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Work at home like a boss. Inspirational ideas for stylish, successful home working.

Are you living your best working from home life? We asked you to share your top tips for working from home and home office ideas with us, and you didn’t disappoint. Read on for our favourite advice, styles and inspiration.
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1. Set up a work station from home

Not everybody has a spare room or annexe. But you can still create a work area in your kitchen, hallway, bedroom or living room with all your work from home essentials to hand.

“If you have a work surface at average desk height and a good office chair with proper back support, you can work anywhere,” says Lauren, “but make sure the ratio of your chair to your kitchen or dining table height is right to avoid back problems.”

2. Create a stylish home office

A dedicated home office helps you to keep work and home life separate, and if you create something chic and stylish you’ll look super-professional too. So if you have a shed, spare room or even some space under the stairs, put it to good use.

The focal point of any home office is the desk. You’ll be spending a lot of time at it, so it’s important that it’s ergonomic, helping you work efficiently and comfortably.

“There’s a wide choice home office desk ideas to choose from, from elegant wooden console tables to large glass-topped corner desks,” says Office Furniture Buyer, Lauren Davenport, “make sure you choose one to suit your space, needs and style.”

Ingenious small home office ideas include compact desks, pedestal storage on wheels, floating shelves and tall bookshelves. You can even turn a deep closet into a home office.

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3. Dress for success

One of the home office ideas we loved the most is from #isabelle_isles who suggests making an effort and dressing up for work, even if it’s just the part of you that shows on Zoom.

“It’s important to look professional, just remember to turn your camera off when you get up for a tea break!”

4. Get that work-life balance right

By working at home, you’re saving on commute time. Oxford University Psychologist Doctor Jennifer Wild suggests using this for self-care and life affirming activities.

“Don’t fall into the trap of using the time you’ve saved doing yet more work. Try an activity that gets you out of your head like going for a walk, cooking a new recipe, stretching or phoning a friend to hear what’s new and good with them. Taking a break from over-thinking boosts mood and happiness and working from home is a great opportunity to have variety in tasks that demand your mental energy.”

5. Go green with lush house plants

House plants soften the look of office furniture, clean the air, reduce stress and increase productivity. What’s not to love?

Spider Plants, Aloe, English Ivy, Jade Plants, and Snake Plants are fairly low maintenance and complement an indoor-meets-outdoor vibe perfectly.

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6. Have fun with your Home office décor

“If you’re going to be spending a lot of time in a space it’s worth making it look – and feel –good,” suggests Stylist Lucy Gough, “you don’t need to stick to white walls, have fun with rich colour schemes, wall art, sculptures, rugs and cushions, and check out home office ideas on Pinterest. Make your Zoom colleagues envious with your cool office décor.”

7. Stretch, and drink plenty of water

Sitting for long periods of time is bad for our health, and it’s easy to fall into that trap when we are working from home. The UK Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines breaking up long periods of sitting time with activity for just 1 to 2 minutes. One solution is a height adjustable desk, which lets you work standing up for periods of the day.

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8. Lighten up

Natural lighting controls your melatonin levels, making you feel alert and awake. And it’s the most flattering light for Zoom calls too. So, open those blinds or curtains and let it in.

If you’re short on natural light, think about ceiling lights, table or desk lamps which can be directed for task lighting and floor lamps which give off a soft, warm light.

9. Eat well, live well

It’s all too easy to hover around the fridge all day when we’re at home. Try to stick to regular mealtimes and eat as well as possible.

vegan.chlo has been trying a few healthy lunch recipes for lunch while working from home, and made this super simple burrito with aubergine, black bean and mango filling.

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10. How to work from home and stay focused

It’s easy to get distracted when working from home, but there are few simple steps you can take to stay focused on work.

  • Start each day with a task list to work through.
  • Get up regularly to take screen breaks and try to work where you are least distracted.
  • Some people find listening to a certain type of music or white noise helps.
  • If the Internet lures you away from work try using a blocker, and think about switching your phone to silent if you have a task which needs uninterrupted concentration.
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11. Stay connected

Microsoft’s Work Smarter to Live Better survey in November 2020 found that, of over 4,000 UK office workers surveyed, 65% said socialising is what they miss most when they work remotely.

Doctor Jennifer Wild suggests reaching out to make sure you don’t feel too isolated on the days you are working at home.

“Make sure you check in with your colleagues regularly. Talk on the phone, on Chat or on Zoom instead of sending that email. And if you know anybody local to you who also works from home, think about meeting up with them for a lunchtime walk or a chat on a park bench.”

We’d love to see your home office styles. Share your home office ideas and home working tips on Instagram with #MYFVHOME.

Further reading:

Simplicity blogger and author Leo Babauta has written a free online resource called ‘Focus: a simplicity manifesto in the Age of Distraction’, which you can read here.

Follow this NHS advice on how to sit correctly when you’re working.

This article from the Scottish Association for Mental Health has some great tips on looking after your mental health when working from home.

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