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6 Tips for Effectively Working From Home

May 2020 In DIY & Home Improvements

Although some of us may have worked from home before on the odd occasion (or perhaps regularly once or twice a week), working from home consistently for this length of time is probably new to many of us! 

As we’re now skipping the commute and working from home for the foreseeable future, it’s never been more important to set up your working from home space properly to ensure you stay healthy and productive. 

No matter whether you’ve got a purpose-built home office set up or you’re currently working from your dining room table, there are many things you can do to make sure you’re working from home to the best of your ability. 

We’ve put together six tips for setting up the perfect working from home environment, whether it’s for work, study or play while you’re in isolation!

1. Set a strict schedule (and stick to it)

Although it may be tempting to have a lie-in everyday and wake up 5 minutes before your first daily Zoom call, setting a schedule that’s similar to a regular work day can encourage you to remain productive and be useful in improving your mental health. 

To do this, purchase a whiteboard or diary and set out your schedule for the next day before you go to bed. There’s no harm in the schedule changing a little bit every day (for example, you may go for a run before work one day and in your lunch break the next), but trying to remain consistent and not lapse into working from home fatigue is important for the long term. 

Example schedule

7.30: Wake up

7.45 – 8.30: Go for a walk or run

8.30: Breakfast and get ready for work

9 – 1: Working time

1 – 2: Lunch and meditation

2 – 5.30: Working time

5.30: Chores and after work walk

6.30; Dinner

7.30: Relax (reading, Netflix etc)

9pm: Screens off

10pm: Bedtime

2. Set up your home office in the right place

Choosing where to set up your home office within your home can be the most important decision you make when it comes to your work productivity. You want it to be somewhere that’s secluded from the general goings-on of your home (ideally away from the main area your family is in usually during the day), as well as somewhere that’s spacious enough for you to let your creative ideas flow. It’s preferable to avoid setting up your home office in your bedroom, as this can interfere with sleeping patterns. 

Having a pleasant background of a piece of art for your video calls is also a nice touch!

Examples of good spots to set up your home office

  • Your dedicated home office space
  • Your unused second or third or fourth bedroom
  • The basement (if there’s enough natural light and it’s a pleasant enough environment)
  • A corner of the dining room
  • On a landing space if there’s enough room

3. Allow ample natural light 

Making sure we’re exposed to natural light during the day does wonders for our circadian rhythms, meaning we may sleep better at night and find it easier to wake up in the morning. Choose a spot in your home where there’s a large amount of natural light (we’re sure it will be easy to find one if you’ve built with Dennis Family Homes!) from a large window that’s going to help ease the strain on your eyes. 

If you can’t find a spot with good natural light, purchase a high-quality desk lamp with cool-toned light that you can use in your home office. 

4. Ensure your computer screens are at the right height

As any office worker will know, taking care of your neck and back and making sure you have good posture throughout the day is vital for avoiding annoying, niggling pains. Adjusting your computer screen to the right height by buying a laptop stand or just choosing the right surface to put your computer on will protect your muscles from strain. Your eye level should hit right at the top of your monitor screen if you look directly ahead for optimal positioning. 

5. Have the right chair

Buying a high quality office chair is also seriously important for staying productive and healthy while working from home. After all, you’re going to be spending a lot of time in it!

When purchasing your office chair, choose one that has an AFRDI certification and an eight hour-plus recommended sitting time. Finding a chair that has flexible and versatile positions (like being able to adjust its height, tilt, lumbar support, seat slide and armrest position) means you’ll be able to personalise the chair to your needs, leading to a more comfortable sitting experience. 

The ideal sitting position in an office chair is:

  • Feet flat on the floor
  • Thighs parallel to the floor
  • Hips slightly above your knees
  • Arms at a 90-degree angle to the desk
  • Your back maintains contact with the backrest of the chair

6. Keep your space neat and tidy

Just like you would in the office, it’s important to keep your home office space well-organised and free from clutter. It’s easy to lose track of important notes and paperwork in a messy space, so ensure you have all the tools to keep everything organised. 

This might include:

  • A filing cabinet
  • An in-tray and out-tray
  • A pen organised
  • Magazine folders
  • Labels and a label maker
  • Draw separators 

Optimising your space for working at home

We hope our tips for creating the ideal working environment at home help you to increase your comfort and productivity. It can be tricky blending home life and work life, but there’s nothing wrong with making yourself comfortable in the meantime (and setting yourself up for success!)

To make an appointment please call us on 1800 DENNIS or click here to leave your details and we will call you to set up a time.

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