What does your workplace look like? Is it a traditional office environment, with rows of desks and practical chairs, bright overhead lighting, and the distracting chatter of colleagues? Or is it a calming and comfortable space, where you can work effectively and productively, feeling focussed and motivated?
The way we work is changing. Although we might work the same number of hours every week, we don’t necessarily have to spend all that time in an office, between the rigid hours of 9am to 5.30pm, with a strict one hour allocated for lunch.
More companies now allow their staff to operate remotely and flexibly, working from the comfort of our homes and around other commitments. If you’re an early riser, you can work before breakfast and finish in time for the school run. Take a couple of hours out of your day to get to the gym or meet a friend for a longer lunch, then catch up with your tasks in the early evening, before dinner.
With many companies now allowing flexible working, and more people choosing to work on a freelance or self-employed basis, working from home is on the rise. If you’re planning on working at home regularly though, it’s important to make sure that you have a space conducive to a good working environment.
Here’s how you can create the perfect room for working from home.
Have a defined office space
It’s important that you have a defined office space – a room in your home where work means work, away from any distractions. Somewhere you can close the door and knuckle down and where, if other family members are also at home, you won’t be disturbed. Putting a desk in the corner of the living room probably isn’t the best idea – pick a room that doesn’t see people strolling in and out whenever they fancy. Make sure you’ll be comfortable here as well though. Choose a colour scheme that makes the room unique to you, and buy a desk and chair that you’re comfortable sitting at for the majority of your day.
Get the atmosphere right
Loud music blaring out while you’re looking at data online? A distracting TV on in the background as you’re on the phone to a client? Not ideal for the perfect working environment. Give serious thought to getting the atmosphere just right. You don’t have to sit in oppressive silence, of course, but if there’s too much going on around you, it won’t help your focus and concentration. Inspirational posters, a few well-placed pot plants and a well-lit room with ambience can make your home office the perfect mix of relaxing and motivational.
Create a chill out space
You might be working from home but some of the same rules apply. It’s important to take a break, especially if you’re working in front of a screen for hours on end. It’s tempting to enjoy a cuppa at your desk but try to get away from your work space even if it’s just for the time it takes to drink it. Step away for ten minutes to recharge mind and soul, chilling out on the sofa. You might even want to place a new sofa in the corner of your office to let you relax but keep you in the right frame of mind. Sofas such as the Anneka range are great for smaller spaces like an office, while not compromising on contemporary style or comfort. Don’t think about work for those precious few minutes – you’ll return to your desk refreshed and invigorated.
Have plenty of storage
If you work full-time from home or even on a frequent basis instead of every now and again, you’ll have work materials with you that will need to be stored. Don’t just let paper, folders and printouts pile up on your desk – that will only lead to clutter and eventually chaos. A messy and disorganised area will feel claustrophobic; you’ll end up with a room you won’t want to spend any time in – the very opposite of what you need. Design your home office with plenty of storage options – drawers under the desk, a bookcase, filing cabinets with lockable sections if you’re hosting confidential material. Even the smallest of spaces can include storage; you might just need to get inventive with your design.
Establish a work/life balance
One of the big plus points that comes with working from home is to improve our work-life balance, so we can better merge our professional and personal lives. But be sure to maintain clear boundaries between the two – if work starts to take over your home life, you’ve got a problem.
How do you get around this? Best practice is to establish definition between your work and play spaces. Work stays in the room you’ve created. When you’re done for the day, walk out, close the door and head to the living room. Curling up on a sofa you love with a good book, or popping some music on and stretching out is the best way to mark the end of your working day.
A recliner sofa like the Westwood allows you to truly relax after a hard day’s work, with a built-in USB port for recharging your phone and other devices too. Alternatively, sink into a soft, sumptuous corner sofa like the Majestic, ideal for falling asleep in front of your favourite shows.
Whatever space you have in your home, follow our tips to create the perfect area or room to work in with a sofa from Sofology.