In June 2015, a report by the TUC showed that over 4 million workers in Britain were working from home, an increase in 800,000 over the previous decade. The report, issued to celebrate National Work from Home Day also stated that this number made up 13.7% of the overall workforce; a considerable amount I’m sure you’d agree.
With so many people now using their homes as their , how to the homes cope? Is the office set up adequately? Do people have a dedicated space? Or are they, like me right now, balancing their laptop on their knees whilst sat on the living room sofa? My current situation is through choice, as I’ve recently set up my own home office, but this room is currently the coolest. Nevertheless, it’s not always easy to create a home office, so I thought it might be useful to pull together some ideas, and use some of my recent experiences to give you these tips on how to create a home office in 5 easy steps.
How to Create a Home Office in 5 Easy Steps:
#1 Locate Some Space:
Of all the steps this is probably the hardest. Finding the space in your home that you can turn into a home office can be tricky, but look more creatively and it will most certainly be there. So, all you need is somewhere that will hold your laptop/tablet/computer, perhaps temporarily, where you can pull in a chair and where you’ll have a wifi connection too. Now, scour your home. Where could you create such a space? it doesn’t have to be big, and could even fold away when you’re done, but it doesn’t need to be comfortable, and preferable where you won’t be distracted from noise, the TV or even the biscuit tin.
Perhaps you have a corner in the bedroom? Or maybe there’s space on your landing? Or even the dining room table will work? Where ever it is, consider what other pieces you might need to access and if they can be stored here too.
#2 Bring in the Light:
Hopefully you can create a space that works for your type of home working, and use one that has lots of natural light. It’s a real bonus to work in the daylight, and will be much easier on your eyes, and help your productivity. When I was recently designing my new home office, I purposefully positioned my desk next to the window. It allows me a little view, and brings in lots of natural light; brilliant for taking blog photographs too.
Sometimes the nature of working from home allows greater flexibility, perfect for working parents who want to do the school run, and so often you need to catch up on work in the evenings. If that’s the case you need to ensure you have some good task lighting at your desk or workspace. A decent desk light, anglepoise or similar will again be kind to your eyes and keep you bright and alert.
#3 Clear the Clutter :
Whether you can create a permanent or more temporary workspace, you need to keep it clutter free. A clear desk is a clear mind – you know that famous saying right?! Well true or not clearing away the clutter certainly goes a long way to creating an organised space, which allows you think and work more effectively. Not to mention how you’ll next be able to find that tax bill that needs paying.
So, creating a good filing system, backed up by sensible, clearly labelled storage system is imperative. Maybe you want it to look pretty too? No problem. We can easily accommodate that wish, particularly as there are lots of stylish yet practical office storage solutions available at all kinds of price ranges.
#4 Plan Plan Plan:
We all need to keep on top of our to do list, and none more so than those that work at home. It’s so easy to be distracted when you’re working alone at home, by all kinds of things. I should know, it doesn’t take much to drag me away from the laptop, particularly on a sunny day! But anyway what can you do to help you stay on track? Create a good planning system is the answer, one that’s visible to you at all times, reminding you to keep motivated and plough through that to do list.
For some people that’s simply a wall full of post it notes. For others it’s an organised noticeboard, or a set of hanging clipboards, and for some it’s an online planner. Whatever your method, it’s well worth building this into your office design (and it’s a good way to pretty up a wall too).
#5 Room with a View:
I mentioned earlier that I’d situated my desk next to a window which gave me a little view to look out onto. It’s really important to give yourself something inspiring to look at. It will help you feel connected to the room, and give you more motivation to get back to work if you enjoy being in the space. I know I certainly feel more productive now I have a great office space. So, if you don’t have a window, create your own view. Ensure that the wall you look onto is inspiring – use artwork that you love, family photos, creative prints or simply a great wallpaper design you’ve treated yourself with. Whatever it is, find something that works just for you.