Whether you have been forced into working from home by the events of the past year, or you already had the option to do so when you want, it’s clear that the concept has allowed greater freedom. Axing the commute in favour of a brisk morning walk from the kitchen to the “office” has allowed us more time, saved us the frustration of sitting in traffic, and more. If your plan is to keep the home working going indefinitely, now might be the time to give your setup a more permanent feel.
Thanks to Zoom calls, we have all seen more than enough of our colleagues’ bookcases and kitchen tables. We’ve seen most of our workmates’ pets at close quarters, and although that’s an undeniably good thing, it’s probably going to start feeling unprofessional at some point. If we’re going to be working from home more from now on, now is the time to think about creating a permanent home business office – and the tips below will help you make yours modern and work-conducive.
Soundproofing and better acoustics
If “we” are working from home more these days, it’s a fair bet that our partners, flatmates and potentially even our kids are doing likewise. Which is great, because you get to have lunch with your loved ones, but it also presents the issue of noise being made in a building not designed for that purpose. In your home office you should be able to close the door and shut noise out. This may involve attaching thick blankets and curtains to the walls, or alternatively fitting acoustic foam squares (as beloved of many YouTube vloggers and musicians) – which will have the added benefit of dampening any echo on work calls.
Furniture that’s fit for purpose
It turns out that your chairs in the office are designed the way they are for a reason, and that an armchair or a kitchen chair don’t really suit being sat in for eight hours while you work on a presentation. So it makes sense to consult a guide to office furniture and pick out a chair that gives your back and the rest of your body the support that it needs. You may also need a desk that’s designed for office work, which can be considered an investment in your work environment.
Cameras and a video doorbell
Although more of us are at home during the day than would ordinarily be the case, it still makes sense to invest in home security when your home is going to be your office. Security camera equipment is more affordable than it has ever been, and can all be tracked from an app on your phone or laptop, meaning you don’t need to get up and investigate external noise or answer the door multiple times a day.
A home office shouldn’t be overly decorated – visual distraction can make it hard to keep focused on your work. It should, however, have a window and ideally one large enough to let in substantial natural light. There should be no reason for your home office to feel gloomy and dark, as you have a level of control over it that you never have in the non-home office. Natural light is important for myriad health reasons, so get as much as you can.