The modern workplace has changed a lot over the last 10 years. The places we work have moved from the traditional cubicle-ridden layouts of large offices to more nomadic arrangements like a little café with good WiFi.
One place that has grown immensely as a place to work is the home. Finding and setting up a dedicated work area is not always as simple as a seat at the dining room table. A good home office or work space is a place that’s private enough for you to get on with the things you need to without any distraction.
We’ve put together some tips to help you create a functioning space to work from.
Before you can claim your spot in the house, it is wise to first create a list of your most basic requirements for your home office. This is generally referred to as a ‘critical list’, but you can call it whatever you wish. Must have items include:
- Computer (laptop if you need to be mobile)
- Internet Access
- Comfortable chair
Depending on what kind of work you do, you may require other items. If you’re a graphic artist or consultant you may need two desks, one for your computer and the other as a work space. If you are book keeping you could need a filing cabinet to store information on your clients and their work. The best place to start is to make a list. Making a list will help you determine the amount of space you will need for your office.
Once the list has been established, and you have a better understanding of what you need, you can now scour the house for a suitable space in which to occupy.
One of the main things you should consider is privacy, especially if you have a young family. Somewhere that is away from the ‘high traffic’ or ‘communal’ areas of the house would be best. It’s also wise to have a door leading to the room, as this will be able to filter out any residual noise ensuring clear conversations over the phone.
If you are intending to have clients visit, it may be best to use a room near the front entrance of the house. This way you don’t have to walk through your living areas every time someone visits.
It is usually quite easy for a home office space to quickly grow cramped. That’s why finding a harmonious balance between workspace and storage space is needed. Before you start moving everything in, you need to plan the layout of the office space. This is a good chance to get creative with the way you use it. For instance, you may need to build your desk using filing cabinets as the base, then a wood or laminate top as your work area, freeing up the area filing cabinets may have taken up.
If you find that you need to store some items in another room, like a filing cabinet, just make sure they don’t have anything you frequently use, like files or stationery.
When and where possible, try and choose a spot that lets in a lot of natural light. A naturally bright area is a productive and inspirational place in which to work. If the room is bright your mood will be bright.
If the only available space has little to no natural light, you’ll need to consider lighting options. Just make sure the lighting you choose covers your entire workspace. Also, making sure that your computer screen is positioned in way that reduces glare and minimises eye strain is advisable.
While many may laugh this off, it is probably one of the most important things you could have, and no, we don’t mean the clock on your phone.
Locate a clock on the wall that is most prominent, or can be seen easily seen from your desk. If walls are not a viable option, then place a clock on your desk. The reason for this is because it is quite easy to lose track of time, and before you know it, you’ve worked your third 14-hour day in a row.
It is also pertinent that you set “business hours”. While flexibility is a major benefit of working from home, and your best work may be done in the dead of night, it is important to separate your work and home lives clearly.
Working from home is a great way to stay on top of a busy family life, without discounting your career progression. Gregory Hills residents will have access to high-speed internet to ensure they are connected at all hours, whether for business or leisure.
Hopefully we’ve taken some stress away with a good starting point for your office, and we wish you all the best on your adventure.