Working from home; the new normal?

 

Over the past few months, we’ve all had to make some changes, whether that’s home-schooling, seeing family members less and washing our hands more in the coronavirus pandemic. One of the biggest changes that continues to affect over a third of the U. K’s workforce is the shift in people working from home. Most people continue to work from home for at least a couple of days a week to help with social distancing. As we’ve been blessed with generally great weather since the start of lockdown, it might have slipped our minds that all this time at home (caused by Covid-19) may continue into winter, and therefore it may begin to affect our home heating.

 

Not all of us are lucky enough to have a home office - perhaps you work on the dining room table or even in your bedroom.  Luckily, we’ve got some great decor, planning and heating tips to make your space more comfortable for remote working and help improve your well-being, whether that’s for the long or short term.

 

Helpful tips for working from home.

 

Open shelving:

This tip works for both offices and work spaces alike. Open shelving isn’t just a practical solution to store folders and books, it’s also a great way to personalise the space at low cost. Pictures, plants, ornaments, candles, calendars; make it as professional or as fun as you want. It’s nice to have positive things surrounding you when you’re in the same space all day so add some of your own unique style. You could even paint the wall behind the shelving, or put up some fun wallpaper to add some colour. Remember, one of the best things about working from home is that you can do what you want with your space, so you should take advantage of it.

 

Ditch the desk:

If you don’t have the space, then a desk isn’t always needed. Although it is good to be able to leave your work paraphernalia together in one place, if you have a smaller space, a desk is not always necessary. You can find small tables for eating or even fold down dressing tables for bedrooms or dining rooms and can fold away to nothing for the weekend. If you do have a home office, a more streamlined table without the bulk or storage can help in making the room seem lighter and more versatile. Don’t get stuck in the ‘home office’ mindset. There is a lot of furniture that can work just as well in that environment. Keep in mind that multiple use rooms can get overwhelmed quickly, so streamlining is always a good option.

 

Find a good work life balance:

One of the most common problems is that it can be difficult to separate work time from personal time. If you're not careful, the work day can become extended and you can find yourself checking work emails whist in bed. You shouldn't forget your home life and it is important to set a time when your work hours’ end. At this point, make sure you put away the to-do list until the next morning. One of the perks of working from home is that you may be able to set your own hours to suit your own schedule. Some companies offer more flexible working hours. So, you may be able to start work early, or late, depending on what suits you.

 

Remember it is a good idea to take a lunch break. This is something that is easily overlooked by remote workers. Ensure your lunch break is away from the computer/phone and allow yourself some digital down time. Another issue people face with remote working is the lack of social connections. People find that working from home can be lonely. This can be bad for your mental health. This is where modern technology such as video conferencing can be beneficial. Have Zoom, Facetime, Google Hangout or Skype video calls with your colleagues (and friends) where possible. This will allow you to check in and catch up with them whilst getting some virtual face-to-face contact. It is also a good idea to step outdoors if possible and get some fresh air and exercise. Exercising daily is a create way to boost your mood and productivity.

 

Warmth and light:

If you’re going to be spending hours sitting at your laptop or computer, you want it to be comfortable. Comfort can include the chair you’re sitting on, the lighting and the temperature of the room. It’s a general tip that the top of your computer screen should be in line with your eye line for optimum performance. Lighting can be a tough one, and requires a delicate balance between bright and airy with minimal screen glare. Your workspace should always be well lit. Try to source a lightbulb that produces a natural light as opposed to a tungstun or florescent light as these can play havoc with productivity. As the winter months approach, try and avoid the seasonal slump by making sure your lighting is up to scratch.

 

Finally, the temperature should be comfortable all day. If you’ve never worked at home before, it can be tempting (especially on cooler days) to put the heating up as high as possible and forget about it. However that’s not good for you or your energy bills. If there’s only one person working from home, then heating room by room may be the best option. As it gets cooler, keeping the heating on low and ensuring you're wearing appropriate clothing for the season could help. One thing to remember is the positioning of your workspace and ensuring you’re not too far from the nearest radiator.

 

cosy work from home at dining tableWorking at the dining table is a good way to ensure you're packed away before dinner time.

Image by: @the_housethat_large_built

 

Don't wait until winter!

Perhaps you’re repurposing an unloved part of the house to be used as a work space such as a loft conversion or a conservatory. Don't leave it until is is too late. Column Rads has a huge range of electricpanel and column radiators that will work well in any room, for any purpose. Our range includes a variety of sizes, so whether your space is small or large, we can help to provide that comfort. If you’re not sure what size you might need, head over to our BTU Calculator for more information.

 

Join us on Instagram and share your rads with our followers. Drop us a DM to be in for a chance to shared on our grid.  Need inspiration? Come find us on Pinterest where we have created mood boards for various rooms and styles to help you with your renovation and DiY projects.