When future historians come to write about 2020, they’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to topics. But among the most significant developments, this year has been a widespread change in the way that we work.
Given that many major employers have already declared their intention to allow workers to continue working from home in the long-term, it’s a practice that’s probably going to be with us for a while. Thus, it’s one that we should look into optimising!
Which rooms are we working from?
instantprint, an online printing company specialising in business signs, commissioned a nationwide poll of the UK’s home-workers, to figure out where we’ve ended up. What they discovered was that the living room was the most popular place to set up shop, with 44% of respondents claiming to work from there.
The bedroom came in second place at 20%, with the kitchen, hallway and home office coming in joint third on 17%.
Of course, this probably tells us more about the limitations of our homes than our personal preferences. There’s good reason to suppose that dedicated office space will yield productivity benefits.
A space of this kind helps us to exclude distractions, like small children and pets (both of which were heavily cited in the instantprint survey as having a negative impact on productivity). It also helps us to maintain a healthier balance between work and leisure, which is a concern when your workplace and leisure area is literally the same room.
Creating a perfect workspace
So, exactly what goes into an ideal workspace, and what incremental changes can we make to bring our home offices up to standard?
Sitting slumped on a less-than-ideal chair will cause you back pain in the long term. Invest in a quality chair: you don’t need to spend a huge amount (though you can if you’d like). If you’re going to be sitting on it for hours a day, it’ll pay for itself.
Make sure that your ergonomics are well thought out.
Ensure that you aren’t hyperextending to reach your mouse or keyboard and that the top of your monitor is level with your eyes.
This will ensure that your neck isn’t hunched to look at what you’re doing.
Having something green insight will help to promote a sense of well-being. Human beings are adapted to value green space – and even a small potted plant might make a significant difference.
A mess of cables will be a cause of low-level stress. Clear that work area and keep everything nicely stowed away. You can find inexpensive trunking that will attach neatly to the wall, ensuring that your desk is clear for the stuff you’ll actually be using.