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A visual guide to creating a home office during lockdown 

April 30, 2020

With the rise in flexible working, nearly 30% of employees in the UK worked from home for a portion of the week – or on the odd occasion. However, since the start of the COVID-19 global pandemic, millions of us have been thrust into the world of home-working to slow down the spread, with the task of creating a home office almost over night. 

Some will have been lucky to have already previously created a home office space and it been set up waiting for them, others have found themselves working in spaces that are unsuitable for our current predicament. Being hunched over on the sofa and propped up in bed isn’t a sustainable way to work for any length of time. We’re still wanting to work to our potential – as best we can, in the given circumstances – and our environment will play a large role in that.

How to set up a home office 

We are a few weeks into the ‘lockdown’ in the UK and Swift Office Cleaning Services wanted to share our favourite ways to help to creating a home office to make this feat slightly more manageable. 

Dedicate space for work

Having a separate office space is an undeniable luxury, and many are trying to cope in unusual circumstances. Our interiors are now more multi-purpose than ever before – with purposes shifting throughout the day.

Try to find a space in your home that is separate from where you sleep when you are creating a home office. That could be working at the dining table or even choosing a particular section that’s dedicated to work. Somewhere you can retain a professional and productive manner that you’d get in your traditional workplace.

If you’re living in a home with minimal space, consider a freestanding ladder desk as a slim solution for a new home office.

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It’s easy to wake up 5 minutes before starting work and pull your laptop into bed with you – but you need to separate home and work life. The two are becoming very muddled these days! It’s also said that working from your bed can disrupt sleep, damage your posture and makes you less productive.

Perhaps you have a full house, and the only quiet place is to work from your bed. If that’s the case, get up and ready for the day – and try a laptop table and your mind can make a transition into ‘work mode’.

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 Tidy desk, tidy mind

Working from home is difficult for a lot of people. Having to deal with our ‘new normal’ and being stuck in your house round the clock is a lot to handle and a cluttered environment won’t help. Just as office workers thrive if their workplace is kept clean and tidy, you’ll need to also properly maintain your surroundings.

Some people prefer ‘organised mess’ and if that’s a system that works best for you, go for it! For the rest of us, clearing our space means clearing our minds.

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We’ve been cleaning offices in London, Essex and Hertfordshire for nearly 40 years and we know how appreciated our services are when it comes to creating an environment employees are enthusiastic to work in. We think you deserve the same at home! 

To keep it clean, completely clear your work office space and all its contents. Give the table top, the legs, the sides and your chair a good wipe down with a disinfectant spray and cloth to practice good hygiene daily. After, only put back the things that are absolutely necessary for working and maybe one or two items that bring a little joy to your day.

We advise that you ‘pack up’ at the end of the day and put your things in their designated places (if they don’t have one, assign one ASAP). If you can’t see it after work, you’re more likely to not think about it which is great for maintaining the work-life balance.

Keep in mind that you might be video-calling throughout the day so to keep some level of professionalism, try to keep the area behind you neat or use a completely blank wall! 

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Bring in the natural world

If you can, we’d suggest moving to wherever has the most natural light in your home. It’ll stop you from feeling so ‘cabin fever-y’. According to a survey conducted by Future Workplace, over 1,600 employees ranked “access to natural light and views of the outdoors” as their number one desire for a workplace office environment. If we value it at work, we should also try to get the same at home. If you’re lucky to have a conservatory, that would be our first place to set up an office! 

Artificial lighting will affect our circadian rhythm so it’s important to be as close to a natural light source as possible. Keeping your body’s natural rhythm will help maintain a level of normalcy. 

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We’ll also recommend bringing greenery into your eye’s view when creating an office space. Transfer your houseplants to your working from home desk to mimic a pleasant office environment you would (hopefully) normally have. A UK study found that offices with plants increased productivity by 15% so it seems obvious that we should be doing the same when we’re working from home.

For the foreseeable future, we’ll be working from our desks at home with limited human interaction and limited time outside. It’s crucial that we try to find ways to boost our happiness and plants can help do that. In 2010, there was a study by the new University of Technology, Sydney that recorded and tested employees that were suffering with depression and stress. They then filled their desks with plants, and reported a 58% drop in depression. 

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Swift Office Cleaning Services can help when you return to your office

We know that we’ll be away from our usual offices and coworkers for a little while so invest your time in creating a desk you’re proud of whilst working from home. Do what you can to cultivate an environment that will boost your productivity and happiness – you don’t want to have to physically drag yourself to the computer for the duration of lockdown.

Swift Office Cleaning Services will be here to help when you return to the office. The entire planet will have gone through something life changing so create conditions for your staff that make them feel valued and appreciated upon their return.

When you contract a professional and reputable office cleaning company like Swift Office Cleaning Services, you will receive a reliable service that will deliver a daily office cleaning schedule for your business – and additional specialist office cleaning services as needed. We have an impressive retention rate of 100% over six months – and 98% over a year demonstrating our commitment to producing a high standard of service. 

If you would like to contact Swift Office Cleaning Services to create a bespoke cleaning package for your office, please get in touch and we will contact you in due course.