For many of us working from home is now the new normal. For some it’s a dream come true - no commute, the best snacks, less colleague distraction and track pants all day! For others, it’s a challenge to say the least. The lack of routine and the cabin fever has been affecting all of us in ways we never would have expected. At Carlisle homes -we have always championed the idea of making the most of the space you live in and right now THAT is more important than ever. So here are some tips for setting up a home office that boosts your productivity whilst reflecting your personality.
1. Consider the Ergonomics!
Now if that sounds unfamiliar to you, don’t stress. Ergonomics are actually just the science of making your workspace comfortable for YOU! Whilst it’s tempting to just set up shop on the couch, it’s actually really important to consider your posture and the chair you are sitting on. If you don’t have a dedicated home office (that’s been collecting junk until now) then you are probably better off sitting at your dining room or kitchen table with a good chair. Investing in a purpose built desk chair should not cost an arm and a leg and you can even have one delivered. Officeworks has put together an online ergonomic range to suit all postures. Or if you would like to know how to set up your table and chair more ergonomically read this easy-to-follow Officewise guide. Remember - we need to be prepared to work like this for more than just a few days – and there is no need for it to be uncomfortable.
Top Ergonomic tip: the top third of your screen should be at eye level. If your screen isn’t high enough boost it up with a dedicated monitor or laptop riser or use one or two of your large coffee table books. Who knew we’d even have a purpose for the old school phone book again.
2. Set the mood!
This is your chance to have the best office on your floor. No one feels particularly inspired while working in a dark and dingy closet – so it’s just as important to make your home office feel like an inspiring space to work every day.
Bright ideas start with light. Natural daylight improves our mood and makes us happier so where possible try to sit near a window. If you need additional light choose an LED globe with warm white, rather than cool white, as this is closer to natural light. Beacon Lighting even has a stylish range of desk lamps that you have probably always wanted but never before had a reason to own.
Plants breathe life into every space. Adding green to your office will not only enhance your mood, plants also filter toxins giving us cleaner air. This leads to less stress and better focus. Visit stores like Bunnings online or your local plant nursery to source indoor plants and advice.
Give yourself some breathing space. Remove clutter and organise your desk with trays, containers, step files and boxes to store away your stationary, paperwork and files. If you have the room include some shelves or drawers. You don’t need to spend a lot of money decking out your home office – IKEA and Kmart home deliver stylish storage solutions that will make the corner of your living room feel like the corner office you have always dreamt about.
Bonus colour tip: If you suddenly have time for DIY why not give the space a fresh new colour?! Cool colours are relaxing, purple stimulates your imagination and yellow is uplifting. Otherwise aim for neutrals like grey or cream that won’t create distraction. Visit our friends at Dulux for more colour inspiration.
3. Plan out your working day!
Diarise your day: Give yourself set meal times, break times and work hours, so you will be less inclined to visit the fridge every hour, take personal phone calls, watch TV or get distracted by other tasks that you wouldn’t usually do in the office.
Make time to stretch: Stop work, stand and stretch a few times a day. Set yourself a reminder in your phone if you find yourself forgetting and feeling tight and tense at the end of the day. For some simple and effective daily stretches you can do from your desk click here.
A healthy mindset comes with a healthy body: So schedule in some time for fresh air and exercise -take a walk or run outdoors, try yoga or meditation. Pop outside a few times a day to recharge the batteries or try one of the many classes available online to get you moving at home.
Like the idea of a home gym workout? There are many virtual workout options available catering to all fitness levels. Support local and contact your neighbourhood gym to find out what they are offering or visit an online solution such as Sam Wood who is providing a FREE 28 minute workout each morning at 9am, which is also family friendly. If you’ve always wanted to try yoga or meditation, use the time you save on your morning commute. Jump onto your App Store there are plenty of options for FREE and paid apps in this wellness space.
At the end of the day we know that this situation is not ideal - but it’s also not forever. We hope you will find the above tips useful to make the most of your time, energy and home workspace.
Most importantly be kind to yourself and each other by staying at home. The Carlisle Homes community wishes you, our employees and their families well during this challenging time. We will get through this together (at a socially safe distance).
Many Carlisle Homes floor plans come complete with a study, take a virtual tour of our home designs here.