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More and more of us are working from home, and as we try to juggle homeschooling, household chores and the new norm of video calls there’s never been a better time to consider a dedicated home office space. Whether that’s an area in your lounge, an empty spare room or awkward space under the stairs. With a clearly defined home office, your working world need never encroach on your leisure or family space.
Almost every house has an opportunity for a home office. Even if you can’t spare an entire room, there could be an untapped space that’s perfect for setting-up everything you need to work comfortably. Here are our top 10 tips to help keep you positive and productive when working from home:
The kettle may be on hand while you’re working at the kitchen table, but this space isn’t a practical work environment. As a high traffic area, you’ll be distracted by other family members if you don’t live alone and even if you do, you’ll find it hard to switch off when you use the space for cooking and relaxing. Creating a dedicated workspace in an unused nook or even utilising the space under the stairs will make you more productive.
You might be working from home, but that doesn’t mean you can’t personalise your space. Shelving allows you to display pieces of art, professional awards or family photos. If you have a hobby or interest, weave aspects of what you love into your office design. While you’ll create a space to suit the needs of your job, leave a little room for your personality to shine.
You’ll feel more energised in a well-lit, airy space. Even if you’re converting an alcove or moving furniture to create a separate work zone, consider your lighting or choose an area with plenty of natural light and fresh air. Install light window coverings or invest in ceiling dimmers and desk lamps.
Working from home means we’re spending most of our days sitting, hunched over our desks, occasionally making our way to the kitchen for a cup of tea or the lounge to check in with family. Switching from a conventional desk to a standing desk can be a great way to improve posture and keep you moving throughout the day. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to stand all day, try altering the height of your workspace depending on how to feel to promote productivity and ease aches.
Working from home probably adds around two hours to your day simply by avoiding the commute to the office. You can use this time to be active; take an online exercise class, practice yoga or walk the dog locally. Doing something active is a healthier way to start the day, wake up your mind and improve wellbeing.
Mark your territory. Make sure you keep your professional papers and working documents in their own space – there’s no point getting your day-to-day notes mixed up with your domestic bills or the kids’ homework. Well-designed storage, whether it’s bespoke desk space or dedicated shelving, will help you to organise your work efficiently.
A welcoming workspace will put you in a positive frame of mind. If you are working in a defined zone that’s visible from other rooms, a great tip is to style and paint it in a colour that complements adjacent areas but gives it a point of difference so that you can separate your workspace.
Health and safety still count when working from home, so think about your cables and technology management. Well-designed, bespoke office furniture considers practical aspects such as the position and number of sockets, where your computer screen will sit to reduce glare, and all those trailing wires and cables. If you don’t have a dedicated space organising headphone wires, chargers and other office cables ensure they’re out of reach from young family members and helps you stay a little more zen when you have a million things to do.
If you have the room, converting an empty loft space, an area in your garage or the box room makes sense. You can close the door on the rest of your life while you get on with making a living. It certainly beats trying to work from a laptop on your knee in the lounge or from the kitchen table.
Once your home office is up and running, you need the self-discipline and motivation to use it. An excellent way to get into work mode at home is to wear your work clothes and to give yourself a daily work schedule.
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Design visits are an opportunity for our designers to listen to your ideas, likes and dislikes
and advise on the best way to unlock your home's potential. Whether your space is large, small
or a little bit awkward, a design visit helps visualise the best solution that is unique to you
and your home.
The room is transformed and has been hugely admired by family and friends. I was pleasantly surprised by the attentive and courteous client care – everything went according to plan and nothing seemed too much trouble. They were in regular contact before and after the installation. I would highly recommend Neville Johnson to anyone wanting to transform a room.
Cherry Murdoch, London
Our new staircase looks fantastic. We’ve had lots of compliments and it has transformed our hallway. The whole experience was great from beginning to end, from discussing our requirements to the finished article.
Mr & Mrs Begbie, Hampshire
A real easy process, I would really recommend Neville Johnson to anyone. From the first phone call through to a very skilled fitter (who had to go above and beyond with our old house not having one straight line in it) it was all so easy. We couldn’t be happier that we chose to use Neville Johnson.
Richard Smith, Surrey
From our initial enquiry to the completion of our staircase, we have found all the members of the team at Neville Johnson to be very helpful, courteous and professional in all our dealings. The staircase has transformed our living space. We have been very impressed with this company from start to finish and would not hesitate to recommend them.
Pauline Treston, Northumberland
From the moment the brochure was delivered, I was optimistic that we were buying quality. I wasn’t disappointed. All contact made was courteous, polite and clear, with phone calls confirmed by email. In short, we’re really thrilled with our library and it was effortless from start to finish.
Alison Cole, Swinton
From the outset of our contract with Neville Johnson, we were supported with design choices, given expert advice and all deadlines were met. Everyone was courteous, knowledgeable and friendly. The craftsmanship is superb; our staircase is now an outstanding feature of our open plan lounge.
Judith Scorer, Stockport
From contacting the company to the point where the cupboards were fitted I was impressed by the whole process. The initial salesperson that visited was knowledgeable and helpful. I would certainly use Neville Johnson again and highly recommend this company.
Mrs S. D, Lincolnshire
From the initial contact with the company to the completion and installation everything was utterly professional; we have no hesitation in recommending the company to anybody. We are so pleased, that Neville Johnson is returning to install a new staircase!
Mr and Mrs Thorpe, Radcliffe
From the initial meeting with the senior designer to discuss our needs, to the surveyor and then the installer, we were extremely delighted with the end result. The installation process went without any problems. All the staff were very professional and we would recommend Neville Johnson without hesitation.
Rosalind Tunnicliffe, Solihull
I cannot recommend this company enough. From first contact we received very high quality service. We were informed as to everything that was going on, which was backed up by the necessary paperwork, plans and phone calls. The fitter was competent and the work he did we can’t fault.
Mrs K Holroyd, Wrexham