A Happy Working from Home Space
For a lot of us, we are going to be working from home for the foreseeable. Just writing that sounds a bit odd. The notion of working from home seems quite nice, the prospect of doing it for the foreseeable seems a little scary. It means a lot of adjustment, pretty quickly. For some people working from home is just part of their normal and they’ve been working from home for years, for the vast majority of us it means some big changes. Changes that need to happen pretty quickly. The switch from the office to the home office is quite a big one and some of us will have spaces that we can utilise and inhabit pretty quickly but for some of us, we have to make do with the sofa or the dinning room table as a substitute. Whilst for some creative types the sofa is great for others it’s a real pain in the butt (or back).
So luckily I’ve got a home office I can work out of and it works pretty nicely. I’m writing a lot at the moment and trying to make CareerHealth work / get off the ground so I seem to spend a lot of time in the home office regardless if I’m going into the work office or not. For me there are a couple of things that I find making working from home more enjoyable and comfortable and fortunately I’ve got some of those in my home office.
A decent chair is key. Not to be underrated by any means. I very nearly bought a cheap chair from Argos because I couldn’t bare parting with the seventy or so quid for a semi-decent one. However, last year, well actually for the last few years, I’ve been struggling with lower back pain on and off and because of how annoying that had been I didn’t want anything to aggravate it. So I decided to purchase a decent office chair. The chair has a tall back that means it supports my back properly (should I chose to adopt a decent posture) which has thus far stopped me getting any back pain. Which is obviously a good thing. In all seriousness, having good posture and a decent chair is something we tend to take for granted as most offices have a really good set up. It’s one thing that’s properly important if we are going to be doing this whole working from home thing for the next however long.
Paper. So I have a brain like a sieve. I don’t remember anything after hearing it once, actually I don’t seem to remember anything after hearing it fifteen times and consquently I have to write things down. I also like to draw around notes and make certain bits stand out so I’ve come up with this quite genius solution. I’ve got an A3 pad of paper that sits under my keyboard. It’s working marvellously so far and it means that I can draw / note take whilst browsing and I can just flip it over when I’m onto the next thing. Now this obviously wouldn’t work if I was going into the office every day (insert image of me taking a huge notepad to work) but for right not its perfect.
Good lighting helps too. It’s no secret that we are all staying in a lot more. It can sometimes feel like that we aren’t getting any sunlight whatsoever and that all the days blur into one. Having some good light stream into the room makes me feel more, well awake for one but two like I’m going outside without actually going outside. In all seriousness, I find sunlight is super impactful to my mental health and I think it is for a lot of people. We all feel a little down in the winter months because of the lack of sunlight. Luckily now we are heading into spring so we see a lot more sunlight but we obviously aren’t going out as much. Keeping the blind open allows the natural light to stream in and it definitely makes me feel a little less like the world is totally falling apart.
Coffee. I’m not sure about anyone else but since working from home I’ve started to go off coffee a bit. I’m not entirely sure why, maybe it tasted nicer in the office but since being relegated to home it seems to go down less well. Nonetheless, I tend to have some sort of hot drink next to the computer for a good part of the day. If nothing else to warm me up (my heating bill is going through the roof with all this working from home) but I find having a drink stops me snacking as much. Snacking is actually one of the things I’m a little scared will get totally out of hand by the end of this whole situation. I’m actively avoiding snacking in the day, which so far is going quite well, however it gets to dinner time and I think I deserve a treat every night it seems and thus I’m defeating the whole objective.
Keeping a clear desk. As I write this and look at my desk I feel like a bit of a hypocrite. It’s a total mess right now but normally it’s tidy… I promise. I think because of the huge amount of change and uncertainty going on sometimes it’s good to get a bit of order on the things you can get order on. So having a clean and tidy house / work space is one less thing to worry about and one less thing to make you feel that life isn’t falling apart. That saying ‘out of sight out of mind’ is true, so even if you’re just sticking paper in a draw in order to make things feel a little less cluttered that’s totally cool in my book.
Having a nice clean, clear workspace that provides everything you need it to is a little comfort in this odd time. It for me at least, makes me feel a little more relaxed in the current climate and means that I can be as productive and as normal as can be.
Originally published at https://www.careerhealth.info on April 1, 2020.