The 2020/21 Covid-19 pandemic has taken the world by storm. We have all had to stay at home and keep ourselves and the people around us safe. We were all told to work from home if we can almost a year ago now and this order has generally divided the nation on remote work. Some say they absolutely love working from home and want it to be the new normal. Yet others are desperate to get back in the office declaring remote work much harder.
The first thing we have all learned from remote working is that some people really struggle with it. A lot of people have said they lose motivation and have become less productive. Some have also struggled hugely with IT issues, connectivity issues in certain areas of the UK and many have complained of not having space in their home for an office setup. Not having the right office equipment has made remote workers’ jobs more difficult.
But not everyone feels this way either. Some people have converted spare rooms into offices. Some have loved not having to commute long distances and have enjoyed having a break from busy trains or traffic.
We have also learned that working from home requires adjustments from companies. Generally, most companies have gone above and beyond to provide a good setup for home-workers and ensure that they have everything they need. These adjustments made have made a huge difference for remote workers and generally, the more assistance and support provided from companies has meant their team has successfully adapted to working from home and finding remote working less overwhelming. Some companies have held digital detox days for staff and are ensuring that they are carrying out frequent virtual meetings to check in with employees. Some people have said that they have experienced more communication from colleagues than before the pandemic.
The new work from home lifestyle has most definitely divided the nation but the pandemic has taught us that working from home is more possible than we ever thought.
There are several important benefits to keeping a clean workspace:
1. Good First Impression- anytime a customer, client or business associate were to visit or virtually view your workspace via a video call, it is important to present a clean, tidy and efficient environment.
2. Happiness and Productivity- a clean work environment is proven to be mood-boosting and improve focus, so that you are able to be as productive as possible.
3. Health- when you spend long hours in one space it creates a breeding ground for bacteria, keeping your home office clean helps keep you healthier.
4. Hazard Reduction- keeping a clean and tidy space ensures that trip hazards or obstacles that could impede movement are reduced. This will help keep you safer.
5. Organisation- when an office space is clean and tidy it makes finding things easier, aids organisation and decreases time wastage.
These benefits are well worth the effort into ensuring your workplace is clean, tidy and well-organised, so that you can be safer, happier and more productive.
If you have the luxury of a loft, spare room, shed or basement to set up as a home office, you already have an excellent advantage but if not, that’s ok. This just means you might need to get a little more creative in deciding on a space to use as a multi-purpose room or find a little spot in the house that you can carve out to create your work space. With home-working it is important to create a designated area for getting work done rather than just at the kitchen table, sofa or bed. If you have an actual work area, this will help you be more focused and have a home/work separation. One way to do this is by using a strategically placed screen, plants, curtains or a cupboard to separate your living space from your work space.
Things to include into your work space:
• A good chair
• Have things around you that you love to look at
• Have a plant nearby as they are calming and provide fresh oxygen
• If possible, have a comfy spot to relax, have a cuppa or take phone calls
• Ensure you have a tidy clutter-free space, clutter makes you feel uneasy and anxious
• Have good lighting, natural light is best
• Practical office accessories, ensure they are fit for purpose and functional
It is commonly accepted that colours affect our mood and behaviour. Even the different hues or intensity levels (saturation) of any one colour can have different affects. So when choosing the colours in your home office you may want to keep this in mind and choose colours that are going to be best for your productivity and positivity.
The colour blue helps to stimulate the mind and help people stay focused.
Red stimulates energy levels and evokes a sense of urgency. Too much red could make you feel anxious so it might be best when balanced with a more calming colour.
The colour yellow evokes emotion and creativity. It helps to lift spirits and stimulate happiness.
Green brings balance, calm and reassurance.
Combines the happiness of yellow and the high energy of red.
Combination of red’s energy and blue’s productivity and has commonly been associated with royalty and power.
A balanced combination of a couple of these colours could help evoke several different moods at once. One thing to keep in mind is that different cultures can have different feelings about certain colours so it is really down to figuring out which colours make you feel the best.
Feng Shui is an ancient pseudoscience that guides how things should be arranged in a room or building to optimise the flow of positive energy. By applying it to your home office, it is believed to increase your productivity, creativity and success. Here are five easy ‘beginners’ tips to improving your home office.
1. Clear any blockages. Ensure that there is nothing restricting movement in your office, especially near any doors or windows.
