You may have got back to the office in recent months, perhaps you made it back in for a few days a week but once again things are changing. This advice to work from home has once again taken hold and commuters up and down the country are foregoing office wear for loungewear and meetings are once again via Teams. Whether you like it or loathe working from home is here for the foreseeable and perhaps indefinitely in some capacity, so here are some ways to make it work for you.
Get the environment right
When you go into the office you go into a dedicated space that is set up for working and in turn, mentally prepares you for the day ahead. Where you can, the same should apply to your home office. Try to set up a workspace that you can differentiate from home space. Avoid sitting at the dining table or even worse from your bed. If possible convert a room into a home office, or even just a nook, cranny or corner of a room into a home office and set this space up perfectly for work, and working only. You will need a desk and a decent office chair as a minimum. You also want to make sure the light is ideal for spending potentially long hours in that space. Perhaps you need to invest in better artificial lighting or improve the access to natural lighting. Consider the use of smart lights or installing shutters on your windows to help create the right look and feel to make you comfortable. Smart lights (or plugs) are easily sourced from places such as Amazon and could be with you the next day. Shutters may take a little longer but when done correctly can make a world of difference. Visit shuttercraft.co.uk for inspiration. Remember once you are finished with your working day to leave your workspace and embark on some free time. Differentiating between home and work when working from home is vitally important.
Block out background sound
You may not be the only one working from home in your house or you may just not be the only one in the house. While you can repeatedly ask people to keep it down and be mindful of the fact you are working some exterior noise will be unavoidable. Consider investing in a pair of noise-cancelling headphones to help keep your work environment as serene as possible.
If you haven’t already then now is the time to start making your home smart. Install smart technology to help make your life easier and keep distractions to a minimum. Smart light bulbs or plugs have already been discussed and are a great way to turn on lights or appliances in your home from where you are sitting. This can either be by voice control or from an app on your phone. You can do the same with your heating system with smart systems such as Hive, which allow you set the temperature and timing of your heating. Perfect when you start to feel the chill after sitting still all day. Then there is the new smart mug, yes, even your mug has got smart. These mugs can be chargeable and you guessed it, can be controlled by an app on your photo. They are designed to keep your coffee at a uniform heat, so if you are stuck in a (virtual) meeting watching your coffee turn cold, fear not, your smart mug will keep it just right for when you have finished. Don’t forget your smart water bottle either, not that this is overly smart, but consider using a bottle with hourly reminders to drink water. Staying hydrated is one of the best things you can do to help increase productivity and concentration.
Another great home smart device is a smart air purifier, which like a plant can help keep the air in your home fresh and pollutant-free. Stagnant air can accumulate dust and other toxins which will have a knock-on effect on the air quality in your home. A smart purifier will allow you to schedule cleaning days and monitor particle levels using voice assistance or your smartphone. Perfect for those who struggle to keep a houseplant alive.
There is one last piece of smart technology you should consider investing in and that is smart glasses. Yes really. Smart glasses are wearable computer glasses that improve vision and display useful information to the wearer, such as incoming calls or even health stats. If these seem like a bridge too far then consider opting for glasses that will filter out the blue lights from screens and decrease the exposure. This will help to mitigate eye strain which in turn can affect accuracy, productivity and comfort.