It’s no secret that the world of work is changing – with the rise of co-working and freelancing, it’s now possible to conduct business in just about any location. And, of course, many of us are now working from home to practice social distancing in the current climate. But what are the best tips for working from home to combine style and substance?
If we’ve learnt anything from the sterile interiors of the early 90s, it’s that environment matters. Recent studies suggest that a well-designed space can lead to significant boosts in productivity and cognitive function — quantitative evidence of the “feel-good” factor of great design.
But successful working from home isn't just about style... We've teamed up with Alexander Joseph and Chaplins Furniture for expert top tips for working from home to ensure you're as productive as possible.
Top tips for working from home:
1. PLAN LIKE AN EXECUTIVE
When designing your home office, it’s good to take some time to visualise how everything will work together. Don’t forget to incorporate some sort of breakout zone — a space in which to think or read when you’re not obliged to be sat behind a keyboard.
In smaller offices, this could be as simple as a generous pouf. In larger homes, a small sofa, armchair or (if you’re feeling particularly psychoanalytic) chaise lounge. Incorporating these elements ensures your office is a space you’ll actually enjoy spending time in, while accommodating for both active and passive work.
2. ARE YOU SITTING COMFORTABLY?
Fuse practicality with perfect design and ergonomics for premium productivity. While you want your office to look stylish, you also need to support your back to ensure you're comfortable so that you can work all day.
Some of the best office chairs date back to the mid-century, including iconic collections such as the Eames Aluminium Range (below) and Knoll’s Executive Saarinen collection. Both offer top-notch ergonomics and a timeless design language to boot.
3. GET ORGANISED
Set yourself objectives for the day by writing a to-do list. Work through your list and stick to it – don't worry about upcoming work, prioritise, and you can fit it all into set working hours.
4. USE YOUR LUNCH BREAK WISELY
Move around the house, go outside or to another room, tidy your work space, pick up an extra hobby (reading, painting) something to distract your mind from work for a short while.
5. BE WORK AWARE
Make sure those around you know when you are working and when you can or can’t be disturbed so you can get into a good work flow.
6. STAY HYDRATED
Make sure you drink plenty of water - don’t break good habits just because you are at home. It will help you think clearly, stave off headaches and stay healthy.
7. KEEP IN TOUCH
Stay in touch with your colleagues – it doesn’t have to be all day every day, but keep communication regular, it will make you feel less isolated.
8.CREATE A WORK SPACE
According to Bloomberg News, it’s important that we designate an area for work, as opposed to using our kitchens, tables or beds, as it allows us to get into a better mental space meaning that working from home is just as productive as in the office.
9. STICK TO YOUR NORMAL HOURS
It can be easy to work overtime at home, but keep your routine as normal as possible – be strict with yourself when it comes to time management.
10. GET DRESSED
It might sound simple, but don’t stay in you dressing gown or pyjamas all day. It doesn’t have to be normal work clothes, but getting dressed will give your drive and purpose, and help you attack the working day with verve.
11. ALLOW BACKGROUND NOISE
Put the radio or some music on... the office isn’t usually quiet, so have another noise around you on low.
12. PLAN YOUR MEALS
Don’t snack just because you’re at home. It's also a good idea to plan you lunches or make a batch of soup so you know you've got lunch and you don't get the urge to dig into the crisps. Keep it healthy for optimum energy levels.
Ruth Doherty is an interiors writer who has worked for Homes & Gardens and Ideal Home magazines among many others.
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