2. Tackle the Clutter. If there is too much furniture or clutter in the room, get rid of it. Having a tidy and clutter free space will put your mind at ease. Only have the things you LOVE or bring you joy present.
3. Fix broken items or throw them out. It could be something as simple as a lightbulb that is burnt out or a crack switch plate. Anything that is in disrepair fix it or get rid of it.
4. Clean up. Circulate fresh air, clean window and hoover, do anything you can to provide yourself with a fresh clean space to help you get your creativity activated.
5. Add life into your home office. Having something like thriving plant, a small water feature or a happy fish can greatly add to the flow of positive energy in your office. By adding a mirror directly across from whatever is lovely or beautiful in or around your office will help to reflect and amplify that beauty.
A recent study using a productivity app called DeskTime analysed the activity data of its 5.5 million daily logs and narrowed down the 10% of most productive workers to ascertain what the best work/rest ratio is. They found that the most productive employees engaged in work related tasks for 52 minutes then took a 17-minute break.
That 17-minute break is long enough for your brain to disengage long enough to help you feel refreshed and ready to dive back into work for another 52 minutes of productivity. That refreshing disengage is also not so long that you lose focus and derail, but gives you enough of a break that you do not slow yourself down with sloppy mistakes.
This method only works if during that 52 minutes of work you really jump in with both feet and commit to being as productive as possible. The other key is that during your “down time” you mentally disengage from work and do something non-work related like taking a walk around the block or having a quick coffee break with a co-worker.
Fresh flowers or plants are a nice addition to any office but can be quite expensive to keep replacing if they die. They also require maintenance usually by office staff which is a task often forgotten. You can however place artificial flower displays in your office so you still get the aesthetic appeal in your office. We have listed the pros and cons of artificial flowers.
1. Artificial flowers will last considerably longer than a fresh cut flower display.
2. Artificial flowers require minimal maintenance apart from the odd dust now and then there is no further upkeep.
3. They look visually appealing and can brighten up and breathe some life into a dull room.
1. Cost – initially artificial flowers can be quite costly but this is a one-off cost.
2. Placement – it is not a wise idea to place artificial flowers in direct sunlight as they will fade over time.
3. Certain flowers and plants actually purify the air and can improve productivity in employees, artificial flowers will not have the same effect.
Office chairs come in all colours, shapes, and sizes now and many have nifty features also. You can pick up office chairs generally from around £50 up to £1500. A £1500 office chair seems very steep to a lot of people but are they worth investing in?
Investing in a brand-new expensive chair will come with a selection of benefits that you will struggle to find in cheaper options. One of the biggest benefits will be the comfort they provide, the more expensive options come with several customisation settings meaning you will be a lot more comfortable.
Another benefit that you will find in higher priced office chairs are they are designed with posture in mind. Certain office chairs can be a much better option for your health. They can provide you with proper support to your spine, alleviate shoulder and neck pains, and help with circulation.
So, in conclusion, an office chair that comes with all the extras that support good health and comfort are a great option but this doesn’t always mean it will be the most expensive option. There are several mid-priced chairs on the market that can match up to more expensive ones.
Most businesses have outsourced cleaning to the professionals and many homes are following suit. Getting help with cleaning has become a necessity for a lot of people and businesses who are far too busy to maintain all of the cleaning tasks needed.
There are several options out there if you are looking to hire a cleaner for your home or a cleaning company but what should you be looking for?
1. Do your research – letting someone into your home or business requires a great deal of trust so you will need to do some research first. Check out reviews and ask around for recommendations.
2. If you are hiring an individual cleaner rather than a company, please always check references. These are always performed when a company hires new staff and should be the same for individuals.
3. Arrange a meeting or pre-visit – if you are looking to hire, we always advise to meet face to face first.
In every commercial premises it is vital to regularly clean furniture in areas that are frequently visited by customers. Dirty or stained sofas or chairs are not a good look and can deter potential customers.
The same also applies for areas where your staff work, having clean upholstered office furniture, such as office chairs, will not only boost morale but it also makes for a healthier environment in which to work.
Upholstered furniture tends to pick up a lot of dust and dirt from clothes and are subject to spillages from food and drink. Having your furniture professional cleaned will not only ensure they look clean and smell nice but will also extend the life of fabrics.
Most of the time it is more cost effective for a company to outsource upholstery cleaning to a specialist company rather than replace. Sometimes all an old worn out chair requires is a good deep clean to give it a new lease of life.