Welcome to the Resources section of Home Office Design Ltd. We hope to bring you a wealth of information to help you realise your goal of working from home! or working more efficiently in your office. Our in house expert, Lisa Manners has written a couple of great articles to to get us started and we hope to be continuously enhancing this section. Please let us know if there is anything you would like to see added to this section or if you have any tips that you would like to share with others.
We'll start with an introduction to Home Working but be sure to take a look at our second article in the series Tips for Office Recycling
An Introduction to Home Working
Working from home is a growing trend according to the statistics. More of us are choosing to change our lifestyle, opt out or just work from home more. This change can definitely be a liberating decision with many friends jealous of the fact that you have got out of the rut or off the merry go round to pursue a new venture. It can however be a roller coaster ride of emotions as you struggle to get the new venture off the ground or endeavour to juggle the work life balance.
This workplace trend is set to continue with the introduction of flexible working hours law. We are also increasingly stressed with growing congestion on the roads, train delays, security alerts, and the general pressures of work. With the high cost of office area per employee companies have decreased their city office space and formed satellite offices in more rural locations where rents are cheaper. They are also favouring hot desking and home working as an option. Developments in technology will further enhance communication and facilitate the move to remote working.
It may sound great the thought of having a lie in when you want, going to the gym during the day and making arrangements around friends, family and other commitments but there are a number of issues to take into account before you decide to give up your highly paid job so you can for instance " spend more time with the family”
You need a workspace that is purely a work area where you can be creative, organised and maintain a professional standard of working practices. You will need space for the computer desk and all the office machines but also for shelving and storage for filing. You may need to look at lighting, ventilation, heating, power points and telephone sockets to ensure all aspects are covered adequately. As most work is computer related ergonomics is an area that will need to be addressed. Such things as adjustable flat screen flat screen arms, foot rests, and CPU holders are all items that need to be considered. Ignoring this could mean that you are storing up problems for the future such as RSI (repetitive strain Injury). Companies have an obligation by law to adhere to the health and safety laws even though you are working from home so should make sure you have suitable home office furniture and accessories. You may need to install broadband so you can accept and make calls while on line and so you do not miss that valuable sales call. Having a separate phone line for business and domestic use is also a good idea to separate work from leisure. It also helps demonstrate separate costs associated with them both for accounts purposes.
As you possibly now have the benefit of the choice of when to work. Why not decide what is best for you. When do feel you work at your most Productive? If you are an early riser you could start early and finish earlier. If you work better later into the evening then enjoy a lay in and work later. This is a chance to structure your day around what suits you. You do not have to work 9 – 5 if you do not want to and your work allows you to be flexible. It will also give you an opportunity to take a break during the day and perhaps take some exercise. You may find you return refreshed to finish your day with renewed interest and energy. It could also be a very important benefit being part of a new healthier lifestyle which you have been talking about for years but been unable to follow through and achieve. You may even choose to take a day off during the week and work on a Saturday. However you do have to remember that just because the office is there 24/7 you do not need to work. Balance the time with pampering or chill out time and relax to recharge the batteries. Life Coaches work a lot now with people who have struggled to balance the work life balance. You may have taken the decision to work from home to spend more time with the family but are finding you are working even longer hours. It is too temping when you are struggling to get a new venture off the ground and perhaps financial issues are a pressure. Some people can find that it can affect family life due to the strain and stresses even if the venture a success as you have to do so many time consuming jobs yourself and get to the point when you may have to take on staff to help. This means many people even have to employ child minders again which you could say defeats the initial objective of working from home particularly if you then grow enough to invest in an office away from home. If this is your objective and the business is a success then that is great but be clear on what you really want to achieve.
