How to adapt your home to become your work space

Guest blog

By Lali Bunting

This subject really spoke to me and, funnily enough, I decided to write my dissertation on this while I was studying at the National Designs Academy in Nottingham. I feel as though this topic is really relevant to a lot of us and I just want to give those a few tips who may be struggling with adapting and those who feel they need to make some changes in order for their working day to be more successful. 

2020 was a year which changed the way in which a lot of us worked. The arrival of the pandemic meant that very few employers and employees were unaffected by its impact on working practices. Things feel like they have returned to normal to a certain extent now, sure. Yes, the bars and pubs are open and it isn’t compulsory to wear masks anymore, but the way we work has kind of stayed the same for a lot us. At home. I wrote this blog to help those who have and will have to overcome the challenges and hurdles faced when adapting to changing working environments to your home environments and what can be done to face some of these issues head on.

The practical side of working from home is not always straightforward. Our workplaces are designed to be just that – workplaces. Many of our homes are not designed around the need to work within them. Here are some ways to improve your home office space which will cover limitation of available space; safeguarding personal motivation and well-being; and maintaining professionalism. 

SPACE: 

You’re faced with working from home, but you don’t have a separate space in order for you to concentrate as you could in the work space. Your kids are on summer holiday, your partner is playing on his PS4 next to you, that TV programme on in the background looks really interesting. You may be on the opposite side to this, and you do have a separate space, but you do not know how to utilise that space.

Number 1 thing to focus on is getting that separate space from your home life. You need to be able to shut the door at the end of the day as if you would do when leaving work to go home. Is there a room in your house that is unused throughout the day? Do you have space under your stairs? Is your spare bedroom not being used? Do you have a shed you can convert into an office space? There are so many things to consider before plonking yourself on the sofa or at the dining table with constant distractions around you.

Now you have figured where you could potentially put your office, you could potentially be limited by space. If you have a good idea of a space you can happily work in then that’s great. If you’re still struggling and cannot think of anywhere suitable for your home office then you will just have to make do with what you have got HOWEVER I would suggest the following:

  1. Fold away furniture; this is a great utilisation of space, fold away desks, chairs or storage space allows you to pack up at the end of the day and resume your normal life at home with no extra space used.
  2. Try to minimise the amount of traffic in and out the room.

Now you need to decide what to do with that space. Which brings me onto…

MOOD AND MOTIVATION:

Your mood affects the way you work, it’s a known fact. If you are feeling happy you are productive, if you are feeling down or unhappy then it shows in the work you do or how fast you do it. I’m not saying I can fix all your worries and problems (as much as I’d want to!) but as I have said, a good working environment helps your mood which then leads to productivity. If you are then being productive at work it has a domino effect and things in your life will start to feel more at ease.

Once your workspace has been thought about, you can then start to think about what style you like, what colours make you happy and is your workspace clean and tidy (trust me, this has an impact on your stress levels!)

  1. From a personal perspective the ideal home office has the following:
  2. Good lighting; natural is best but if this isn’t possible a good bright light which stops you from straining your eyes while looking at the computer is 2nd best.
  3. A comfortable and up-right seat with the desk at the right height for you. You could even try a standing desk.  Colours that affect your mood in a positive way; colours such as:

green; an outdoorsy and nature colour, blue; a calm and peaceful colour, pink; vibrant and confident, or yellow; bright and summery vibes.

  1. A particular style that pleases you; this can Contemporary, Art-deco, Victorian, Georgian, Edwardian etc.

PROFESSIONALISM:

Professionalism is about how you present yourself, and what others can see while you’re video-calling colleagues. What do you want your colleagues to see? Personally I feel you have a few choices with how you present yourself. One is to have your back to the wall so there is a blank canvas behind you, two is the same as above but decorate the wall behind you with either a notice board, shelving with books/plants/candles on it, or you can filter the background which a lot of these video-calling apps have in the Settings section and therefore you do not have to worry about what will be in shot around you. 

