How to Prepare your Home Office for Hybrid and Flexible Work

As jobs offering hybrid and flexible working increase, how can you prepare your home office for the long haul?

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According to research from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and labor market analysts Emsi Burning Glass, 25% of job listings in December 2021 mentioned hybrid or flexible working, as Sky News reports. This is a sharp increase from the 19% figure before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The term ‘hybrid working’ basically means spending some of the work week in a traditional, in-person setting and the rest working from home. Meanwhile, ‘flexible working’ lets workers shake up exactly when they work – and includes job shares and working irregular hours.

With the insurance giant Zurich having called on the UK Government to make all vacancies at large companies available on a part-time, job-share and flexible basis, it looks like the days of traditional 9-5 work hours could be numbered. However, is your home office quite ready for the change yet?

Find Somewhere that Feels Separate to the Rest of your Home 

If you’ve already been working from home for a while, then working from the kitchen table or your living room’s sofa might have sufficed so far. However, to maximize your productivity, you need more than ‘good enough’ – you need a workspace that doesn’t feel too much like home.

T3’s Jamie Carter advises that you find “somewhere with a door that can be closed”, adding that “anywhere upstairs in a house, or in the corner of a bedroom, will help you keep that separation”.

Your loft is one candidate you might have so far overlooked – especially if it is currently cluttered with junk. However, through utilizing something like the award-winning loft boarding service from Instaloft, you can make your loft more than usable as a home office.

Use Ergonomic Seating 

No, this isn’t necessarily just a matter of buying an office chair with the word ‘ergonomic’ in the product name – though, potentially, this move could significantly help. It can also be a big upgrade on simply working from the sofa, which is a recipe for ruining your neck and back.

Instead, get a desk (or at least something similar), put it in your designated office space and make sure your workstation provides you with enough legroom and the correct desk height. You want a situation where, when you sit down at this workstation, your eyes are level with the computer screen.

Make Sure your Home Office has Enough Light

You could have easily underestimated how pivotal your home office’s lighting can be to your productivity. Warm light, such as that from a roasting fireplace, promotes relaxation, while cold light – for example, daylight – improves productivity and alertness, as The Balance Small Business indicates.

If you do allow daylight to stream abundantly into your home office, you could even further enhance its organic feel by keeping a plant or two on display inside the room. As research has revealed, having plants in an office can make you not only more productive but also happier as a whole when working.

You could enjoy the experience so much that working from home quickly feels – if you will excuse the pun – second nature.