For many of us it wasn’t all that long ago that the thought of working from home seemed like a dream scenario. It meant being comfortable in your own surroundings, no crazy commute to work, no bosses watching your every move, it seemed perfect.
Unfortunately, millions of us now find that it has been thrust upon us, not through choice but through the result of the global pandemic.
Whether you find yourself in this situation or whether circumstances compelled it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you make your home working environment as comfortable as possible.
Some of us were perhaps occasionally working from home, a couple of hours here and there might have been quite pleasant just perched on a comfy sofa with a laptop on your knee. However, for longer term working this is asking for trouble.
Even working from the kitchen table can lead to issues. The problem is with posture, neither the sofa nor the kitchen table were intended to be used as long-term work solutions.
Back and Neck Issues
One physical aspect of working from home without a proper workstation is the increased chance of back and neck problems caused by spending long times working in a situation where your posture is extremely compromised.
If your laptop or tablet is just perched on a worktop or on your lap this is forcing you to spend far too long with your neck and back bent in a forward posture with your shoulders rounded. Put simply, this is a recipe for disaster. We are just not designed to do this.
This isn’t likely to be a short-term problem either. Problems that occur because of long periods of bad posture can stick with us for the rest of our lives. And if you have existing back problems, as a large percentage of the population do, then this is just going to exacerbate the issue.
This is obviously something that should be avoided at all costs. In the workplace there are all sorts of Health and Safety Regulations that are designed to protect us from such issues.
It seems sensible that these same rules should be applied to the home environment if that is where your new workplace is.
This is perhaps the main benefit for having a proper desk and workstation for home working, but it is by no means the only one.
Separate Work and Home Life
A confession here, I have worked from home now in one form or another for over ten years. I can testify to the health issues and the benefits of improving your posture. But I also learned very quickly that in order to maximise your efficiency whilst working from home it is important to separate your workspace from your home space.
This doesn’t necessarily mean setting up an office in a different room, not all of us have the luxury of this. What I mean is to set up a space within your home that becomes your workspace.
This helps in several ways.
Helps to stay focussed
Firstly, being self-employed and being a master at procrastination, it was too easy to sit on the couch with the laptop on your knee and say to yourself, ‘Just one game of Solitaire’. Of course, three hours later I would tell myself ‘I suppose I’d better get some work done.’
This attitude changed the moment I set up a desk and a separate workspace. When I sit at my desk a mental switch is thrown that puts me straight into work mode.
Working from a kitchen table or on a couch with all the paperwork, phones, headsets and whatever other work paraphernalia you use strewn about you isn’t ideal. Normally it all needs to be tidied away at the end of the day and in my case haphazardly re-strewn about the next day. I seemed to spend half my working life looking for missing paperwork under cushions or carelessly left as a spill mat for the kettle.
Now I appreciate that I am not the most organised of people and others are going to be more meticulous, but it doesn’t alter the fact that this is time consuming and not conducive to a consistent working environment.
Having a set routine and a place to work is beneficial to mental health too! Okay so you might miss the usual office banter, but the fact is that having a ‘workplace’ seems to give us a purpose in life. It doesn’t matter whether it is a one-hour commute or a 10-second amble from the kitchen. The effect is similar.
And at the end of the day having somewhere to walk away from helps add that separation between work and home life that otherwise can be hard to differentiate.
Can Look Fantastic
The final thing I am going to cover is the aesthetics of having a workspace and desk at home. Many people shy away from this because they think they haven’t got the room or it is going to look terrible.
This simply isn’t the case.
Desks come in all shapes and sizes and have such a range of designs and innovative space saving solutions, that if chosen correctly can actually add a touch of class to the décor of your home.
If space is tight, there are desks that can be wheeled away once you are finished, or even folded up and tucked under a bed. If you have the room for a permanent solution then there are hundreds of desks in all shapes, sizes, and colour schemes to choose from.
And the great thing is you don’t need to break the bank when selecting one. As a quick browse through our handpicked selection of desks will prove. There are fantastic looking desks available that can be yours for less than £100 and these are available in all categories, from snazzy corner desks to space saving ladder desks.
Whether you have chosen to work from home or had home working thrust upon you, do yourself a favour, avoid the aches and pains, separate your work and home life and aid your productivity.
Not a bad set of claims from a piece of furniture!
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Last update on 2023-10-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API