Lifestyle: Creating a suitable home office

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Working from home is the dream of many – I know for one, it was always mine. Instead of wasting hours of your life commuting in the car/bus/train every morning or evening, you can roll out of bed, enjoy a leisurely breakfast, and be in your office by 8am. Because you work from home, if the dog needs a walk or it’s a fine day for hanging out a load of washing, you can fit these tasks in with no problem. However, being ultra-productive on the work front is not so easy at all (trust me!) if you don’t have a suitable workspace set up. Here’s a couple of pointers to bear in mind before kitting out your home office….

Design a Suitable Office Space

To work from home successfully, you need both a designated and dedicated workspace. Some people are happy to set up shop at the kitchen table, but if you have piles of paperwork to deal with, this will not be convenient. A much better solution is to create a purpose-designed workspace. This can be in a spare room, in a small alcove in the bedroom or under the stairs, or perhaps in the attic if there is sufficient room. Even contemporary garden rooms, which you can find from companies like www.gardenspaces.co.uk, are a worthwhile space for a home office if you have a large garden and a reasonable budget.

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Office Storage

Storage is essential. You will need a filing system for accounts, invoices, and client records. A small filing cabinet should be sufficient for freelancers and home office workers, but if you are running a larger business from home, set up your office in a spare room and install a larger filing cabinet. Shelves and drawers are likely to be useful for lever arch files, books, stationery and other miscellaneous office supplies. The idea is to keep your desk free from clutter as much as possible. The more organised you are, the easier it will be to stay productive. I’m especially loving wired desk accessories for that clean, ‘Scandi’ style.

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Lighting

Hopefully you won’t need to burn the midnight oil on work projects, but a desk lamp is likely to be useful when the days are short and it starts to get dark by 4 pm. Choose an adjustable lamp that can be angled to suit your screen, as this will reduce annoying reflections.

A Comfortable Office Chair

It is difficult to be productive when your back aches. Invest in a good quality office chair, particularly if you spend a significant part of your working day sitting at a desk. Pick a chair that offers ergonomic support and is height adjustable. If money is tight, look for a seat or lumbar support cushion to improve the comfort of an existing office chair.

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Water Features

Are you aware that water has all these psychological qualities which instantly calm you and make you feel all relaxed? Apparently it’s true, and I guess when I think about it, those few days I get to spend beside the water – be it the sea, lakes, or just other peoples aquariums – I really do feel it. If I could, and fee’s were no problem, I’d invest in an indoor water feature which I could have in my office. Ideally attached to a wall, it would allow a stream of water to trickle down some form of stylish panel, like the ones I have seen over at Soothing Walls. Anything that can give the illusion of a tranquil river setting, or a serene sea set up is sure to boost my creativity and productivity!

Peace and Quiet

Minimise distractions as much as possible. Ask friends not to disturb you during work hours and unplug the house telephone if you are plagued by telesales or pest callers during the day. In the event you have to work at home when the kids are on their school holidays (if you have kids, that is), consider looking into childcare on certain days so you can work uninterrupted.

Working from home is a solution that works for many, but unless you create a comfortable work space, it might not work well for you. So take a look at all the home office and working space inspiration out there, and get setting up!

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