Over the last 12 months, the rate of employees working from home has jumped to nearly 25%. Many employers are now planning on office-free or flexible work in the future. But many of our homes are not set up for optimum working conditions. Focusing on well-being and health is essential when working from home, so we have rounded up some ways to optimise your home office to stay healthy and efficient.
Create a dedicated workspace
If your company is planning a permanent move to home or flexible working in the future, it could be worthwhile doing some home renovations to create a dedicated workspace.
Upgrading a spare bedroom, garage or loft space are obvious solutions. Having a room that is solely for work will help you to switch off from work at the end of the day and enjoy the rest of your house as a home.
If you have a good-sized garden, why not invest in a garden office. A dedicated cabin with heating and lighting will separate your work and home lives.
Get the right technology
No matter your job role, having the right tools can increase your well-being while working at home. For a start, you will want to have a reliable Wi-Fi connection. Some employers are offering employees stipends for their broadband bills while working from home, so it’s worth enquiring with your Human Resources department about this.
The HR department may point you in the direction of the HMRC website where you can claim tax relief for additional household costs if you have to work at home on a regular basis. In addition to a new broadband connection, other costs include things like heating, metered water bills, home contents insurance and business calls.
Invest in the right furniture
Ensuring your home office or designated workspace does not harm your overall health is essential when enhancing your work from home experience. Sitting for hours on end with bad posture can lead to long-term injuries and even surgery.
Additional monitors are commonplace in offices and help with keeping your screen at eye-level. Investing in a keyboard and ergonomic mouse can also benefit your posture while sitting, or standing, at your desk for a couple of hours or more.
Ergonomic desk chairs can be expensive, but they are worth the investment when it comes to your well-being while working. You could also invest in a standing optional desk. Sitting for too long can cause pressure to build up in your lower back and create stiffness in your hips, standing for a couple hours throughout the day can help ease these issues.
Stands for your laptop and proper lighting are essential too. Poor lighting can result in eye strain and a screen that is too low can cause neck and shoulder pain. Investing in these relatively inexpensive upgrades can dramatically improve your work experience at home.
A delay in getting the right equipment may lead to serious health conditions in the future. Like with your other expenses when working from home, your employer’s HR department may be able to help you with the costs for furniture you need. If you are unable to get support from your employer, you could consider a long-term loan to help you create a healthy environment in which to work. Loans aren’t always right for everyone. It’s important to carefully review your circumstances before you consider applying for a loan.