More and more companies are giving employees the option of working from home; however, due to the coronavirus crisis, many of you have found that you are now required to do work from home. That’s why you might not have realised the importance of having the right kind of space for it until now.
Workspace experts Actiu believe that this situation is going to encourage greater development of this type of work in the western world. Pablo Amorós, Actiu’s Head of Cooperate Wellbeing, gave us eight guidelines for creating the perfect workspace.
Find the ideal spot
Ideally, you will have a space that is for work only and that you can separate from your day-to-day life. It should be away from TVs, leisure spaces, or high-traffic areas in your home, so that you can avoid distractions and interruptions. Sound-absorbing panels can help you get a little more privacy.
Take advantage of natural light
Good light is essential for productivity. Try to work near a window so that you can have a good amount of natural light, but keep in mind that you will also need artificial light for certain tasks.
Pay attention to ergonomics
Spending the workday at home means everything has to be in alignment with that, and that includes your furniture. That’s why it must be as ergonomic as possible: if you are going to working for eight hours, you must have an adjustable office chair. When it comes to your desk, ideally it should be modular and versatile, and its height should be adjustable so that you can alternate between sitting and standing. If you don’t have a dedicated workspace, you might want to get a folding table that can be stowed away when you finish working to free up the space once again.
Create a filing space
You are still going to produce documents at home that you will need to store and sort, either in a chest of drawers or in a file in a cupboard. When it is necessary to ensure the safety of these documents, they should be stored under lock and key. This will help you keep everything in order, something which is essential in your workspace, even if the rest of your house is a mess (actually, even more so if the rest of your house is a mess!).
Have the right technology
It’s not just about having a good internet connection and power points nearby. To work from home, we need well-adapted digital tools that allow us to manage resources remotely. Videoconferencing solutions are essential, both in terms of the tools you are using (i.e. high-quality monitors and cameras), and your surroundings, which must have adequate acoustics and space.
Create atmosphere and play with colour
Actiu recommends creating an area where you can disconnect, working with the possibilities of the space you have available. This is even more important when in confinement due to coronavirus. You can do so by adding an armchair for reading, making phone calls, or having a coffee.
One way to use colour is to encourage comfort. Greens, blues, and yellows boost wellbeing and creativity, while bright colours like red or orange must be used sparingly.
Don’t forget about sustainability
When we take our work home with us, it’s important that we control our energy consumption and use of office materials to avoid unnecessary expenses. We must also think about sustainability when choosing furniture, because slowing down climate change continues to be a challenge.
One thing that worries people when it comes to working from home is how to maintain working relationships with their colleagues. Pablo Amorós advises us to have videoconferences with them so that we don’t lose that connection and fall into loneliness and isolation.
It’s also important that you feel comfortable in your workspace. That’s why you should personalise it with details that help the day go by quicker, like a calendar, a plant, or a whiteboard for your to-do list.
Some other useful advice for working from home is to maintain a schedule that separates work and leisure time, so that one doesn’t encroach on the other. And of course, no working in your pyjamas!