Is working from home the new 9 to 5? That may still be up for debate, but it seems to be a growing trend. ONS figures show more than 1.54 million people work from home for their main job in the UK — up from 884,000 ten years ago.
In Scotland, those figures are 87,000 from October to December 2018, compared with 55,000 a decade before. So with more of use choosing to swap the daily commute for a home office, how do you create the best space?
Keep work and home life separate
There’s no doubt this is a fine balancing act.
It’s easy to get distracted, especially if others are at home during the day. But even if you’re alone, there are always household chores or other tasks ready and waiting to distract you.
Setting office hours — and sticking to them — are crucial. And, having a separate study space is ideal, that way you can shut the door and concentrate on the job at hand.
If that’s not possible, say for example your study area is part of an open-plan living space, have a think about zoning and try and keep away from high traffic areas. Perhaps bookcases can act as a divider for the area, and they’re also handy for storage too. And let those at home know when you’re not to be disturbed!
Let the light in
The rule of thumb is to get as much natural light as possible.
If you have a good view too, that’s another reason to have your desk close to a window. Just make sure you don’t have glare on your computer screen from indoor lighting, or the sun.
Chances are you’ll be spending hours a day in your home office, so make sure you take your time to scope out the right desk and chair for your needs. What’s best for you in terms of height and support? How big does your desk need to be? What fits the space?
Monitor and laptop stands are useful tools too for making sure your screen’s at eye level to prevent eye, neck and shoulder strain.
Control the clutter!
Keep stationery together in a cup or desk-tidy and develop a filing system to manage your documents. It’s also now so easy to store most things online, so think about going digital where you can to reduce the amount of paper you need to have around.
Have a good look too at storage options. If your office has built in wardrobes, that’s perfect. Perhaps archive boxes will work well? And shelving is a great option too.
Finally, make your home office a space you enjoy
When you’re in an office, you pretty much have to take the décor as it comes. This isn’t the case with your own office, so let your inner designer out! Small touches can make all the difference.
Choose a colour scheme that suits you; put up your favourite pictures — or buy some new ones. Have a look online at places such as Pinterest for inspiration.
Plants are a good shout too: they look great and do the job when it comes to improving air quality.
Looking to make a move?
CHAP Homes is building high specification homes at Crest of Lochter, Inverurie and Countesswells, Aberdeen.
And for those looking to work from home, these properties are ideal. Take Countesswells, for example. The development’s connected to the Grain hyperfast broadband network, so you’ll experience some of the fastest broadband speeds in the UK with unlimited data: critical when productivity’s front of mind.
Plus, the Lochbuie and the Ormaig four-bedroom detached homes have a home office space downstairs and these housetypes are available at both developments.