A NICE LITTLE SETUP

YOU South Africa|4 June 2020

A NICE LITTLE SETUP
Here’s how to create a practical and efficient workspace in your home
SANDY COOK

AT FIRST it was a novelty. Lockdown meant no more getting dressed up, tackling traffic or settling down in your office that’s either too hot or too cold. Working from home meant you could slouch around on the sofa in your pyjamas while getting your work done faster.

But fast forward a few weeks and your back aches, you’re irritable because you’re constantly being interrupted by family members and it looks as if this work from home (WFH) business is going to continue for the foreseeable future as the pandemic is going nowhere.

It’s time to get serious about setting up a healthy workspace. Here’s what you need to know.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

Ideally, you need a dedicated room to work in, preferably one you can close the door on at the end of the workday. But if this isn’t possible, earmark a dedicated space in your home, one that isn’t a thoroughfare for others.

If you have small children, however, you might want to situate the office relatively close to their play area to keep an eye on them.

Avoid using your bedroom as an office. If you work in there you’ll find it hard to switch off when you need to unwind.

Keep all your work materials organized in your chosen workspace to avoid having your job spill over into the rest of your home.

“You don’t want to drag work into the living room or other places you’re trying to relax in,” American interior designer Kerrie Kelly says.

SHINE A LIGHT

Your workspace should have good lighting. First prize is if it’s next to a window so you can get some fresh air and natural light. “When we’re hunkered down in this way, we don’t realise how beneficial that vitamin D and fresh air truly is,” Kelly says.

Poor lighting can strain your eyes, sap your energy and cause headaches, impairing your ability to work effectively.

Avoid working under the direct glare of overhead lights. Diffuse the ambient light that illuminates your office space by using lampshades or an upward shining floor lamp.

The goal is to light up the space without creating glare or shadows.

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4 June 2020