Setting Up Your Home Office

During the current climate of working from home, it is becoming increasingly important to have the correct home office setup. With long-term working from home becoming a reality, at least part of the week, it is important for your health to have a home office. 

The change to working practices often comes with no additional financial support from your employer. We are here to help you create an effective home office while spending no more than strictly necessary unless you want to, of course. 

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If you are feeling overwhelmed at the thought of designing your home office, we are here to help. Our ideas and things to consider can help you to make a productive start. 

Decision Time

The first thing to decide is where your home office is going to be located. If you already have an empty/spare room, this may be an easy decision. However, if you do not have a space in mind, there are certain things to consider when choosing the room. 

You should always consider lighting when choosing the room that will become your home office. If the room is going to have bright light all day while working on a computer screen, this can cause additional eye strain or headaches. Similarly, if the room has little natural light and so is gloomy all day meaning you need artificial light, this can be uncomfortable for long periods and costly too. 

We also recommend a room without too many distractions. A room with a television can be tempting to leave it on when you start work or after lunch. Also, a room with street-facing windows can lead to lost time watching the world go by. 

If you have other people working from home or a family that will be home for part of your working hours, we recommend the room be as far away from them as possible. This may mean having your home office on the second floor of your home, so there are fewer distractions. This will also make you less accessible for children who may wish to play while you are working. If you do not have a spare room, you could instead use attic or basement space, providing they are finished conversions, and it is safe to do so. 

Getting the Room Ready

Once you have decided which room you are going to designate as your home office, it is time to get the room ready to work in. If you have chosen a room that already had items in, you may need to find new spaces for them before moving in office furniture. We advise, rather than moving everything straight away, that you take this opportunity to declutter and donate anything you no longer need. 

If your room now has space to move in the furniture, you will need a minimum of: 

  • A desk
  • An office chair
  • Storage
  • Computer equipment necessary to your job role

You should ensure that each item of furniture is fit for the purpose you need it for. The desk should be big enough for you to work without being so big that it will become cluttered. You should ensure that the chair is ergonomic to provide the correct support for sitting all day. If you are not required to store any documents for work, you may find a bookshelf more effective and also practical. However, if you need to store anything confidential while working in your home office, there are a variety of lockable filing cabinets available. 

We recommend trying to use furniture that matches the décor in your home and the room already if possible. Also, repurpose furniture you already have or include furniture you can use for other things. A bookshelf for work that you can also use for personal books is effective. 

If you do not have a high budget, you can also recycle furniture for your home office, either furniture already in your home or from online recycling or reselling sites. Some of the selling sites online have excellent deals, and you can always refinish or paint wooden furniture to help it match your décor. 

Setup for Success

Now that you have all of your furniture and a room to put it all into, it is time to get the layout right. When deciding where in the room your desk will go, it is best to check screen glare before you move anything in. The right lighting is so important when working on computers, so ensure that there is no glare from either the electrical or natural light sources.

Also, you should ensure your room stays organized throughout the day. Desk drawers and regular filing are important for this. Also, clearing your desk of any unnecessary clutter at the end of each day, as you would in the office, is important. It is easy to become distracted when working from home and leaving items on your desk when you close the door each evening. Not getting into this as a habit is helpful from day one. Make a point to clear your desk at each screen break, so you have a functional workspace. 

Add decoration or personal touches, so the office feels less sparse and more welcoming. This is especially important if you have clients who will be visiting the office. Ensuring that it is clean and welcoming with areas to sit with clients is a must. 

Ensure that you have enough office supplies, keeping the receipts so you do not run out. Having adequate office supplies will make your day job so much easier. Practical storage places will help the room to remain uncluttered. 

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