Working from Home: Setting Up Your Space

Working from home has become the norm for many people across the globe. For a lot of us, it could be the first time you’re actually taking your work out of the office; understanding the best way to stay safe and productive in your personal space is important.

Setting up your work space at home

Designate a Work Space

If you’re lucky enough to have a home office, this one is easy; for those of us that don’t have a dedicated room to sit and work in, pick a spot in your home and stick to it!

Things you’ll want to consider when choosing a spot for your work space:

1. Light – natural light is the best way to keep your spirits up when tied to a computer screen all day. However, you may need to account for glare, so sitting right next to a window may not always be the best option. Think about what kind of light you’ll need in the evenings as well, as artificial lighting should be bright enough to let you get on with work without being intrusive.

2. Position & Posture – if you have a dining room table, setting up at one end gives you a good amount of room to organise any paperwork you may have as well as giving you enough space to work comfortably from a keyboard and mouse. If you don’t have a suitable table or desk to work from, be mindful of keeping yourself comfortable as well as healthy. Posture is incredibly important, so slumping on a sofa for hours a day should be avoided as much as possible. Investing in a full keyboard, mouse and a raised lap-tray to keep your laptop screen at eye level will go a long way towards preventing long term back, neck and shoulder pain. You could even try switching to a standing desk at your kitchen counter! For more advice on how to sit at your desk properly, please take a look at these NHS guidelines.

3. Personal vs Professional – Do everything you can to keep your work separate from your home life. If you’re able to keep all of your work in one room, do so – avoid working in your bedroom where possible to ensure that the line between your office and your bed doesn’t become blurred! Ask your employer for a dedicated work device instead of using your own, or perhaps set up a separate working account on your own PC. Finally, designate a specific space in your home to store your equipment and paperwork; ensure it’s not always directly in line of sight once you’ve finished for the day.

Working Effectively in your Space

It’s not all about the space you set up physically – you also need to get into the right headspace. It’s usually easy to concentrate when we’re in the office, as we condition ourselves into the right frame of mind as soon as we walk through the door. When there’s no door to walk through however, it can be a little harder to maintain focus.

Things you’ll want to consider:

1. Communication – Keeping in touch with your colleagues regularly is important. Take advantage of the myriad of audio and video call platforms available and schedule in regular catch-ups with your team to help tackle the loneliness of working at home. Conversely, those of us that have families to tend to also need to be completely on the same page regarding when it’s time for you to be left alone to get on with work! We talk more about working from home with children here.

2. Business Hours – A strict open and close routine is essential. Keep to your assigned business hours, and make sure that when it’s time to stop work, it’s gone – even if that means taking 10-15 minutes to put all of that paperwork and equipment back in a cupboard or corner. It’s really easy to dip in and out of work when there’s so many distractions, but keeping to a routine can really help towards staying productive.

3. Breaks – regardless of where you’re working, everyone is entitled to an uninterrupted break during the day. At home, you may find it easier to have several smaller breaks as opposed to one lunch break – find out what works for you and build them into your routine. Once you’ve determined what breaks you are having, stick to them!

We can Still Help at Home

Whether we’re working in the office or from home, Select’s team of highly trained consultants are fully equipped to either help you find your next move or add to your remote team. Our business hours remain the same, so to find out how we can help maximise your time in and out of the office, contact your local Select office.

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