With thousands of us suddenly finding ourselves setting up our office on kitchen tables or in the spare room, we asked the experts from the interiors and technology worlds what small tweaks you can do now to create the perfect working from home space.
If you're one of the thousands of office workers who now finds themselves working from home, you've probably figured out by now that your box room isn't set up for home office life.
Since there is no definite date as to when we'll all be back at our PCs and desks - which look a lot more spacious now - or crushed into a packed train during rush hour - the smell wasn't so bad, was it? - it's worth carving out a home office space that you actually want to sit in for eight hours a day, and one where you'll get stuff done.
We've pooled together tips from interiors experts, friends of IMAGE, and technology gurus Dyson, to see us through this self-isolation lark as comfortably as possible.
Not everyone has a spare room to dedicate a home office to, but it is beneficial to create boundaries between your work time and leisure time. If you can, try a dedicated desk. Look around your home and see if anything can be fashioned into a desk that you can pack away in the evenings, alongside your laptop, and put a rug underneath it to differentiate the space.
If you are using a space that is used for something else when you log off in the evenings, make sure you tidy up. That means no piles of papers or files on your dining room table.
If there is more than one person working from home now, which is the case for a lot of us, with children home from school thrown in for good measure, cleaning and tidying can become a bit of a chore. That's where technology comes in.
The hands-free Dyson 360 Heurist™ robot vacuum will ensure there is minimal dust. Photo: Dyson
Dyson's 360 Heurist™ robot vacuum will help you take care of the cleaning without taking up your time. Its built-in intelligent SLAM (Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping) vision system maps the room so the device remembers how to navigate around your furniture and where to clean. Even in low light, the robot can see where it's going through an LED light ring. So you can be in your home office first thing in the morning and the Heurist™ can be cleaning for you in the other room before everyone else rises.
All you have to do is connect the robot to the Dyson Link app and dust, crumbs, and other household debris can be sucked up by the tap of a button. It also works through Bluetooth®.
Once you've got the basics sorted, your work space deserves a little love, which is why you should try to incorporate the outside inside as much as possible. While we're encouraged to avail of fresh air for our physical and mental health, we are all spending way more time indoors due to the current circumstances.
Adding some plants into your work space can add a welcome splash of colour and boost your mood. And if you can't quite stretch to plants, a tropical-patterned cushion or rug, or a sunset portrait will do the trick.
Cool yourself with purified air with the Dyson Pure Cool Me™ personal purifying fan. Photo: Dyson
To add a finishing touch, since the outside is virtually off limits for a lot of us now, our final tip here is to make sure the air in the room is just right.
Dyson's Pure Cool Me™ personal purifying fan is an air treatment machine featuring Dyson’s air filtration and air projection technologies that works great on your desk throughout your work day, by your favourite armchair in the evening armchair and and even on your bedside table for a more comfortable night's sleep.
The compact device is ideal if your work space is one of the tighter rooms in the house. It works by creating a steady stream of purified air and allows you to direct the airflow precisely where you need it, by delivering cleaner air and a comfortable cooling experience.
And away from the home office, this smart device could fast become your most-used gadget in the house. From household smells such as cooking fumes, cleaning agents and rubbish bins, and air pollutants such as pollen, the Pure Cool Me™ captures 99.95%*(1) of ultrafine particles as small as pollen and allergens.
The height of your desk and chair are important when working from home. Photo: Dyson
If you’re working on a laptop, chances are you are hunched over your desk, which isn’t advisable for long periods of time. Our top tip is to place your feet on the floor and sit up straight so that you're eye level with your screen and not looking down. To achieve this, try connecting a separate keyboard, an ergonomic one ideally, and this way you can raise the screen itself on stacks of books.
A new piece of furniture or technology is definitely an investment, but it looks like we may be in this for the long haul, so it will be worth it. Choose a comfortable chair that is right for your height and the height of your desk. Even better if you find one that folds away after use.
Whether you're a night owl or an early riser, the Dyson Lightcycle Morph™ light can be adjusted to suit your time of day and the space you are in. Photo: Dyson
Think about the lighting in your office, compared to the lighting at home. Spending the whole day at home means a need for different types of light, at different times of the day, adjusting to the task at hand and the natural light from outside.
The Dyson Lightcycle Morph™ light is a genius piece of technology that is essentially four lights in one.
It uses intelligent technology, also seen in the Dyson Lightcycle™ task light, to emulate some of the properties of natural light. Its four functions – indirect light, task light, feature light and ambient light – can be used to separate day from night and are designed to function around the kind of light you need at each time of the day. Like your work space, it is useful to create boundaries between day and night, especially as we find ourselves indoors for more hours of the day than usual.
For instance, the Lightcycle Morph™ connects to an app, where you can set the alarm feature creating an artificial sunrise in your bedroom for a gentle wake up.
Throughout the working day, the task light function can be adjusted to project high-intensity light for when precision is needed, as well as a low light if desired.
Low light, glare, and invisible flicker may however cause eye strain. The intelligent optical head in the Dyson Lightcycle Morph™ delivers a pool of powerful light with low optical flicker, to help improve visual acuity* (2).
The feature light function creates dramatic effects, highlighting art, colours and decorative features, while the indirect light is ideal for applying make-up before a video conference call.
And when it's wind down time, the ambient light function is designed for evening relaxation with a reduced blue light. The stem of the Lightcycle Morph™ lights up to create a comforting, orange glow.
And it wouldn't be a Dyson device if it didn't have a hidden extra. The Lightcycle Morph™ has a USB-C charger for phones and tablets, making it a useful addition to a desk or bedside table. You can control your light through the Dyson Link app. And for study mode, you have the option of inputting your details on the app so the technology can adjust the lighting according to your age profile.
These are just some useful tips and tools to create a more comfortable working from home space. Most of all, your new work space should be a place you are happy to come to everyday, and a space that encourages productivity.
For more on Dyson's incredible technology that will enhance not only your working from home space, but your overall comfort, see here.
Main image: Dyson