Make the most of your home office
With more of us working from home than ever, it’s important to make sure your home office is helping, not hindering, your productivity and wellbeing. Here are some tips for creating an effective and stylish work space in your new Charles Church home.
1. Have a dedicated workspace
One of the potential pitfalls of homeworking is not keeping your workspace separate from your living space. Working from your dining table, sofa or even bed might seem like the only (and perhaps comfiest) option, but it can reduce productivity and make work seem inescapable. You might have a home office or a spare bedroom you can use, but if not there are plenty of ways to get creative with whatever available space you have. A corner of the living room, hallway, or an alcove will do just fine, so long as it’s a distinct place that you can leave at the end of the working day.
You don’t necessarily need to squeeze in a full desk, either. There are smart folding desks that you can tuck under the stairs, clever bookcases and cabinets that transform into desks, and wall-mounted shelves with good load-bearing capacities that can be used as a minimalist workstation. All our Persimmon homes have spacious living rooms or kitchen/diners with ample space for a small desk set up, with some of our larger models offering dedicated studies.
2. Let there be light
A natural light source from a window or skylight is important and can have a huge effect on your mood but make sure your screen is positioned to reduce any glare from the sun – when it comes to screens; indirect light is the key. Positioning your desk perpendicular to a window is generally considered to be the way to go.
An even layer of ambient lighting is essential – that’s the light provided by a ceiling and wall fixtures. Overhead lighting is best for avoiding dark shadows, but wall lamps are also great for adding a decorative and personal touch to your home office.
A good task lamp is useful, especially if you are looking at paper documents, but you don’t want to risk eye strain. Choose a bulb with a CRI (Colour Rendering Index) of over 90 that will keep colours true to life and with a brightness that doesn’t overpower your screen. Task lamps can also be effective when placed behind a monitor to even out the glare from the screen.
3. Stay connected
Nobody wants to lose connection mid-Zoom call, so make sure your home office is in an area of the house with a strong WiFi signal and easy access to power outlets or extension cords. Before you start setting up your office, make a couple of video calls to test the signal strength in that location – and if other family members are home at the same time, see if your connection is affected by other devices being used simultaneously.
Lots of our developments benefit from access to FibreNest ultrafast, full fibre-optic broadband. This means you can have 100% full fibre-optic internet access installed directly into your new home so that the whole family can work, browse and stream without the dreaded lag. Contact the development marketing suite or request a brochure to find out whether your chosen development will benefit.
4. Colour your world
Now for the fun part! Add some personality to your home office by incorporating a colour scheme and decorative elements that will set the tone you work best in.
If you’re energised by vibrant colours, why not relocate some colourful artwork from elsewhere in the house. One inexpensive way to create wall art is finding some fun wrapping paper or wallpaper samples you like and framing them in a triptych above your desk. You could also frame some favourite quotes and phrases in bold, colourful typography.
Painting an eye-catching feature wall will do a good job distinguishing your workspace - or, if you don't want to commit a whole wall, you could use Frogtape to paint a geometric shape or archway, 'framing' your desk. Experiment with colours – typically blue is considered one of the best colours for productivity and organization, while yellow is thought to improve information retention.
5. Make it personal
Remember, your home office doesn't necessarily have to feel like an office! Some people like a slicker, more streamlined space to put them in a work mindset, but if you prefer a distinctly non-office atmosphere, bring in wood elements and comforting textiles that will provide a more organic feel. With our Select Options you can choose your preferred finishes and flooring to make your home office fit your style, whether that's a cosy carpet or a sleek vinyl floor. A subtle reed diffuser and chilled playlist can also help create the relaxed vibes you’re looking for.
Having houseplants in your workspace has many proven benefits, including boosting happiness, reducing stress and increasing creativity (green is conducive to creative thinking). Make sure the plants will be happy with the level of light and amount of space they’ll have – staring at a dead plant will do nothing for your motivation!
A good way to add décor and small storage without cluttering your surface is to install vertical shelving above the desk. Not only will this stop your work belongings spreading out into your home, it will also act as a point of interest to draw the eye upwards and help improve your posture. Which brings us on to…
5. Keep it ergonomic
Once you have settled on a space and style for your home office, you need to make sure you are comfortable and not compromising your health. Is your desk the right height for comfortable seating, with your arms at or below a 90-degree angle when they rest on the keyboard? Is your monitor an arms’ length away and the top of the screen at your eye level? A comfortable desk chair is also essential and well worth investing in if your company cannot provide one.
You can make simple tweaks to improve the ergonomics of your home office, such as raising your monitor using books or a stand, and improving a shallow desk by adding a keyboard tray.
With these tips in mind, you should be well on your way to having a home office that’s the envy of your colleagues!
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