Working from home may be the Holy Grail of working life for most folks dragging themselves through the daily commute, but it can present issues for those who are able to make the transition long-term. What about time management? Will there ever be a reason to change out of their pyjamas, again? Is the bed a workable desk-substitute?
1. Plan the environment
Sitting on the couch in pyjamas with a laptop balanced on their legs is fine for the odd bit of home work, but it’s not a healthy long-term solution. The home office needs to be properly designed to facilitate the job healthily and productively. For example, it’s pretty much impossible to work in the same room as the family watching TV and kids cascading around the furniture!
Choose a space, adapt it for working from home and guard it from outside influence, e.g. toys, household storage, etc.
2. Don’t forget risk assessments
According to the NHS, around 7.6 million work day were lost 2010-2011 due to musculoskeletal disorders like back pain. Many of these were the result of furniture at work problems like poor posture and the wrong office chair for an individual’s needs (N.B. Working lying down in bed is not good for the spine!)
Look into common furniture at work problems like poor lighting, the causes of back pain, and so on. The HSE (Health and Safety Executive) is a great online resource for folks working from home. They carry plenty of free online guides and checklists on their website.
3. Light it right
Poor lighting can cause eye pain and impact on the mood of the environment. Opt for several lighting sources to keep the space bright, free from shadows and as close to natural sunlight. Mirrors make great light diffusers in small or dull spaces.