Working from home is on the rise across the UK. The number of freelancers alone rose by 200,000 in between 2010 and 2012, according to research published by the PCG. More recently, Econsultancy cited figures from Accenture which estimate the freelance pool at between 20 and 33% of the UK’s entire workforce. These figures don’t take into account the number of employees who aren’t self-employed, yet whom still work remotely.
The perks of working from home are numerous, but tend to be overestimated by those outside of the freelance/remote working community. There is a general opinion of freelancers that they are able to slob around all day in pyjamas, working as and when they feel like it from the comfort of their sofa. However, for the majority of independent workers this couldn’t be further from the truth. Nor should it be. If there’s one thing which is guaranteed to ensure that a freelance career is over before it begins, it’s a lack of a proper workspace.
Creating and furnishing your home office should, therefore, be a top priority for any freelancer or remote worker. No matter what type of work you do, having a proper space to work in will help you to remain focussed, productive and happy.
Your main priority should be finding the right desk and chair for your office. These items are important for two main reasons; firstly, to provide you with a station at which you can work, and secondly, to ensure that you retain proper posture whilst at your work station. Lumbar support and arm rests are recommended for office chairs and anyone who suffers with carpal tunnel should invest in an ergonomic wrist pad to use with their computer keyboard.
It’s perfectly fine to make your office comfortable and, indeed, for many freelancers this is recommended. You may regularly receive clients in your office, in which case you may wish to impress them by investing in a high end Shackleton’s sofa. Alternatively, you may just wish to make your home office more inviting for yourself by including some home comforts. There’s no danger in this, as long as none of the furnishings or other additions prove distracting when you’re at work.
To truly ensure that your home office is as welcoming as it is practical, you may wish to consider certain aspects of interior design that have been proven to be beneficial in a working environment. Pale yellow and soft green have both been proven to stimulate professional minds, and installing adjustable lighting will help to relax your eyes when you find yourself having to spend long periods of time in front of your computer.