To successfully work from home, there are various factors to consider. Here are the key requirements.Melanie Petersen
It is important to ensure that your home office is sufficiently quiet. The ideal space is a separate room with a door that shuts to prevent interruptions when making phone calls or when you are 'in the zone'. If it is not possible to use a separate room, it is beneficial to demarcate the space using shelving or a partition wall, for example.
If you have a family, it is advisable to discuss some ground rules. There is a risk of being interrupted every few minutes when working from home, particularly if there are children around. Be sure to clearly communicate when interruptions are permitted and when you definitely do not wish to be disturbed. With a separate room, for example, a closed door could mean that you must not be disturbed. Alternatively, there may be a certain time of the day (mornings or afternoons) when you are off-limits.
Your home office must be equipped with everything you need to work productively. A wireless internet connection is now standard. To ensure that a phone line is always available, you should have a dedicated line for your home office. This also provides a separation between work and leisure on your days off.
To prevent chaos descending on your work room, make sure there is plenty of storage. Otherwise there is a risk that papers kept in the living area, even temporarily, will get mixed up with private documents or be lost.
Before getting down to design and organization, choose the office furniture such as the desk, chair and lamps. Make as few compromises as possible on these items.
Take heed of ergonomic good practice in your home office. Even if your grandfather's beautiful wooden chair does fit well in the study and the furniture matches the room better, if the desk is positioned directly in front of the window, do bear in mind that you could be doing yourself long-term harm.
If you spend most of your working hours sitting down, make sure that your desk chair has plenty of adjustment options and promotes good posture . A height-adjustable desk that enables you to spend a couple of hours each day standing while you work can ease the strain on your back. Plenty of daylight is also recommended. Do not position the desk directly in front of the window, however, but rather parallel to it.
Key factors in workplace ergonomics according to the AOK , one of the largest providers of statutory health insurance in Germany:
The German Society for Work and Ergonomics recommends various measures to prevent eye problems caused by screen work :
As previously mentioned, utilize daylight as much as possible. Extra lighting will be required in most months. To protect your eyes, lighting should be bright but not too glaring. Ceiling lights emitting a soft light are the most suitable for a workspace. Place an adjustable lamp on the desk for spotlighting. It is important that light sources are flicker-free. This will also reduce direct and reflected glare.
Your workspace should include a personal touch. After all, this is one of the nicest things about working from home. Do however make sure that the room is not too cluttered. First, accommodate all documents and work equipment. Everything else is then up to you.
Potted plants create a homely feel and bring greenery into the space. As an added benefit, plants improve air quality.
It is worth including somewhere to relax in your workspace such as a sofa or comfortable armchair. Although you have the option of going into the living area, there is a risk of being distracted. If you are easily distracted, consider creating a quiet place in your home office. The more disciplined among you may forgo this.