If you’ve been on a train going to Glasgow Central on a weekday morning these last few months, you’d be surprised how quiet it has been compared to what it used to be like. It’s gone from a free-for-all to sometimes seeing rows of empty seats around rush hour.
It is hard to believe we are coming up on a year of being in various forms of lockdown. What a crazy shift many of us have had. While many people are still working out and about and staying safe, a huge chunk of people now call some part of their homes their office. All those people who used to squeeze their way onto the train are swapping the morning commute for a lie-in, or morning yoga, or having the time to take care of family business and not feel rushed. And while so many people are adjusting to the work from home way of living, it would be fair to say that most of us haven’t spent much time updating the home office. You might think it’s a fuss to do so or that it would be an inconvenience. Such thoughts couldn’t be further from the truth.
Thanks to the local furniture experts at Hampton & McMurray, who have been proudly serving customers across the Greater Glasgow area since 1952, here are some of the essential areas you should be tweaking and improving to have a fully functional home office, regardless of whether you’re at a small table under the stairs or have a spare bedroom itching to look the part.
Start with a chair
If I had only one thing to tell you, it would be to get a proper office chair. Regardless of where you’re working or how out of place it might look at weekends, it is better to have your posture right and back supported rather than spend around 8 hours a day sitting in something with no support.
Office chairs aren’t as expensive as you think either. There are big names like Herman Miller, which cost a pretty penny, but everywhere from IKEA to John Lewis to Amazon have budget-friendly options you can get shipped to your door. You’ll be surprised at how different sitting “normally” will feel after so long having not done it.
Learn about eye-lines
Swapping your ergonomic desk and nice mouse mat with raised monitor for a laptop you hunch over isn’t doing your back any good. Read up on eye-lines and screen distance when using a laptop at home. The majority of people using laptops at home for work are starting to build bad posture habits (just think about what you’ve been doing if you’ve been working at a laptop for almost a year now).
The easiest way of rectifying the slouch is to ask your work if they can provide a laptop holder, along with a separate keyboard and mouse. They’re easier to use and less cumbersome to store away (if you’re working from the kitchen or dining room table) than a monitor.
Tidy your mind with practical storage
I can’t work around a messy desk. But I also don’t have anywhere for a filing cabinet. Getting some practical storage, even it’s a small desk tidy, really helps clear your space and mind at the end of the work. It’s a terrible thing to have your work hanging over your head after clocking off, so even it means having a desk tidy or box you have to put away every evening, get some storage.
Get some artwork you want to look at
If you were working in an office with a view, and it has been swapped for a box room with a tiny window looking at the garden, you’ll want to get some wall art or artwork up. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or out of the ordinary. You don’t even have to head to the retail parks and look through home décor sections like the old days of flinging through posters at the record shop.
Do a bit of online shopping during your lunch break to find unique prints, artwork, and posters. I’ve found that Etsy is a great place to start. Type in something like “Paisley print/ Glasgow print” or something you’re a fan of, and you’ll be surprised at all the amazing local talents selling their drawings and prints online. Buy a few, support local artists, and hang them up to give your room some character.
Oh, and make sure you have one you can hang behind you, as it will look great when you’re on video calls.
Even if you think the next few months will see some form of routine kick back in with visiting the office once or twice a week, having a home office that is an inviting and welcoming space to work is only a good thing. I hope some of the expert advice here helps you figure out what you need to do with your home office. And don’t forget, if you need help finding anything I’ve talked about here, get in touch with Hampton & McMurray to see how they can help.