Whether it’s a traditional home library or study, a spare room, an outbuilding in the garden, in a basement, more than six months into the pandemic, you’ll want to set up a home office that helps you to keep organized, so you’ll need more than a desk and a chair tucked away in the corner.
Revamping your home office
For many people, retirement nowadays is more of a process and less of an event. While lately, for obvious reasons, more-and-more people have escaped the office and are working from home, and in the current property surge, a home office is becoming a highly sought-after feature.
Hopefully, by now, you’ll have left the grey cubicles and dingy open-plan floors behind and perhaps established a portfolio career, but when setting up a home office, you’ll still want to give it a professional touch that creates an environment where you’re inspired to do your best work, as well as look good for those regular zoom calls! Whether that be starting on the novel you’ve long had at the back of your mind, carrying out consultancy work, or even completing your tax returns.
Here are some tips to help you get started.
Open up to natural light
The more natural light, the better. Workers with greater natural light are said to benefit from;
- Greater productivity
- Fewer mistakes
- Increased alertness
- Improved mood
- Reduced eye strain
- Better quality sleep
If you can’t access sufficient natural light, especially during Winter, then you’ll need to invest in good quality lamps. Few people work better in the dark.
Think very carefully about where you sit
Being sedentary all day is bad for us, and some modern workspaces encourage standing at a raised desk. You may not wish to go that far, but you should carefully consider where you’re placing your posterior for several hours each day and make sure your chair is ergonomic and comfortable, with lumbar support and set up properly to help your posture. And don’t forget to keep active with regular stand-ups and the odd walk around the house or garden to keep you alert.
Minimalist or maximalist? You decide
Many people find that by removing any distractions, they create a focused space. You may choose to reduce the clutter altogether – or embrace it and create a temple of productivity. For example, if you’re going for minimalism, you’ll want to go wireless and either tidy away or banish altogether unsightly power cords for your scanner, printer and mouse. If you’re taking a maximalist approach, then hang up your certificates and awards, or put up an inspiring picture to greet you at the start of every workday. Whether it’s framed affirmations, a poster of a favourite destination, the point of the pictures is to put you in the best frame of mind for working.
If you can’t have a separate office, then you’ll want to match your home décor – say, a nice antique desk or a glass table – whatever matches your home aesthetic.
Find a good view
Placing your desk so that it faces a window is a good way to create a mental separation when your workspace is part of another room.
There’s a good reason why plants have long been a traditional office staple, it’s often said that plants help people to feel calm and focused and of course they do an excellent job of sucking up toxins and chemicals.
Get away from it all
You may wish to create your own purpose-built office space at the bottom of the garden, where you can be as creative or austere as you wish. Typical costs for this range from around £1,000 for a flat-pack summer house, up to £15,000 or more for a high spec, custom-built garden office. Don’t forget to check up on planning permissions in your area. You could look into ways of financing such a move by visiting our loan calculator or equity release calculator and seeing how much you could borrow.
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