With an increasing number of people working from home for the foreseeable future, Area’s senior designer, Sam House, shares her top tips to ensure you maintain your personal wellbeing, keep productive and maintain a positive working culture.

1. Natural light

Helping to boost productivity, natural light is extremely important. Not only does natural light support mental and physical wellbeing, it also helps you be creative and efficient too. If possible, ensure your home office set up is located near an open window – or even work from your garden on a sunny, warm day!

2. Nature

Biophilic design and bringing the outdoors in is a popular and current topic when we’re speaking with businesses about their future office design plans. Bringing nature into your working environment is fantastic for your mental and physical wellbeing, studies have also shown it helps boost individual’s productivity as well.

Ensure you stay connected to nature when working from home by having plants and flowers nearby, or as suggested previously, work in the garden or near a window. Also, get out and enjoy nature. If you’re kids are at home during this time, go for a walk together at lunchtime or after work. The fresh air and connectivity to nature will do wonders for the whole family.

3. Technology and Keeping Connected

I’m sure IT teams across the country, like ours at Area, have been hard at work these past few weeks to ensure businesses can continue as usual with their employees at home as it would if they were all in the office. Make sure you use the technology given to you and maximise its potential. We’re running our weekly sales meetings and catch up sessions via Microsoft Teams and Instant Chat services and Whatsapp are great to informally keep in touch with colleagues.

It’s very easy to be isolated from the social aspects of a working environment when working from home. Maintaining a positive working culture is great for individual’s mental wellbeing, but also ensures that everyone stays aligned to achieve the same goals and vision. Regularly keep in touch with colleagues using the plethora of apps and tools available, including Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business, Zoom – or maybe even the increasingly popular app Houseparty for socialising! It’s more important than ever that teams come together and support each other. Stay connected.

4. Stay active

It’s often the case that homeworkers will work from one location and spend a lot of their day sitting, so make sure you carve out time in your working day to do some exercise. Go for a walk at lunchtime or a run before or after work or take calls while walking laps of the garden. I make a point of standing every hour and moving away from my laptop. This could be to make a coffee, grab a snack or make a call, but ensure you step away regularly to take a break and get active.

5. Use ergonomic furniture

Many businesses these days will provide their employees with ergonomic office furniture which helps support physical wellbeing when working in an office environment. Working from home and sitting on a dining room chair, the sofa or an armchair for an extended period will not have a positive impact on your long-term physical health, so consider hiring ergonomic furniture. Yes, there is a cost implication, but you’ll be sitting more comfortably in the short term, you’ll be more productive, and your back and spine will thank you for it.

6. Coffee

Good coffee is essential when working from home. Not only does it provide you with a caffeine boost, it also offers the opportunity for you to take a break and socialise with colleagues. You may not be catching up in the kitchen or breakout area in the office, or even in the local coffee shop, but use the technology given to you and give your colleague a call and take a break away from your laptop.

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