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I’ve been very quiet on this site lately and that’s because… I’ve been busy moving house! This means that, amongst other things, I’m setting up my home office all over again. the 2023 version is much more roomy, as I’m not confined to a corner of a guest bedroom, which has made a massive difference to how I’m going to organise my space. As I was getting my books out of boxes and began filling the shelves in my new office, I thought I should share the tips I’ve picked up over the last few years that have made working from home more comfortable. Here are my top three ways to create the perfect space for working from home.
Get your desk set up comfortably
As someone who used to be responsible for carrying out workstation assessments in a previous job, I’m here to tell you that this one is absolutely essential. When I first started to work from home I was perched at the dining room table, and so had to get memory foam seat and back cushions in order to make the chair I was using more comfortable for sitting on all day. They made a massive difference and also raised me up to the correct height for typing at the table. Bye bye aches and pains! Now that I have a proper office chair, I have ordered a footrest (because tiny people can’t reach the floor when their chairs are at the correct height) and monitor stand. If you want to know more about how to get your desk set up properly, the Health & Safety Executive have a workstation assessment pdf available on their website.
Make sure you have good lighting
This isn’t just for clear video calls (although your colleagues will definitely appreciate being able to see your face in meetings rather than just a sinister silhouette!), this will save you from suffering eye strain. Dim lighting in a room results in too great a contrast between the brightness of your screen and the brightness of the surrounding space. Some people’s eyes can cope with this just fine, but others will find that the resulting headaches can be solved with a little more light in the room.
When many of us found ourselves working from home in 2020, I discovered that the lighting in my flat was great for watching telly but not so good for working. Fine in the summer, but dreadful when the days get darker towards the end of the year. The problem was solved by an uplighter with adjustable brightness so that the whole room was better lit, and I also got an LED light for my desk to use as task lighting… and for making me look flawless on video calls, of course.
Have things on your desk that make you smile
Personalising your work space is a great way to lift your mood and keep you going on tough days. This could be something as simple as getting cute mug, but it could also be a plant friend, or some stationery. I’m a fan of colourful sticky notes and a fun notebook. I find that having some music which helps me focus is also useful – either specific albums or a curated playlist – and some scents can also help clear the mind for work. Years ago, I received a Secret Santa gift of a refreshing room fragrance. It was a little metal tin with small pumice stones and a bottle of essential oil, and all you had to do was remove the lid, sprinkle some of the oil on the stones and then pop it on top of a radiator to heat up. I haven’t found anything like it since, but there are plenty of room fragrances with citrus scents and peppermint that would do the job just as well.
Those are my suggestions, but I want to know if you have any more things you’d recommend. What are your top tips for making your homeworking space perfect for you?
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