• Sarah

How To Create The Perfect Home Office

In April 2020, nearly half (46.6%) of people in employment did some of their work from home with the majority saying that they did so as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic (The Office of National Statistics).

Even once we are all able to return to the office, or any other place of work, many businesses have found that it's more cost-effective and convenient for them to encourage their workers to work from where possible.

This shift in the way many of us work has meant that we've had to adapt our home environment to enable us to be productive when working from home which means creating a space in the home that allows you to work safely and efficiently.

There are some who may be fortunate enough to have a dedicated room, such as a home office, already in place or one that can be easily converted for this purpose.

But what about those of us who haven't got a home office but need to find a permanent solution to their new remote way of working.

Before you start browsing Zoopla for a new home, there could be a simple fix; decluttering.

A quick and easy way to make space in your home is to remove the clutter that you might not even be aware that you have accumulated. The boxes of old clothes that are piled high in the spare room, the christmas decorations you keep tucked away in the garage, or the old furniture and antiques that you store in the loft - all of which are taking up space that could be better used as a work area.

If you take the time to declutter your home and clear out a room or an area that is currently filled with items that could be stored elsewhere, and instead fill it with a desk, chair and your work equipment, you could create the perfect home office.

When picking the space that you want to convert into a working area, there are some factors that you first need to consider to decide whether it's suitable and meets the requirements that would be reviewed in a home-working risk assessment.

This includes:

  • Access to light Natural light is the best source of light in a work space, especially if you are sat in front of a screen for most of the day. The best work environment will be one near a large window that gets decent access to sunlight throughout the day, so avoid setting up an office space in a room with no windows or in an area with little access to natural light. If this is not possible, the next best option is to make sure that the room has good artificial light and that this is enhanced as much as possible by interior design elements such as light coloured walls and flooring.

  • Room temperature The temperature in which you work is a key part of health and safety, so it needs to be 'reasonable' at all times. Though the HSE states that the minimum temperature in a workplace should be at least 16°C, when you're working in your own home there is more leeway as the room temperature should be set to what best suits you. This is because comfortable working temperatures can get quite subjective as you might be perfectly happy working in a room that is 15°C whilst someone else might find that too cold. However, the important thing is that, if you do start to feel too hot or too cold whilst working, you have access to the appropriate resources needed to resolve the issue. For example, to keep the room cool it should have a window that can be opened, air conditioning installed or you should have access to a fan that can be plugged in and used when required. Whereas, when it gets too cold, the room will need heating facilities to keep it warm.

  • Good ventilation Once again, having a window nearby, proves to be an important resource as this time it can ensure that the room is well-ventilated. Ventilation allows the polluted/recycled air in the room to be replaced by clean air from outside and this can play an important role in mental well-being and concentration. It can also be vital for health, especially if you suffer from allergies.

  • Noise levels Being near a window can have its downsides though. If the window overlooks a busy, main road then it could cause noise pollution which can be distracting when trying to work. Other elements in or around the home that could cause noise issues include neighbours, others you may live with and household items such as a washing machine. A good workspace will be in an area of the home that has the least noise pollution so that you can focus, think clearly and conduct any calls/meetings without any interference.

Other factors that you should consider when creating your home office or work space at home include the size of the space - is there enough for all of your equipment? - and potential, nearby distractions like a TV.

In summary, creating the perfect home office can be difficult depending on your circumstances but you don't need an entire room with bells and whistles to get the job done.

Find a room or area of your home that is well-lit, ventilated, has access to temperature adjusting facilities, isn't too noisy and provides substantial space for you to work comfortably. Once you have done this, declutter the space by removing anything that serves no purpose being in your home and create your work area.

If you need a place to store your belongings once you've decluttered, then our safe and secure self-storage facility in the West Midlands is the perfect solution.

We have brand new 20ft storage containers that you can use for all your personal needs.

Just call us today on 01902 638 219 to learn more.