Setting up a work space at home
With so many more of us working from home, creating a suitable space may well now be a priority.
Some of us might be lucky enough to have offices within a room in the house already or to have carried out extension or conversion work in the past to create a dedicated space.
Others may now be able to turn a bedroom into a study or find a corner of another room to turn into work area.
So, what are the key considerations?
Find the right place
If you can have the space to dedicate a room for work purposes, then this would always be the ideal.
An outbuilding, conservatory or spare bedroom could be turned into an office so you can “go to work” every day and remove yourself from the rest of the household.
If you do need to work within another room that has an alternative use, identify a slot when you can have the space to yourself and create an area within it that can become yours.
You will need to make sure you have adequate plug sockets close by and perhaps room for a small set of drawers or racks in which to keep any paperwork.
Set up a desk area
The nature of your work and your personal preferences will inform you on how you set up your desk area.
Some people might have no option but to set a computer and other equipment up on a kitchen table whereas others may simply need an area in which to keep papers and are then largely on the phone.
If you are setting up a desk area in the house, however, and are likely to spend hours there at a time, it is essential to follow as many of the recommendations as possible.
Position screens and keyboards carefully and make sure you have a supportive chair.
Think about your light sources.
If you can make the most of natural light, then do so: position your work space close to a window or under a skylight.
You may well, however, also need some artificial light for working on dull days or early in the evening – or you might have no choice but to set your desk up in a dark corner.
Look online to see if you can order a daylight lamp. Or find a good desk lamp that is easily adjustable.
General advice suggests a 400 or 450-lumen bulb is the best strength for working under.
If possible, it is always a good idea to make sure you have an appropriate chair for sitting on all day as you work.
The temptation might be to use a kitchen chair but consider investing in a proper ergonomic desk chair from an online store if you plan to be sitting on it for four hours or more a day.
Think about what else you need
Before you finally decide on where your work area will be, consider what else you need to bring in.
Would it be helpful to have a whiteboard on the wall? Would a noticeboard be handy? And do you have room for a printer?
It might be nice to be able to have your coffee maker close by or perhaps a kettle.
Equally, it could be better to have your “office” some distance away from the kitchen and hot drinking making equipment.
This means you would have to get up, stretch your legs and move around every so often, just as you would if you were out at work in an office setting.