- More people than ever before are working from home
- Working from home helps people enjoy a better work/life balance
- Establishing a dedicated space for a home office is essential for productivity
More people than ever before are choosing to work from home, with the Office for National Statistics revealing last year that record numbers of those in employment, close to 14 per cent of the UK workforce, are now classed as home workers.
This is part of a wider change in attitudes to how and where we work. 2014 was an important year in the shift away from the office as the default workplace, with the government announcing that all employees now have the legal right to request working flexibly.
With more people set to take up the offer, home offices have never been more important. Here's how to make it a perfect place for both work and play.
Investing in a home office
Working from home for most requires dedication, which is why it pays to develop a proper home office, an area where you feel comfortable and able to concentrate on work instead of household tasks that need to be done.
It is no easy task, given that you are attempting to separate your home life from your work life despite the fact that they ultimately share the same space. There can be plenty of distractions, for one, like a fridge/cupboard full of food, daytime TV and the fact that there's no-one to keep an eye on you! So how do you go about it?
Define the boundaries of your office
While it is ideal to have a room devoted entirely to your home office – which helps to create a distinction between work and play – It’s not always possible.
What is vital is that you feel like you're at work and that your workstation – whether it is on the dining table or a wall-mounted desk – creates the boundaries needed to distinguish it from everything else.
Appreciate the value of a good chair
It is perhaps one of the most understated features of any office, work or home, but chairs are inherently important. If you are in an office, health and safety dictates that you have the right chair in the right position so working from home is no different.
You should also look to cut the amount of time you spend sitting, as studies have shown that prolonged sitting is detrimental to your health.
Acquire the right equipment and supplies
Depending on whether your organisation is willing to take on some of the cost of your equipment and supplies your options will vary.
What works for you is ultimately the best advice. You can either treat yourself to an array of high-end stationary and the latest laptop or keep it practical, much like what you would otherwise use in your actual office.
Let there be light
Good lighting can often be overlooked, especially as you are used to ambient lighting in your home.
Natural daylight is ideal, so consider arranging your office somewhere that will get the most out of this. Additionally, you need a solid desk lamp, which will go a long way in providing you with ideal conditions on overcast days or at the times when you're working late into the evening.