Creating the Ideal Home Office

 

One of the biggest benefits of living in the information age is the fact that it is easier than ever to work from anywhere. With cloud-based technology giving easy access to documents, email and shared projects, more people than ever are saying goodbye to the daily commute and hello to the home office.

Working from home gives unprecedented levels of flexibility, particularly if you are a working mother, allowing time to fit the school run and other household chores around your working life.

Perhaps the biggest challenge is to maintain a barrier of sorts between home and work commitments, which will inevitably compete for your attention. Key to getting this right is having a dedicated space where you can enter work mode. Let’s take a look at what makes the perfect home office.

The right location

You will be spending plenty of time in your office, so the first thing to consider is where it will be located. The box room might look ideal at first sight, but not if it means traipsing to the other side of the house every time you need a comfort break or a cup of coffee.

On the other hand, you do not want to be in the corner of the living room if there are too many distractions and other family members constantly coming in and out.

Think about natural light – a windowless corner is no fun, but if you are near a south-facing window, you might want to invest in some full height window shutters to guarantee comfort whatever the weather.

The perfect chair

In some areas, it makes sense to economise, but one area where you should really treat yourself is with a good office chair. No stinting and “borrowing” a spare dining chair; the last thing you need is to end every working day feeling like you have just completed the Tour de France!

There is a huge choice out there, and back pain experts Spine Health have published a useful guide on how to choose the right one.

Keep it cheerful

Definition between home and work is great, but this is still your own space, so it does not need to be corporate grey (use you love corporate grey of course).

Choose a colour scheme that inspires you, whether it is a vibrant primary colour or a soothing pastel shade, and have some nice pictures and accessories around. The advantage of the home office is that it is yours to create, so make it a place where you want to spend time.

A place for everything

For some people, it is easy to create a beautiful home office, only for it to be covered in stacks of paperwork within a matter of days. If organisation is not your strongest point, make it easy for yourself by thinking what sort of system works best for you.

Cube storage can be an attractive alternative to traditional shelving, as any space that you do not need for paperwork and office equipment can be home to pictures, books or knick-knacks.

Enjoy the benefits

There is no doubt that remote workers have the perfect opportunity to find the ideal work-life balance. However, achieving that balance does not happen by itself. Creating the right working space is a huge step towards enjoying the benefits and avoiding the pitfalls that working from home can bring.

What is your must-have office essential or top tip?

Choose Your Office Chair Wisely

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Looking to revamp your home office? Start with a good solid chair.

Photo credit

There are so many plus points to working from home. There are downsides of course, for example at this time of the year I look like a crazed courier fan with so many of them knocking at my door (I receive the odd parcel for work so they all know I’m at home which means any of my neighbour’s Christmas shopping deliveries end up here until they come home).

One of the key upsides for me, after flexibility and being your own boss of course, is being able to work where you want and how you want.

I use a laptop for work so sometimes, on days like today when it’s nippy and I’m that way out, you’ll find me working on the sofa in front of the fire. Once or twice I’ve worked on (or in) my bed. Now while these perks do tickle me from time, as someone who works full time from home as a freelance copywriter I can tell you that a proper office space is a must.

I’m not saying you need an extra room in your house even however, having a dedicated area to work is important. It helps keep you motivated, improves productivity and above all is better for your health.

If you spend as much time on the internet (Pinning office pictures on Pinterest) as I do you will no doubt have come across some beautiful examples of home offices that really do look gorgeous. I fawn over them as much as the next person however, I’ve got to say that the most important piece of furniture in my office is my chair. Not the most sexy choice but a decent chair and an ergonomically designed desk is perfect for posture, reducing eye strain, reducing the risk of RSI and more.

I don’t have fabulous posture, I have a rotator cuff injury that I’ve been told is RSI / work related (the way I sit and the hours I work) and both of these could be helped with a decent and properly set up chair.

My faithful office chair has been fabulous however it has seen better days now and doesn’t quite offer the same support. I’m in the market for a new one and to be honest want one that looks as good as it feels (I spend enough time in the office so deserve it). While I’d love one of these swanky boardroom tables my space and my business does warrant it just now, which probably means convincing Roy that I need one of those huge refillable water dispensers isn’t going to happen either.

Joking aside, a decent chair is important, as this fantastic ebook shows (lots of pictures and not too long so worth a look) for the practical as well as the mental. So my sage advice for today is to look after your bottom first when reorganising or furnishing an office.

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