The pandemic has changed all our priorities and nowhere more so than when choosing a home. Outdoor spaces are now a premium as are spaces to create a home office.
Be creative and flexible when viewing a property, planning regs allowing, even the most unassuming storage rooms can be transformed into a really useful working space.
If there’s room in the garden, and again, planning regs considered, look at the really good garden offices available.
Possibly the most important consideration is good seating. It’s likely that your dining table and chair set up isn’t as ergonomically sound as your desk at work.
To prevent back pain, tension and tiredness, take time to make sure that your table/seat height ratio are really comfortable for you. Try cushions to support your back, or a box as a footrest might help. Your knees should be slightly lower than your hips.
You should be able to use the keyboard with your wrists and forearms straight and level with the floor and your elbows should be at your side so you form an L shape at the elbows.
Also take time for breaks, getting up to walk about, making a cuppa…
Your lighting at home wont be the same standard as lighting at work. Check out the maximum wattage for your work area lighting at home (it will be on the fitting) and go for the brightest clear bulb that you can.
Natural light is also essential for wellbeing, so try to sit by a window if possible. If you can afford it, specialist reading lamps are a really good investment for good eye health. A well-placed mirror can also increase the light.
If you’re fortunate to have a spare room, use it as your office. As far as possible it’s a good idea to have a space that you can close the door on and shut the tensions of work away.
If you don’t have the space, look at a storage box so you can at least clear your work away for the evenings and weekends. While we’re having to spend so much time at home, it’s really important that you make boundaries.
If you’re home schooling, try to make the workspace different from the home space.
If you’re working at the dining table, try to configure the seating differently so that the “work” mode is different from the “home” mode. It will help get everyone in the right frame of mind.
If you are fortunate enough to have a spare room, make it a room you enjoy being in. Paint it your favourite colour. Sort out the filing so everything is to hand. Have things around you that you like. Maybe favourite pictures, plants, a favourite rug. This time of year, a pot of bulbs can really lift the spirits in any room.
About Claire Rendall:
From penthouse apartments to underground garages, historic listed property refurbishments to innovative self-build project plans, outdoor lighting logistics to interior transformations and renovations, Claire specialises in interior and exterior design projects commissioned by clients who require a unique response to their lifestyle, property and budget.
You can learn more about Claire on her website.