- Separate your home life from your home office
To reach your potential, you're going to need your own dedicated space. If you've got a spare room, consider setting up there. The key here is that you'll work away from your living areas, offering firm guidelines of where work starts and ends. It's a good idea to set a schedule, whether that's the traditional 9:00 to 5:00 or something else. A designated workplace will allow you to close the door on the day just gone.
That said, even in a spare room, there are obstacles, think pets and deliveries. So, in an ideal world, your office space is a separate space entirely. At Oak Timber Structures, we design our oak offices to be away from the main building of your house. These structures are ideal for the bottom of the garden, so you're away from everyday distractions.
- Avoid noise distractions in your home office
With a dedicated room as an office, even if it's not a structure at the end of the garden, it's important to be in control of the noise. There's no better curveball than construction workers rocking up at your neighbours at the start of the working day. Even the most focused of home workers will struggle with the sound of a jackhammer on the tarmac.
A pair of noise-cancelling headphones are your best friend in this scenario. A wise choice for any home worker. We've considered the noise factor with our solid oak offices. We prepare our offices ready for you to install your own glazing. So, if you live near a busy road, opt for some double-glazing to reduce noise and make a serene workspace.
Not all noise is bad. While many cite TV as a major hindrance, some people love the human connection from background TV. It can be isolating working from home, so the gentle discussions on a news channel in the background can be soothing. Maybe avoid tuning into your favourite action film, though.
That said, if you're prone to procrastination, it's probably best to avoid the TV altogether. Instead, opt for a smart speaker or a stereo. Listen to chill-out music or a talk radio station to supply the background noise.
- Making your home office comfortable
It's important to make sure you're comfortable when working. Balancing a laptop on the sofa is a recipe for lost hours in the long haul. Here's what to consider for comfort.
Even when using a laptop, consider a larger monitor so you’re not straining your eyes. You should have the monitor, so the top is at eye level. Also, consider the desk. Alongside your computer, this is the hub of your activity.
The size of the desk depends on how much room you have available. Every solid oak office we make is bespoke, so you can alter the size to fit the garden space. This'll make sure you can create an office to fit any size desk you wish so you have space during the workday.
While standing desks are becoming trendy, if you opt for the conventional ways, office furniture is pivotal to your comfort. A good office chair will make sure you can adjust your seat to an optimal position. According to the NHS, you should have your elbows at 90 degrees with forearms at desk level. Use cushions to get to this level if you don't have an adjustable chair.
- The importance of lighting in a home office
It's proven that there's no better way to light up your home office than by flooding the area with natural lighting. Why is natural light so integral?
When staring at the computer monitor, or any screen for that matter, it can cause eyestrain. Natural light is an antidote. That’s not the only health benefit either. Sunlight cues your brain to release serotonin. Serotonin regulates mood and has anti-anxiety properties. So if a deadline is looming and getting you in a twist, open the doors and windows and let in the sunlight.
Studies into natural light have shown there are many positive effects in the workplace. As reported by CNN in the USA, research showed it can not only have health benefits both mentally and physically, but natural light can also improve focus and productivity.
So let the light in and open the windows. It'll also save on the electricity bill! We've thought about the impact of natural light and fresh air. That's why with our office designer you can opt for no cladding and receive natural light from all angles. Furthermore, you can select double doors to circulate plenty of fresh air in the office.
- Adding a touch of nature
Many office workers swear by having indoor plants in their office space. See, in the winter months, you probably won't want your windows open. Turns out, plants will improve air quality. Furthermore, according to the Royal Horticultural Society, indoor plants can lower stress levels and boost productivity.
Besides, the harmonious natural aesthetic of house plants is a soothing addition to any home office. We’ve seen our oak offices adorned with indoor plants. It’s a special combination. Besides the physical benefits, this combo creates an inspiring habitat of creativity.
- Keep things clean and organised
So what else do you need? Before you get to work, make sure you have everything you need. Think pens, paper, chargers, and other office equipment. With everything in one place, you can stride into your home office with confidence ready to start your day.
Consider storage units so there aren’t papers everywhere. Come the end of the week channel your inner Marie Kondo and tidy up. A cluttered space will have you distracted. So clear the clutter and you’re ready to start the day without distractions.
- Think about the long term
Many of us thought working from home was a novelty during the coronavirus. Turns out, home working is looking like a long-term fixture, so you need to think years down the line.
Consider a space solely dedicated to home working. We've put plenty of thought and looked at the studies to create the optimum working space. Our home offices are solid oak which offers a class 2 durability rating which is expected to last 15 – 25 years, a long-term investment to make working from home both comfortable, productive, and ultimately successful.