There are different ways to deal with professionalism and the choice is yours. What you DO NOT want is clothes/mess all over the floor, dirty pots, people / animals walking in and out of shot in the background etc. 

I hope my blog helps you decide how you go forward with your home office. Stay tuned for more Interior Design blogs

Guest Blog by Lali Bunting – https://www.lalibuntingdesigns.co.uk/blogs

Coronavirus and the dispersed workforce

Covid19 & the dispersed workforce

There are it seems, hundreds of different job categories And I dare say that with all the subcategories an order of magnitude more.

The location at which your work is conducted does vary enormously upon the services you are providing, for example in the retail space with the exception of online services it’s very much a brick-and-mortar location and a face to face engagement, therefore, the work location is defined. However, for large swathes of other workers, the location is completely flexible, especially if all you require to carry out your work is a computing device, and telephone capability, plus of course an internet connection.

But it’s not always about what’s possible, because there are so many other factors to consider.

Working in a suitable environment covers a multitude of possibilities, such as having somewhere to sit (or stand) comfortably for several hours, somewhere to sensibly locate your computer, and of course you’ll need nearby power sockets. Decent lighting is also really helpful, as is natural daylight for many. Your location (home say) could be shared during the working day with others which could present challenges to the other or all parties. Some people struggle to work without having others around them, we are after all social creatures! So it’s far from straightforward for many.

Operationally, we know that the advent of cloud services has played a significant role in enabling remote working, but of course, there’s still hardware involved and hardware does occasionally fail, or when coupled with software, get its knickers in a twist and do weird things, causing you to be unable to fulfil your work commitments. Whilst software can usually be triaged and remotely brought back into service, hardware can prove a little more challenging. There are many moving parts to any business including its people, and dispersing the workforce does pose a whole bunch of new challenges, which are surmountable, but not always easily. If you’re able to travel relatively easily to an office location, then it’s an inconvenience to get problems resolved, but more remote workers could find this rather more disruptive.

Given that this is not an exhaustive look at the issues associated with managing a dispersed workforce, it does give us some ideas of the considerations when planning, especially when putting a business continuity plan in place.

So whilst many people have been remote office workers for some time, rolling out a blanket solution isn’t without considerable challenge.

I’m pretty certain that the current covid19 crisis has caught many businesses completely unprepared and realising that it’s not just a technology play.

If I can be of any assistance in your planning or implementation phases, please just shout

Trust Strike Ascentae Deal

Creative Workspace SolutionsTrust Business Partners has announced a new contract with Ascentae to support growth into the UC VAR space. Trust will provide business consulting services to support the growth strategy of Ascentae, a fledgling UK distributor of AV equipment and services.

David Pitts and Graham Bunting will be working with Jon Knight of Ascentae to promote CREATIVE WORKPLACE SOLUTIONS as a key differentiator for UC VAR’s to sell more to their existing customers and make them stickier.

It’s a debate that many businesses face as they ponder the possibilities of digital transformation. How can the benefits of greater collaboration be embraced without losing all paper-based processes? The business value of improving collaborative opportunities may be obvious, however, there seems to be a degree of apprehension when it comes to transferring to digital. One major barrier to change is workplace culture and the reluctance to introduce new technology for fear of disrupting tried and tested processes. Organisations want to take small steps towards a new working world rather than a giant leap to overhaul existing practices.

Ascentae’s exclusive distribution agreements include the Nureva HDL300 Audio conferencing technology. At the heart of the HDL300 is Microphone Mist technology, which fills the room with 8,192 virtual microphones.

Listening to all microphones simultaneously, it dynamically selects the one closest to the speaker, ensuring the best quality sound for remote listeners.

“Trust and integrity are the foundations of partnerships,’ says Graham Bunting ‘and we are looking forward to working with Ascentae to help grow and expand their business.”

Workspace not Workplace | Workspace updates

Workspace not Workplace | Workspace updates. The whole concept of Work is changing – there are many reasons why this is happening, but changing attitudes to work coupled with agile working policies underpinned by technology innovation are probably a few of the key factors.