Out of office: advice on creating the best possible workspace at home
Once regarded as a luxury, a home office space is now essential as more and more of us work from home.
If you are not lucky enough to have a study or spare bedroom with a door, you can still create a work ‘zone’. The key is to keep it free from clutter and away from household paraphernalia.
Lee Owen, director at Hays Accountancy & Finance, says: ‘It is essential to set up a comfortable and clutter-free workspace. Even if you don’t have a separate study space or spare bedroom, you can still create a dedicated work zone in your home. Ideally, this will be in a quiet space with some privacy.
‘Try and ensure that wherever you set yourself up, you get as much natural light as possible. This will help you avoid eyestrain and boost your wellbeing. If you are frequently video calling for work, putting this natural light in front of you rather than behind will avoid putting you in shadow and help the person on the other side of the screen see you better.’
Not being in an office environment means you might be susceptible to more distractions, particularly from your phone.
Unless you need to use it for work, it will improve your productivity and focus if you keep it out of the way as much as possible. Taking breaks to then check your phone can also be positive for your productivity.
Owen adds: ‘Try to keep your home work space just for work. Avoid eating, watching TV or socialising in this space to create a boundary between your workspace and personal space. This will help you to focus when you are at work, and relax when you are not, meaning your work and personal lives don’t get blurred, which can easily happen when working from home.’
If you need to keep an eye on children while working, you may need your workspace near the kitchen or sitting room, perhaps in an under-used dining room. An ideal solution in this case might be a cupboard workstation.
Or, if you simply don’t have the space elsewhere, a corner of a bedroom or living space can do the trick nicely, if well planned.
This article was first published in Student Accountant in March 2020