Remote working is on the up, and according to data from the Office of National Statistics, 50 percent of the UK’s workforce could be working remotely by 2020. While in the early days, there were reservations that people would work less effectively from home, this has proven not to be the case.
Perhaps people in general are not given enough credit – the truth is, the vast majority of employees are serious about getting their work done and the minority who would simply sit at home watching TV are those same people who would sit in the office staring out of the window or surfing the internet.
By and large, remote working is a win / win for employees and employers. For the former, it means office costs are reduced in terms of the desk space needed and those everyday consumables such as tea, coffee and stationery. For the worker, there is no daily commute, and the ability to fit work commitments seamlessly around domestic chores such as school runs and housework.
However, working “from the comfort of home” can be taken a little too literally. Sitting on the sofa with a laptop balanced on your knees is not an ideal way to spend your day, and will result in a sore neck and frequent distractions. So what are the essential ingredients to the perfect home working environment? Here are some pointers.
Demarcation is key
The majority of home workers operate best when there is still a separation of some sort between home and work. An office is ideal, but it could just be a corner of the living room. The idea is to still get yourself into the mindset that you are “going to work.”
You do not need to be fully kitted out with every office supply, but there are some essentials that you cannot manage without. Of course, you will have your trusty laptop, and you’ll need a reliable internet connection for streaming live chat and conference calls.
Also, a combination printer and scanner are must-haves. While our reliance on printed media is not as heavy as it once was, there will still be times when you need to print and sign documents. Shop around for the printer that best meets your personal needs, and also for the necessary consumables. The largest selection of inkjet cartridges and toners can be found online, and will invariably be far cheaper than in the shops.
Let there be light
The right lighting is key to productivity, and will help you avoid headaches and eyestrain. Natural sunlight is best of all, and acts as a mood booster, so setting up your office close to a window is a good idea. Just make sure you have good blinds or curtains for when the sunlight gets a little too much.
As far as artificial lighting is concerned, avoid fluorescents or spotlights if at all possible. A floor light is perfect for providing ambient light that is not too harsh.