Working from Home Again... Don’t Pack up that Home Office Just Yet!

16th December 2021

Well, the surprises keep coming with the pandemic and this week’s announcement as to the measures to be taken in the light of the new omicron variant is no exception. Just when most of us were just beginning to settle back in the office situation there is a new mandate to now work from home again if that is at all possible. For employees and employers alike, it might feel like we have gone backwards and we will never truly get back to work in the traditional sense. Whether you are a fan of working from home or not this latest “omicron emergency” simply underlines the need for us to help our employees develop more permanent home offices and routines that work.

Perhaps you have read the articles on converting a spare room, conservatory, garage or attic space into a home office but most do not have these extra areas or the resources to develop them. Many employees are confronted with the problem of making an office space in the living room, bedroom or dining room.  One way to help them would be to supply or subsidise your employees with collapsible furniture that can be stored behind a sofa or in a cabinet when not in use, and storage boxes for their paperwork. There are many desks on the market today that are either slim line versions of an office desk or can be broken down at the end of the day. There are also some desks models which are fitted with integrated lighting, speakers and chargers to make life tangle free. Office furniture is much easier to get these days compared to the beginning of Covid when the home office situation took us by surprise and everything was in short supply… and even with the supply issues that have been superimposed on us during the pandemic it is much easier to get office pieces now than it was then. 

At the beginning of this ‘new return to home’ it would be wise to remind your staff of the three ‘Rs’ of working at home:

  1. RELAX: It’s easy to lose track of time and not relax properly when you are working from home. Advise home workers to divide their days up with periods of mental and physical breaks. Recommend setting an alarm on a smart phone to alert a change of activities such as having a snack, a cup of tea or getting a little exercise. Too much sitting is unhealthy and can lead to medical problems.
  2. RESIST: It is advisable to put smart phones and tablets that are not in use completely out of eye or ear shot. It will make a work spaces a more productive place. Distractions from incoming alerts quickly eat up valuable working time, causing employees to end up working into the evening hours with a lack of definition between work and family time. 
  3. REMOVE: Encourage employees to separate their personal documents from their work spaces. Remove all personal letters and bills so that they do not intrude or provide a distraction during your working time makes for much more efficient working day.

So here we are once again back to working at home, this time with a little more knowledge and experience than we had first time around of how to make it work… and if you need any help with selecting furnishings for both your home or office working situation don’t hesitate to give our Commercial Contracts team who will help you get up and running in no time at all.

16th December 2021

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