It is very easy to be distracted if you have not got a boss breathing down your neck and deadlines to meet. It is important to remain focused on the task but be realistic one how much you can actually achieve in one day. A routine is a good idea to establish to bring some order to the day. One lady even got dressed up every day get in her car drive round the block and arrived back home as though arriving at her office to start the day. This will obviously not be the best idea for everyone but is an example of how a routine can help to bring a distinction and order to a working day. If you have left a big company with an accounts department, purchasing department, marketing dept, sales office, office junior etc you soon realise that every job is now down to you. It is easy to get overwhelmed with all the demands placed on you so don’t worry as you are not the only one out there in the same situation. Remember you are doing this for yourself not a big corporate machine.
Home working can be isolating and many people miss the contact with their colleagues in the office or customers. Networking is a good idea as you can meet and swap ideas with many people who are experiencing the same highs and lows as you which is reassuring. It can obviously lead to business as well and offer a valuable social outlet.
Starting a business from home may reduce the financial risk and keep overheads down however you may need to check your mortgage or lease agreement to make sure its okay to run a business there.
As long as you can overcome the pitfalls you can find yourself on the way to a rewarding and challenging lifestyle that will bring fulfilment and happiness. Whether you have chosen to work from home or you are starting up a new venture many do not look back and find it the ideal way of life.
If you need any further help on office furniture and accessories contact Home Office Design Ltd who will be happy to help with the design of your new workspace. and can supply an inspiring range ofcomputer desks, shelving, Accessories, Lighting, Ergonomics, hat and coat stands, bins etc.
Tips For Office Recycling
How do you tackle workplace waste and recycling ? With the amount of paper, bottles, cans and food waste created what do you do with all the waste. Tales of under desk office waste bins mysteriously disappearing overnight mean sometimes there can be confusion about what to do with the waste. So what do you do ? Being an ecological company can improve your image and might help increase your clients. Staff will take pride and care working for a company that helps protect the environment, teaches the employees about the impact of recycling and environmental issues. They will feel more involved and valued if you include them. Take a look at the tips below
One - Choose The Right Bin
It is so important to choose appropriate office recycling bins. These should be well marked and consideration into the best and most convenient place to locate the bins. You cannot blame employees who throw recycling waste in the wrong bin if they are not accessible or not marked up clearly. There is a vaste range of bins from small under desk bins to larger desk side bins to 100 litre communal waste bins. These can be marked up with stickers to indicate the waste stream so it is clear. This can be done with Signage, lettering or colour coded stickers on the bin. They can be simple plastic bins, cardboard bins or stylish metal bins. Make your recycling stations look attractive so it does not become a dirty, messy area of your stylish office. With such a choice you can choose the right solution for you even in your corporate colours to fit in with your companies culture. Remember that you may create more waste than you think so choose a larger bin if possible to avoid extra time emptying. Best to research before you purchase so you choose the right bins for you. If you take away the under desk metal bin what happens to all the paper? Piled up on the floor ready for the next trip to the communal recycling station 20 feet away or perhaps in an acquired temporary cardboard box. Perhaps not ideal. This can lead to resentment to the change so your purchase has to be thought about carefully to make it the least confusing and convenient.
Two - Explain to staff and cleaners
Post lists and signs around the office to help people recycle the right waste. Involve staff in the implementation of the process so they know what is happening and train them once the bins are in place to reinforce the message. Be encouraging to staff who follow the process and those who don’t as well to encourage to recycle more. Offer rewards for those taking up the challenge. Cleaners are also part of the process so don’t forget them.
Three – Encourage to reuse
Another way to streamline your recycling is to reuse instead of throwing away items. Perhaps use reusable water bottles that can be refilled from the tap or water cooler. Have washable plates and utensils available instead of disposable. Over the year this will significantly reduce the company`s environmental impact and we should all feel good about that. You can also encourage Printing double sided and take care when printing to reduce paper waste.
Four – Monitor Progress
It is important to monitor progress and gain feedback. Once the bins are in place see how they are working. Has the office become untidy with piles of paper?. Do you need to purchase more bins as demand has exceeded expectations or a trial has worked and you want to roll it out for the whole building. How are the staff reacting to the change. How can you address any issues ?
Contact Workspace Designs for more information on our range of office recycling bins and we will be pleased to help. More office recycling bins