whichever you decide, make sure the screen is at the correct height by:
- Adjusting your chair so the top of the screen is at or just below eye level.
- Move the monitor at least 20 inches from your eyes, further if you use a large screen.
- Tilt the monitor back a little so your eyes look slightly down when looking at the middle of the screen to help keep your neck in proper alignment.
5. Check your Wi-Fi and power supply for your home office
The more kit you need to use for work, the more power cable you will probably have. Avoid creating a spaghetti junction and use some sort of cable management system to keep them all tidy. And avoid overloading sockets with extension cables.
You can never have too many electrical sockets, so if you are working from home in the long-term, get a qualified electrician in to test your circuits and fuse box and add a few more sockets in your home office area.
While you’re at it, check out your Wi-Fi too. One of the joys of working from home is being able to take the odd couple of hours working in the garden or in another room for a change of scenery. Test your Wi-Fi router to make sure the connection is strong enough to ensure you can work unhindered.
6. Consider who will use the home office space
Consider who else will use your new office space – will you need a home office layout for two? Will the children need access to it for homework? Is your partner working from home too? Consider a setup where two people can work side by side at the same time and choose furniture accordingly.
7. Invest in an ergonomic chair if you can
You may work all day long in your pyjamas, but there’s no reason to slouch on the couch.
Sitting at a desk for long hours or huddling over a laptop on the settee without proper support can result in serious back problems. If you have a desk, invest in an ergonomic office chair too.
Ergonomic chairs are height adjustable and have
- 360-degree swivel base
- Adjustable back and armrests
- Adjustable seat depth
- Built-in lumbar support
8. Make sure your home office space has good lighting
Lighting is often overlooked when setting up a home office, but poor lighting can cause headaches and eye strain and that will ultimately leave you less productive.
Poorly positioned overhead lighting can create a glare on your screen or desk, making it hard for you to see. A better alternative might be a spotlight that can direct light exactly where it‘s needed.
Indirect light with diffusers that soften the light and reduce glare may be an even better option.
9. Include some little luxuries
People work better when they work happily, so treat yourself with a few uplifting elements in your perfect home office.
A little background music, inspiring artwork, favourite photos and a colourful pot plant or flower arrangement can help lift the spirits and keep you inspired while you’re working from home alone!
10. Check your work from home insurance
As one of the leading specialist home insurance brokers in the UK, Adrian Flux compares quotes from over 30 schemes to source competitive buildings and contents insurance for any situation, including those who work from home.
In some cases, your typical home insurance policy won’t cover you to work from home, which can affect your home insurance. If this is the case, call us on 0800 369 8590 for a quote.