We are living and working through challenging times at the moment and this is requiring many of us to work from home to stay safe and ensure business continuity. With panic over coronavirus at fever pitch, many workers have been ordered to stay away from the office and do their day-to-day tasks from the comfort of their own home. Some employees will be working from home for the first time, which means figuring out how to stay on task in a new environment that may not lend itself to productivity. It can be a real challenge to create a productive environment while shutting out the many distractions that home comforts can bring. So in this article we offer a few hints on how you can transform your space - however big or small - into the ideal home office.
A dedicated work area
In an ideal world you'll have a dedicated room to hide away and concentrate, or a spare room you can convert to a study. But sometimes that's not possible and you may have to make do with a desk in the living room, a corner of the kitchen or even sharing a space with a partner. Lying in bed with a laptop, for example, will strongly detract from your productivity, not to mention your concentration. And just because you can lounge around in your pyjamas all day doesn’t mean you actually should. It’s important to take a shower, get dressed, and treat it like your real job.
Whatever area you have, make sure it stays spacious by clearing it of any unnecessary clutter, as clearing the mess not only keeps it tidy but also helps focus your mind and keep you motivated. Natural light is ideal when trying to create a relaxing space where you can concentrate, but if this is not possible you may need to invest in a lamp or turn on the main light. Keeping your space quiet is also critical to maintaining concentration. This extends beyond having your own private space away from the children, pets and other distractions such as the temptations of the TV!Stay connected
The very best remote workers will reach out to co-workers and managers regularly through a variety of tools, to make sure people avoid feeling isolated. Prolonged isolation could also potentially impact on morale and productivity. Parents of younger children may find working harder if the children are at home because schools are closed, meaning close communication with managers – who will need to be understanding – is vital.
Solutions to ensure as much interaction online as possible include face-to-face video calls, setting up group chats for each department, as well as regular manager check-ins on the phone. While technology allows us to stay connected, the Dams team also understand that providing you with the right furniture to make working from home easy and safe is equally as important.Home office furniture
At Dams, we have plenty of home office furniture solutions available to create an inspiring area to work with sleek office desks, comfortable seating and clever storage solutions. Our best-selling Maestro 25 desk ranges are now available with 600mm deep tops, which are ideal for smaller home workspaces but still ensure easy movement and space under the desk. With a wide choice of desktop finishes and black, silver or white leg frames, it’s easy to achieve the right home office look to fit in with the existing home decor.
Fuze desks with solid oak legs can make a stylish design statement in the home office, exemplifying elegance and sophistication, and with clean, functional lines and co-ordinated desktop finish options that offer everything you need to be inspired and productive at home. And we can also help get you set up at home with our Elev8² Mono height adjustable desks with a single motor that provide affordable features and durable design to transform the home office with healthy flexibility, dramatically improving health, well-being and energy levels of home workers.
Many people invest in a desk for their home office but still insist on using a kitchen chair, armchair or stool to sit on. This can be a big problem for maintaining good posture, and if your home office is in your kitchen or living room it really doesn't help you keep a neat dividing line between work and play. Investing in a proper office chair is a better solution, so that you can select your ideal seating position.
Even when working from home, it’s not uncommon for people to sit and work for long periods without regular breaks, so it is imperative that home workers have a chair that is comfortable and offers great functionality when being sat down for long periods, but without having to compromise on style.
The Jota family of chairs are ideal for home working at a desk or a table, offering a range of functional styles and mechanisms to support the way you work, and with colours to match your home office needs. With so many adjustable settings in the fabric, mesh, draughtsman and visitor chairs, the Jota seating family offers the ideal configuration for any hard-working home professional, eliminating aches and pains associated with improper support.The home or the office of the future
The jury is still out on whether employees who work from home or work from an office are more productive. But with a dedicated workspace where you can concentrate, it becomes easier to unlock the benefits of remote working. In a survey of 7,000 workers last year by FlexJobs, 65% said they’re more productive working from home, citing benefits like fewer interruptions from colleagues, the ability to focus on the job in hand, minimal office politics and reduced stress from commuting.
There’s no doubt that the sudden increase in working from home is presenting problems for many people. But for others, working from home is giving people the opportunity and the freedom to create the space they need to do the work they need to do. The coronavirus has the potential to permanently shift working patterns as companies forced to embrace remote working by the pandemic find that their employees do not want to return to the office once the government restrictions are lifted.
Businesses that have had home working enforced on them during this crisis may find it sticks around as normality returns. It’s harder to say no to employee requests for working from home if they are being more productive and they have already have the home office furniture in place. And it’s easier to view the investment as a sensible one if it pays off for years, rather than months, to come.