How to make your home office the perfect environment for working.
The spread of COVID-19 has meant that more and more of us are working from home – maybe for the first time ever. It can be hard to think about the best way to be productive when working from home – but décor has a lot to do with it. Here at Frames, we are no stranger to home décor, as our made to measure picture frames are perfect for a wide range of projects. So, we have pulled together some of our top tips to help you to sort out your home office and make it more comfortable for your remote work.
Setting up your home office space
It is important to remember that your home office space is more than somewhere to put your equipment, it needs to work in terms of décor, lighting and overall aesthetic as well:
Tip One: Choose the best workspace for your needs
When you are looking for the best space in your home to set up your home office, you need to keep the following in mind:
• Will you be making conference calls?
• Do you need to be able to store work related things?
• Do you need to keep your kids and pets away from your work space?
We know from experience that moving round the home and trying to work from two or three spaces is way less productive than having a dedicated space. You also need to think about fresh air and temperature control as well, as it is really hard to concentrate if your workspace is too stuffy.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that the best temperature for healthy adults is 64oF, or 61oF for those who have allergies or respiratory concerns.
Tip Two: Make sure there is plenty of natural light
The second rule of a comfortable office is to have plenty of natural light as it can help you to be more productive. Research has shown, for example, that 40% of workplaces with good daylight had a 3% to 40% gain in productivity and sales, and 15% of workers in offices with natural elements, such as greenery and sunlight were found to be 15% more creative.
So, make sure your position your chair and desk in a well-lit room.
Tip Three: Install ambient lighting
So, we can see that natural light is good, but when working from home you may not always be working in the daylight – you might have to wait until the kids are in bed until you can really focus. Or you may live in an area where there is not much ambient light whatever time of day it is. This is where ambient lighting comes in.
The easiest way to ensure you have the light you need is to add a floor lamp next to your desk, or a table lamp on your desk. There are lots of interesting and stylish options available, so you can find something that fits your interior style quite easily.
Tip Four: Think about blue light
We need to get technical for a minute. When a computer screen is at ‘normal’ brightness it has a cold blue light, which is similar to natural sunlight. However, as the sun fades over the day the amount of blue light it emits also fades which is why sunlight viewed in the evening feels more red and warmer.
So, if you keep your screen light the same all day long, your body will be tricked into thinking that it is still daylight in the evening and this can cause eye strain, stress and sleep disorders. So, think about installing an app that can automatically change colour of your screen throughout the day allowing your eyes to adjust better to the change over time.
Tip Five: Make room for brainstorming
As creatives, we know that sometimes your best ideas come when you are not sat at your desk – so make sure you keep some space in your home office that will allow you to brainstorm and keep your creative juices flowing. Having a pinboard is a great start, as you can add pictures, fabrics, text etc – depending on what inspires you. You may also want to place some of your favourite inspirational quotes in ready made picture frames to really inspire you.
Tip Six: Add some personality with décor
One of the best parts of a home office is that it is the one area of your home that you can have totally in your own style. Great interior décor in your home office will not only make you feel like spending more time in there, but it will also improve your productivity also.
Studies have shown that a warm and welcoming working environment not only improves productivity, with a survey by BOSTI Associates (New York) finding that 83% of respondents surveyed felt that ‘artwork’ was important to their work environment.
When it comes to choosing colours for your walls and decorative pieces, keep the colour wheel in mind. Energy inducing colours such as orange, red or yellow work well in offices, as dull and dark colours can make you feel lethargic and lacking energy.
Tip Seven: Keep your office clean
As you can see, there are a lot of things to keep in mind when you are setting up a home office – including balancing your work and family time, getting the right equipment, what office hours you should keep, and how to manage tasks and calls. It can be really easy to forget about cleaning your space - especially if you normally work in an office where it is done for you.
Make sure, then, that you set aside some time each week to tidy and clean your office – both the room and the equipment that is in it. Clean all of the surfaces, using special disinfectants, spray and wipes.
How to deal with distractions
Once you have your home office set up, the biggest bug bear you will have been maintaining your energy and focus. Your supervisor will not be there to supervise you, and so it can be really easy to slack off. However, there are a few things you can do to make dealing with distractions a breeze:
Tip Eight: Segregate your working and living areas
We all thought it. Yes, working from home means we can work from bed in our PJs with our laptop. But, in reality this doesn’t work – your productivity will drop through the floor. Your brain associates certain areas with certain tasks, and so it knows your bedroom is for sleeping and not for working.
This is why it is so important that you have a designated area for work that is separate from where you do your living – and it should be as far away as possible from where you sleep. This will help your brain to associate the place you are working with being productive and work.
Tip Nine: Use a separate computer for work
Most homes nowadays have at least one PC or laptop, but you should keep your work computer and your home computer separate (if you can). This is because this will allow you to customise your work computer by eliminating distracting apps and software – in a similar way to how you would separate working and living areas.
Tip Ten: Maintain traditional working hours (as far as you can)
Many people opt for the freelance life as it means they can work whenever suits them as long as they get the work done, but it has been found that if you want to be as productive as possible it is best to maintain regular office hours (as much as you can).
Working for a fixed period of time every day not only helps give your day structure and keeps you in a routine, but your brain will automatically shift into work mode when you need it to. It is also better for your work life balance too, as being able to switch off after your office hours will help you to relax by persuing your hobby or spending time with your family.
Hopefully we have shown you some simple tips and tricks to help you build a more comfortable and productive home office by choosing the right décor, installing the best lighting and maintaining a clean environment to help you stay productive.
All of the customer service team at Frames are currently working from home, so if you have any questions about our picture frames please do not hesitate to get in touch. You can contact us between 9am and 5.30pm Monday to Saturday on 0203 613 8465, or email us at [email protected]
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