How to create an inspiring, practical working space at home

Tue, 01 Sep, 2020

The world has changed dramatically in the past few months. The pandemic has altered the way we live and work in ways we could not have imagined when we rang in the New Year. It has also changed our decision-making process and how we plan for the future – including how we choose and create the best home for our needs. 

When looking at property for sale in Dubailand or any other neighbourhood of choice, buyers and investors now also assess how a potential living space can be a place of work as well. The same goes true even for those who already have their own home or staying at their preferred rental property. There is an increasing interest in designing and investing in homes that are both a haven for relaxation and a space for work productivity.  

The rise of the work from home economy

Amidst the obvious tragedy and hardship across the globe, there have been some positives for people too. Being forced to stay at home with family connected people more closely, there was a bit of time to take stock and assess priorities in life. Many had to do their best to work from home when they’d never experienced it before.

Now some way into this situation, we are used to wearing masks and working from home. Some return to their offices and miss the home environment. Some are still scared to go back. Lots of companies are now open to a work-from-home policy on a more permanent basis. Others have lost their jobs and are trying online jobs as a source of income.

There are benefits all round – telecommuting cuts transport costs, whether that’s public transport, petrol for the car, wear and tear and time, and it’s also beneficial to the environment.

The ‘gig economy’ is stronger than ever as employers look to get jobs done but without the overheads of having permanent employees on their payroll. If you’ve lost your job, you may be able to make a few changes in your skills/mindset that allow you to transfer to a freelance arrangement, which could give you an income and flexibility, even if you want to continue to search for a regular full-time job. 

So what can you do to maximise your effectiveness as a home worker? Here are a few simple ideas that you might find useful…

Get in the right space

For many, a separate room in the home that is just for a home-based office is a big ask. While some buyers might opt for condos for sale in Dubai that offer spacious rooms, others prefer to take advantage of more compact, efficient city living spaces. But you don’t need to sacrifice a whole room – with some smart space-saving solutions, you can create an area that is both practical and inspiring.

You’ll need a good surface – a small desk or a dining table (clear of paraphernalia) and some storage. A designated ‘workspace’ will get you in the right mindset to work and a proper seat, rather than slumping on the bed or sofa, will inspire you to focus more.

Take a seat

A spot with natural light and a good chair are important. If this is to be a long-term plan, you should really consider investing in a good five-wheeled chair that’s fully adjustable so you can sit comfortably for long periods with minimal strain to your back and neck. 

Look for a chair with lumbar support, where you are able to adjust the height of the seat, and the angle of the backrest. The castors and swivel action should allow you to turn and easily reach across your desk, and height-adjustable armrests will take the stress off your neck and shoulders. 

A good chair doesn’t have to be overly bulky or unattractive as long as it’s adequate to accommodate your build. With so many beautiful designs available, in comfortable and breathable fabrics and all sorts of colours, you can easily find one that complements your décor.

Set a schedule

Working from home requires discipline. As well as having a designated space, it’s important to set a clear time to start and finish your day’s work, so you can walk away and feel as you do when you walk out of the office at the end of the day. 

Hence you should define your working hours and stick to them. Don’t give in to distractions – be aware of your weaknesses so you can spot if you’re going off on a tangent and wasting time. But – equally important: don’t be too hard on yourself if the routine gets off-track once in a while. We all have off days so cut yourself some slack and get back to it tomorrow with a clear head, if work allows.

There is an interesting rule whereby the most effective workers focus on a task for 52 minutes and then take a 17-minute break. Or check out the Pomodoro Rule that describes 25-minute stints followed by a break. Speaking of which…

Take a break

Make sure you set a time to break up your day and move around a bit, so you get the blood flowing. Make some tea, walk around the garden or pop to the shop, then when you get back to your desk, you’ll feel fresh and ready to focus again.

Make sure to keep in touch and socialise, not only with friends and family but with work colleagues too. This will help to maintain a good working relationship and some of the camaraderie that goes along with being in a working environment together.

At the end of the day

When the working day is over, tidy your desk and if you are using a multi-purpose area, make sure you put as much of your work stuff away as possible so you really feel done for the day and away from work.

Having a definite end to your day will ensure the proper transition in mindset from work to home and you can start again fresh tomorrow!

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