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Working from home – setting up your home office space

home office

Do you have plans to avoid the daily commute and work from home instead?

There are many benefits from making such an arrangement, whether you are an employee or a freelance. While home working doesn’t suit everyone, it’s becoming increasingly popular and much more acceptable to many employers.

Years ago, working from home was seen as a cop out, and many bosses feared that remote working would encourage laziness. But statistics show that the majority of remote workers are highly productive and are keen to prove that they can make the arrangements work.

If your boss has given you the green light to work remotely, you’ll need to set up a well-equipped home office.

Here are five tips to get you up and running:

1. Consider the space you need to work productively. Many workers need little more than a desk, laptop and phone, but ideally you should have a dedicated working area. If you have a spare room to convert into a home office, great- otherwise, consider where you can set up a permanent work station. Allow space for a filing cabinet or lockable cupboard to keep all work-related documents safe. If you are going to make video calls, plan appropriate décor for a professional image.

2. Invest in a good-quality, ergonomically-designed chair. Ergonomics must be taken into consideration if you want to avoid RSI and general aches and pains. Consider your ideal seating position, height of desk, height of screen, and so on, so that you can be sure to protect your back and neck from strain. A well-padded executive chair with a lumbar support is well worth the investment, and there are other types of ergonomic seating available. If you use a laptop, you can elevate it using a laptop riser or stand to avoid neck strain, and you can buy footrests if you need them to achieve the ideal seating position.

3. Consider security and data protection laws. If you’re an employee, your company will most likely provide expert advice to ensure you have a secure network to access company files. But if you’re a freelance, you’ll need to take into account the new data protection guidelines (GDPR) that recently came into force. (Read our two recent blog posts on this subject for more information). You might need to buy a shredder to safely dispose of paper files, and you’ll need to configure your printer so that it can’t be hacked.

4. Check your broadband speed is adequate for the work you’ll be doing. You may have to upgrade to superfast broadband if you deal with large files on a regular basis. Check you have all the communication equipment you need, including a good headset in you plan to use video links or VOIP.

5. Invest in some office essentials. Make sure you have all the little things that make office life easier- staplers, paperclips, post-its, highlighters, and so on. You won’t be able to beg, borrow or steal these little necessities from colleagues when you’re home alone!

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