As the pandemic subsides and we slowly get back to normal, many companies are now embracing a more hybrid way of working. Hybrid working means that for two or three days of the week you go into the office, and for the remainder of the week you are working for home.
Whether you choose to adopt this new style of working, or whether you are self-employed and have been working from home for many years now, it is important to create a work environment that encourages a more productive attitude to working when moving from your personal, family environment straight into your professional one.
A comfortable chair
We probably don’t consider a good office chair a necessity when working from home. It’s too easy to make do with rejects from other rooms that you can’t quite bring yourself to throw away, and you end up perching on hard seats with wonky legs.
But if you are going to be spending at least two days a week in your home office, you’ll probably find you spend more time sitting in your office chair than you do your sofa. Comfort and ergonomics are essential. A good quality office chair not only looks good, it will provide you with essential back support. Combined with an ergonomic work station, such as a standing desk converter, you’ll be able to maintain a healthier working position and create a healthier working environment.
A clear glass wipe board
A clear glass wipe board is a more attractive way of writing down your daily goals and task list. Mounted in a position that you can see it from your desk (but it is not visible to anyone you are talking to virtually) it is a great place for noting down any prompts you may need for difficult and challenging conversations.
It’s also a great place for family to scribble on messages and reminders for you if you’re too busy on a call to chat with them.
A good background for virtual calls
As well as arranging what you are looking at in front of your desk, you also need to consider what other people may see behind you when on virtual meetings. Although many virtual platforms such as Zoom and Teams do offer a facility for blurring or changing your background through their platform, it only really works if you have a green screen. Otherwise the effect is often poor quality and affects they way in which you appear on the screen.
Your background can reflect who you are professionally – a few books, maybe a logo on the wall. Main thing is to keep it simple and tidy, and positioned so that you don’t look as though you have a plant growing out of your head. Stage it so that it is balanced with you in the centre of the picture.
A differentiation between work and home
This is a highly personal thing to achieve. Many people feel that the differentiation is achieved by putting on office clothes, even though you’re not actually going into the office. Others might take a short walk round the block as though they are walking into work. Whichever works best for you, but it helps to change from home mindset into office mindset.
High speed internet
We know that guaranteeing a good internet connection is not easy. Your home location could unfortunately be in one of those areas where underinvestment in infrastructure has left you in a bit of a black hole when it comes to your internet connection. When considering whether to go hybrid or not make sure you doublecheck whether your internet speed will be enough to fulfil your working requirements.