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5 simple ways to create the perfect home office

By Julie Ryburn
In Home Loans

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, around 3.5 million Australians worked from home regularly pre-2020.

Enter COVID-19.

Since Rona came to visit, that figure has taken a significant leap. Roy Morgan recently reported that over 10.5 million Australians had been forced into an employment change this year, a large number of which have needed to work from home – with little to no warning – for the foreseeable.

During this pandemic haze, Mondays blurred into Thursdays, which morphed into Sundays, before March became April and before we knew it June was here, along with the End of Financial Year (EOFY).

Now the fog is (slowly) starting to lift and we’ve established our working-from-home groove, EOFY is the perfect time to put the finishing touches on that home office you needed to establish almost overnight.

Here are our five top tips to create the perfect office away from the office.

1. Let there be light

While natural light is preferable in any home office, you can create a well-lit environment with the right desk lamp. An adjustable or articulated lamp is a good option, as it will place light exactly where you need it for computer work, filing and other focus-intensive tasks. Be sure to position it in the right spot, too – any light source coming from behind will create an annoying glare on your monitor, and light coming from the same side as your writing hand may cast unintended shadows. If you are lucky enough to have a desk basking in natural light, throw open those curtains daily to limit eye strain and headaches, while also boosting productivity and morale.

2. Safety first

So you were sent home on a Tuesday and by 8am Wednesday you were told you’d be working from home for an unknown period. You plonked your computer down at the kitchen table, plugged it in and went about your day. Eight weeks (or more!) later and you’re tripping over laptop cords and various unidentifiable cables daily. Now’s the time to shift from the kitchen table and invest in some cable management systems to keep wayward trip hazards tidy and organised.

3. Ergonomics matter

Another good reason to move from the kitchen table is mediocre seating arrangements – i.e., your dining chairs or, worst yet, stools or benches. Investing in an ergonomic desk chair is crucial if you want any chance of comfortably putting in the work hours at home, and if you want a healthy, happy back by the time you’re 70. These chairs are designed to support your natural posture and reduce stressful forces on your body. Keen to step things up a notch? An ergonomic keyboard would be another wise move, as they keep your hands and wrists in a natural position for typing.

4. Colour psychology counts

A fresh coat of paint will breathe new life into most rooms – but what colour palette is best for a home office? This is where colour psychology comes into play, where various colours are said to boost a number of key emotions. For example, blue is an intellectual colour that represents trust, logic, communication and efficiency. It should come as no surprise then that it’s used as the primary colour in a number of offices. For a positive vibe, yellow is said to stimulate creativity and positivity, while green offers balance, harmony and restoration – ideal for those working long hours.

5. Get equipped

Last but not least – there’s no excuse to blame your tools or equipment when EOFY sales are here. If you’ve been holding out for a laptop upgrade, a top of the line printer, that larger whiteboard for brainstorming sessions or office basics like paper, print cartridges, pens and paper clips, don’t wait a minute longer. Well stocked office supplies, a fast and efficient computer and a printer that never fails will help keep you on task daily during this time away from your normal support crew. Oh, and just one final FYI, as crucial as caffeine is right now, you can only claim that new coffee machine if you’re the actual owner of the business.

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