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How to achieve the optimum home working environment

Written by: Charlotte Rogers
Published on: 24 Apr 2020

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You, like millions of others might have recently found yourself in a less than ideal position where you have to work from home. For some workers, working from home has become their everyday norm and they have adjusted to the effects it can bring. However, if you have recently been offered a new job where you have chosen to work from home, or you have been instructed to work from home due to the current circumstances, you are going to have to adjust to make sure you are making the most of your work day. Although some employees may believe that the office/central workplace is outdated, it can provide employees with a good space where they can effectively separate their work life from their home life. There are some things you can try and do to ensure that you are making the most of your day and being as productive as possible, just like you would in your office space.

Are you working the right hours for you?

First thing’s first, make sure you are making the most out of your working hours. Everyone works differently and you might prefer to work different hours now compared to the ones you were doing before. It’s important to check with your line manager before you make any significant changes. But the point is, if you want to start working earlier in the morning because you find that you are more productive, then try and do it! Some people are just meant to work earlier in the mornings, whereas others might need that extra time in the morning to prepare for their day. Make sure you are making the most of your time and you’re working in what may be your most productive hours of the day. You might start to see a significant difference.

Are you comfortable?

Comfort might not be something you originally took into consideration. However, having a workspace that is going to keep you productive as well as comfortable is going to be very important when working from home. Ask yourself; have I got the right equipment to make sure that my back and neck are going to be protected? If you are going to be in front of your computer all day, you need to make sure that your health is being taken into consideration. If you do not have the right equipment to be comfortable for a long period of time, is there any way you can get this? Your employer should make sure you have access to the right equipment, so always check with them.

Find the right space for you

It can take some time to find a space in your home that you feel comfortable working from every day. However, some people find it useful to move their workspace throughout the day. It can feel a bit restricting working from one space, so if needed, move around and make sure you are both happy and comfortable whilst working. If you feel comfortable you are more likely to be productive and this can be seen in the work you are producing. Factors such as noise levels coming from outside and which side the sun is shining from will change throughout the day and finding a new space might be important to you. Take a 5-10 minute break and start again somewhere new.

Are you surrounded by technology?

For most people, their homes are filled with technology and often more than you even realise. It can be easy to set up your workspace for the day and have your work laptop, work phone, personal phone, radio on or even your Alexa device playing in the background. However, this can all become one huge distraction. It may be better for you if you take all personal devices out of the room you are working in to prevent you from getting distracted. Some people are able to work fine with the radio or television on in the background, but I personally know this is not a good idea for me. Everyone works differently, so try and find your flow without technology taking over your day.

De-clutter when needed

Some people are used to a messy desk, but for most, we all know that a tidy workspace leads to a tidy mind. Once you have completed one task, it can be a good idea to make sure you tidy away any paperwork or notes that you will not be needing for your next piece of work. This is to simply de-clutter your workspace and make it easier for you to concentrate. An optimum working environment is often a clean one with minimal distractions.

Try and break up the day

Sometimes working from home can be a bit of a drag, especially if you’re having one of those days where you don’t have that much to do. It can be important to have a list of your tasks for that day. However, it is equally as important to plan lunch breaks and quick walks into your schedule. Breaking up the day with other activities is more likely to keep you motivated and productive when you come back to your tasks. Doing your exercise before you start the day or even going to a run at lunch is a great way to break up the day and make it a bit more interesting. Hopefully, it will stop you clock watching before it’s time to pack up for the day. 

If working from home is something that you are still trying to get used to, try and use some of these ideas to your advantage. It’s all about practice and in time, you will find a space and a schedule that works for you.  Everyone’s idea of a good workspace is going to be different but making sure that you are making the most of the day is what’s important. Try new things every day, until you find something that works perfectly for you!