Separating work from your home life is essential. Working from your kitchen table or living room chair may be suitable for short periods, but you should create a separate space if you’re serious about home working.
Almost 6 million of us work at home, official figures show – and it’s increasing. Employees in all sectors, specialities and services are given the freedom to work at home. There are incredible benefits to both the employee and employer when working from home, including productivity improvements and a better work/life balance.
But there are risks too. Without a dedicated workspace, employees can fall prey to distractions – and that’s not all. Working in a poor environment can damage your physical and mental health.
In this article, we explain why separating work from home by having a dedicated workspace is a more professional, productive and pleasurable environment and provide some tips on how to create the perfect home office.
Why a dedicated office space is essential
A dedicated workspace that’s designed and built for work is essential; here’s why:
It’s more professional
The average remote worker has spent 9 working days on video conferencing calls since the pandemic began. Video calls bring the importance of your background firmly into the foreground.
Dialling in the boardroom from your bedroom hardly shouts professional. Of course, in some cases, it’s unavoidable, but if you’re working at home for the long term, then a dedicated workspace is necessary.
It’s more productive
Your house is a home; it’s not an office. Unfortunately, that means it’s not set up for professional and productive work.
A dedicated office space, home office or workspace can be configured to help you be as productive as possible.
A desk, chair and monitor are a great start but don’t stop there. Think about what you need when you work from home. You may work on a laptop or desktop computer or something else. Whatever you need for work, build your work area around your requirements.
An office space free from household distractions and organised correctly is an investment in productivity that will pay you back.
Separating work from home is more pleasurable
We spend so much time at work; it should be as simple as possible to get your job done. Separating work from home and having a dedicated work environment where everything you need is set up and ready to go can make doing your job simpler and more pleasurable.
Having a space to work from home can help create distance and separation between your work life and personal life. Your home should remain home, and your office an office. While the boundaries have become blurred, creating a home office where you clock in and out can make the split simpler.
It provides protection
When you’re working at home, your employer still has a responsibility to keep you safe. One of the biggest risks to your health is damage to your posture when working from an unsuitable space.
A proper desk and professional chair can make working from home safer and more stable. You’ll spend hours sitting at a desk, so it should be as comfortable as possible.
It’s not just your physical health that can be improved when working from home in a dedicated office; your mental health can benefit too. Working at home can be stressful, with some of us struggling to establish barriers. A work area can help establish boundaries that reduce stress helping you to stay happy and healthy.
At the end of the day or working week, you can shut the door and focus on your family and friends until the working day begins again.
5 tips for creating the perfect home office
Here are 5 tips for creating a comfortable and cosy space to work and creating your perfect home office.
1. Find a separate space
Any home office or workspace should be as free from distractions as possible. Ideally, your office would be in a separate building, such as a workroom, where you can create the perfect space for working from home.
If this isn’t possible, find a room in your house where you have enough space for a desk and build your home office around it.
While it’s probably impossible to find a silent space in a busy family home, finding a quiet sport and creating the right environment for work is crucial to improving your productivity.
2. Choose somewhere light
Try and find somewhere to work with natural light. The rays of the sun coming through your office windows will make any workspace instantly feel more pleasant and comfortable.
Whatever room you use, you’re more likely to spend time in it if it has a good source of light. If possible, place your desk next to a window so that you can enjoy both the light and the view.
As well as natural light, think about other sources of lighting too. Even the darkest of spaces can be improved with well-positioned lights.
3. Plan out how to be productive
Before building your workspace, plan out the environment and prioritise productivity. You’ll want access to the essentials you need to be free to focus on your work tasks.
Think about what’s important. Do you need a computer, monitor, peripherals, printer and paper? Then build your office around that.
Whatever your business, profession, or speciality, improving productivity should be at the top of the list when planning your home office layout.
4. Consider comfort
As well as taking care of your brain, you also need to look after your body too – so make sure that your environment is safe to work in. If you sit in the wrong position for long periods, you can damage your posture causing long-term impacts to your health (which is why it’s not a good idea to work while lying on your bed!).
As well as a decent chair, make sure that you can easily reach everything you need when you’re sitting.
5. Invest in the best
If you’re lucky enough to have a big enough house with enough spare room, you’ll be able to create the perfect home office. For many of us, however, we don’t have this option.
Building a garden room or dedicated workroom is an investment in you and your career that can pay you back in several ways. First, it provides the ideal environment to spend your work hours, designed around your requirements. Second, when the working day is done, you can lock the door and return to your family and home. It’s the easiest way to create the barriers critical to establishing a positive work/life balance.
Finally, garden rooms are also an excellent investment for homeowners, improving the desirability of your property and increasing its sale price. They’re better for the brain, body and bank balance.