We all are tired of listening to the news about COVID-19. The impact on our health and wellbeing is not known yet. But what we can see is that people are trying to adapt to the situation. One of the critical aspects is working from home (WFH), a solution found by companies to continue operating during the Pandemic scenario.
It is a fact that we spend a large amount of time at our desks, compromising our health and mental performance. Neck pain, repetitive strain injury, physical stress, increased risk of diabetes, weight gaining and heart problems are some health issues associated with the work environment. Create a flowing working environment is what we aim. Come along, and we will explain what the essentials for your home office are.
COMPLEMENTARY SESSION TO DISCOVER HOW WE CAN HELP
YOU WITH YOU HOME OFFICE SPACE
The home office is not the same as working from home for a few days. It requires much more than a laptop, a mobile, on our kitchen counter or sitting on our sofa. Working from home requires a lot of discipline, excellent planning, time management and, of course, our work environment will be essential too. It is a must to have minimal comfort, privacy, good lighting, and organisation system in place to boost our productivity.
Some are lucky to have extra space that they can transform into offices spaces. However, the majority of us don’t have this luxury but don’t worry. I am here with a solution. Using this self-reflection with creative thinking, you will be able to create a great place to work that serves you and won’t compromise your performance.
Here are some points to consider:
Finding a place to work at home can be challenging. Narrow spaces, sharing houses, no natural lights, noisy neighbours, all these factors we cannot change, but we can observe to adapt our surroundings in a way that serves us best. What area can best help you? Is it your living room, or a small corner around the house? Don’t be afraid to move furniture, may find a new layout, a new form that suits you better.
Working on your PC each day in a different room hinders productivity and adaptation to a new routine. The ideal is to define the location in an area that is comfortable, private and reduced noise.
Once you have a designed area to have your home office space, it is a good idea to consider your equipment and furniture. Ergonomic workstations set up a conducive working posture throughout the day, which makes us healthier and happier. But, if you can’t invest in an ergonomic chair right now, look for a chair with a seat that keeps your lower back supported and your spine straight, preferably with armrests to avoid pressure on your shoulders.
Keep your PC in an appropriate position - PC camera should be at eye level. If you are using a notebook, a stand is vital. So users don’t force the neck and neck when looking at the screen.
Light matters to our wellbeing and task performance. The natural light can completely change the environment, helps to maintain concentration, as it activates endorphins in your brain, making us more active and savings energy. Ideally, place your table in front of or beside a window and avoid reflections on the screen. Think of ways to block the brightness on the computer screen.
Have good artificial lighting - Opting for lamps whiter than yellow. We generally tend to choose yellowish lamps for our home, because it brings feelings of comfort and welcome, but for work, white lights are better for our concentration and our vision as well.
It is also worth placing a flexible table lamp to assist in tasks that require more light. But remember that adjustable lighting, when used for a long time, can cause eye strain.
A strategy for identifying where the place to work is, is to create a distinction between work and home. Use colours to distinguish the space - different colour furniture or style, a rug or other object that delimits the workspace. If you have doubts about the colour, I always recommend that you choose neutral colours and invest in the decoration to awaken these emotions.
Bringing plants into the environment creates happiness in addition to helping with air quality.
Function over form is our motto. You don’t have to go crazy buying multiple items to get organised. Detox yourself from what no longer serves you - A cluttered space is off-putting and can be an invitation to feel overwhelmed. But someone will say: ‘I have an organised “mess”; I like working in the middle of it’. ‘I feel creative like that’. Yes, this can happen, but in fact, we all need an organised space, so we avoid chaos to provoke feelings of irritation, confusion and lose our focus.
Always prioritise simplicity and practicality. To create a cleaner look that doesn’t distract you from your activities, you need to have it clean.
For small spaces we recommend a vertical organisation, using shelves - at the top what you need least in your day-to-day, at the level of your eyes what you need most days, and at the bottom, the objects more thought out.
Organising your drawers and cupboards - it helps to accommodate small objects such as paper clips, pens and sharpeners, keeping items separate. I call them “homes” for our items. The main advantage is to speed up the process of looking for an object. Again, I am not saying to run and buy organisers, use your creativity by using materials we already have at home.
Allow yourself moments to stimulate creativity - If in standard office hours you can talk to colleagues, wonder in the outside area, go to the bathroom or have a coffee, it is also important to create pleasant moments when you are working from home.
Good examples: alternate work position between sitting and standing; place items further away from your desk so that you can move, without noticing it; take regular breaks, walking outdoors, reading for a while or even taking a nap for a few minutes after lunch. All of this will only make your day more productive by increasing your oxygen level.
Eat well! Sleep well! Drink well! Exercise!
You can adjust these tips to suit your specific needs, according to your demands.
Let’s get organise!