Working from home is now the norm for many people. Three years on from the first lock down, as a nation we have realized the benefits (both personally and professionally) of having the option to work from home. Be that every now and again to accommodate travel issues, childcare & health commitments, or permanently as part of your new work routine. It has well and truly revolutionized the way a business is run and this flexibility allows for a much better work life balance.
The main advantage of working from home is that you are at home, but this is also the main disadvantage. For an effective workday at home we naturally require a home office of some sort. Whether this be a dedicated work space at your dining room table or a separate room, we all need to find the storage space for office-y items. As most of us work from a Laptop already, computer space is not a problem, but the paperwork and office accessories can be. Another issue is that you don’t have everything to hand that you would have in an office environment, do not fear, we don’t all need to go running back to our desks, we just need to be more organized in work space and in our mind space.
(1) Is Everybody Sitting Comfortably?
Let’s begin with a decent desk chair, it really is a must. This doesn’t have to be expensive, a quick trip to Ikea will have you covered and if you’re lucky enough to claim this on expenses, what a bonus! If you are in the market for a fancy option then really go for it and try something like this! We’re not talking BMW car seat comfort, but it’s time a desk chair made an effort and gave us a bit back rather than a bad back! Divide the cost by the number of hours use and it’ll seem like a bargain. Whatever price point you’re coming from, your non-negotiables are lumbar support and height adjustment
(2) Think outside of the box
Not in this case, now its time to think inside the box! Although we strive to work in the most paperless way possible, there’s always a need for a hard copy of something and with that comes pens, staplers, hole punches and post-it notes. In the office these are often highly sought after but in our homes they become a bit ugly and not something we want on display. Get yourself a container, storage basket or paint a cardboard box and use this to store all your bits & bobs. This is specifically relevant to an open work space (kitchen table) for both visual appearances and functionality, you may need to relocate quickly to another room due to noise disturbances or to simply prevent the items disappearing! On a more serious note, packing away the workday like this has an ‘out of sight out of mind’ aspect which from a mental health perspective it is so important, keeping home and work life separate. You’ve likely got a spare storage basket hanging about but what’s one more? Have a look at this one from Matalan
(3) Hickory Dickory Dock!
With laptops being so mobile it’s easy to forget the desktop life, a touchpad might be convenient on the go but bringing back a mouse into your life will change it completely! Ok, it probably won’t change it that dramatically but it will make a difference to your work life. Without being attached to a laptop, a wireless mouse leads to freedom in arm placement reducing any tension felt in the wrist or forearm which can help relax your back and shoulder muscles, allowing for a more comfortable working day. Also a physical mouse is proven to increase productively as it is physically quicker to use and allows for a more precise pointer click. We wouldn’t be without this Mouse
(4) Please Don’t Forget (PDF) Printer!
With space being the optimal concern in a home office environment a printer is not at the top of people’s wish lists and yet there is always something we require in physical form be it a post label, an Invoice or an expenses receipt (for your nice new chair!). Without a printer available for regular use it can be a worry that important documents will be forgotten about, this is where a PDF printer comes in. This is a real game changer as it not only allows you to email any form of document but you can virtually print any document and merge them throughout the working day into one complete PDF file so when you do gain access to a printer (or want to send them on to a colleague) you only need to attach or click print once. So simple and so effective.
(5) Work Smarter, Not Harder
Organisation is the key to a successful working environment. You cannot see the work noticeboards from your home office, so why not create a simplified version of your own? Document Display Pockets can really aid your productivity by visually displaying the day / weeks tasks, a quick to view contact list or even a personal wall calendar. All you need is space on a wall, as big or as small as you like. Get your creative juices flowing and choose from the 10 different colours available, don’t forget to mix it up with the sizes and create your very own gallery wall. These are quick and easy to install with their pre-applied self adhesive or magnetic backing, it really is as easy as 1 2 3!
(6) Two’s Company
For those of us that split our time between home and office, we often complete our daily commute with computer in hand. It’s not often we would leave our work wife at home but how easy is it to forget the charging cable when it’s plugged into the wall? Why not ‘treat’ yourself to a second charging cable, slightly indulgent but we’ve found One that comes with universal charging points so you could be the saviour of a work place drama without even batting an eyelid!
(7) Stick It To Me!
One of life’s greatest inventions is the post-it note (second to mint imperials that come in little wrappers) but these only work when you can see them, stick them to a piece of paper and it’ll never to be seen again. If you, like me, use post-its religiously for to-do lists then the new Infini-t T-Card range might be for you. Think of them as personal storage shelves for your to-do lists, allowing them to be located quickly and easily yet hidden in plain sight. Simply replace the sticky notes with T-Cards, this way you either swap them like for like or you can produce a more in depth week planner. Use the T-Card header as a time period (ie Monday AM) and list all your tasks in the T-Card body, the Infini-T base panel will allow for 3 slots per day Monday – Friday in a single panel! Want to be more sustainable? Go for the reusable Plastic T-Cards. The infini-T panel really will be a great addition to your work Gallery Wall and improve productivity all in one.
(8) Mirror Mirror On The Wall
If you’re more of a Magnetic Planning kind of person, these Glass Whiteboards are next level. Their stylish and sleek design add a pop of colour to your home office space without overpowering the room with the alternative harsh industrial appearance, and yet retain the dry wipe magnetic aspect we all require.
(9) Make A House A Home!
Can you never find a Pen when we need one? Want a solution to have one to hand all the time? Forget about the old ball and chain pens that are barely long enough to hold yet alone write with, we’re talking about Pen Clips. Think of it as a little circular home for your pen, these round magic pen hugging beauties will change your life and they can also match your colour scheme – win win!
(10) Someone’s Knocking At Your Door
Perhaps the biggest challenge of working from home is the distractions, we’re not talking making your 3rd coffee of the day, we’re talking the unwanted interruptions at your front door. Prevention is better than a cure and a great solution is often a simple one, by using Frames 4 Windows. You can notify anyone approaching your house that you are unable to come to the door (however politely you choose to do this is our choice) whenever you need to. Whether you’re instructing them on a parcel delivery or simply to slink away like a door mouse. The bonus of these is that they use static to attach to any glass surface and allows an A4 sheet to be slotted in with ease, the best part is they can be moved and re-applied repeatedly without any residue left behind. Unfortunately these cannot help you with distractions of a dreaded work day with a family member for company- we’ll keep you in our thoughts if this is a toddler!