The current global situation – in which coronavirus is still forcing many countries to adopt measures to slow the spread of the virus – means that more people are working from home than ever before. In the UK, current guidelines state that anyone who can work from home should be doing so. This means there are millions of people learning how to manage their own time, motivate themselves, and remain productive in an environment that is not necessarily set up for work.
Even before the pandemic hit, working from was home was becoming increasingly popular. Data collected between 2012 and 2016 showed an increase of 12.3% in flexible working arrangements. During lockdown, many more people are working from home, and a lot of workers may continue to do so even when life returns to some semblance of normality.
Some are lucky enough to have a home office, but many are simply making do with a kitchen table or even a laptop on the sofa. Establishing a proper work area at home is possible even when space is at a premium. Furniture At Work has a comprehensive range of home office furniture to turn any space into a productive work environment.
Finding the Right Space
The majority of people simply do not have a spare room that can be converted into a dedicated home office. However, setting up a workspace can still be achieved. Finding the right space can help ensure that the area encourages productivity. The more out of the way of family life this space can be, the better.
Where it is not possible to be completely out of the way, setting up in the area most free from distractions will still help. In cases where parents are having to home school as well as work from home, having a separate workstation from the children’s school area is useful. Even something as simple as a portable laptop table that can be set up next to the kids as they work at the kitchen table will help to keep things separate.
The most important item of furniture is a good ergonomic chair. This should be paired with a desk or other table at the right height for physical comfort. Sufficient lighting is another essential to avoid eye strain – adding a desk lamp or adjusting the position of the current lighting may help. Good storage that makes everything required easily accessible but not on view creating clutter can help boost productivity.
One of the things many people find hardest when they first start to work from home is staying productive. People who are used to having a boss looking over their shoulder often struggle with self-motivation when placed in a situation where they only have themselves to answer to in the immediacy of the moment.
There are certain tricks that can help to improve productivity and keep home workers motivated. These include removing all distractions such as televisions and phones from the work area. If a phone is an essential part of the job, using the landline or a separate, app-free phone for work calls can be useful.
Starting each day by generating a to-do list and prioritising tasks can also be useful. As a home worker checks items off the list, they will feel a sense of achievement and this can help motivate them to keep going until the list is completed.