With almost everyone working from home these days, it’s come as quite a sudden and dramatic shock to many people used to working in offices. Where we’re used to the office chatter, now there are crickets (or screaming kids). But it’s worth doing everything possible to maintain an efficient work-life balance.
A great way to separate work and home life is to create a dedicated workspace – this may be with other family members who are also working from home, but it’s worth having this as separate from your living areas.
What better place than a garage?
We’ve put together a whole list of ways to turn your garage into a perfect work from home space.
Bring plants in
House plants do a wonderful job of brightening up spaces, as well as improving the quality of air. Some hardy sansevieria, ivy, or cacti do really well with minimal maintenance while making a space feel inviting.
Invest in a good chair
One of the worst problems that office workers face is unintended strain from sitting in inadequate chairs. This is especially true for protracted periods of sitting. Investing a few hundred pounds in a good, ergonomic, desk chair is likely to spare you weeks of agonising back pain (and potentially render you unable to work). So keep your dining chairs in your dining room!
Get ample lighting
One thing that can’t be stressed enough is the need for lighting. A single lamp won’t do it if you want your eyes to stay in your head! Be sure to invest in a number of warm-tone lamps that you can place strategically throughout your new home office so that you can see where you’re going, and not end every day with a splitting headache.
Keep yourself warm
Even if the sun’s out, be aware of actual temperatures around your garage and keep a portable electric heater near your workspace. Electric oil radiators are a great way to not overly dry out air while keeping you toasty.
Give yourself enough desk-space
It’s easy to assume that just because your laptop fits on your desk, your desk is big enough. Giving yourself plenty of desk space will make you feel more ready for work than being cramped on a fold-out camping table.
Without the space to spread out work, you leave yourself liable to untimely coffee spills as well as a feeling of being enclosed.
Keep it tidy & organised
Regardless of the size of your work desk, keeping it organised will always make you feel like it’s larger. It helps you streamline your work as you know what is where at all times.
Even if you work entirely digitally, keeping your space uncluttered is a great way to help keep your mind uncluttered – thus enabling you to focus on tasks at hand.
Consider investing in multiple monitors
Ten years ago, a multiple-monitor setup seemed like a sci-fi dream or something only nefarious Hollywood hackers ever bothered with. Luckily, the cost of monitors has dropped dramatically while improvements in software make multiple-display work seamless.
All you need is a few, relatively inexpensive monitors and a HDMI hub. It’s a great way to be able to expand your “digital” desk – spreading work over different visual areas so you don’t have to keep jumping between windows or applications.
Leave enough walking space
It’s really important to take breaks where you physically move around. Resting your eyes while using your body even for five minutes means you can come back and focus more efficiently on your work.
Leave enough space in your garage to be able to pace when needed, and to get up and stretch often.
Separate it from your home
It’s worth making your garage office feel like a workspace. You don’t want to dread being in it, so make it homely enough to be inviting. Just make sure that it’s a distinct space between work and home. Otherwise, you risk shifting the balance between the two and either being unproductive at work or letting your home life slip.
Get a wifi router or booster in your garage
Slow internet speeds are a nightmare at the best of times while trying to work, and garages aren’t usually known for their speeds. It’s often worth running an extension line into your garage to a second router or wifi booster.
This will allow you to work efficiently despite the circumstances. Remember to face your router in the general direction of where you want to receive a wifi signal. It’s easy to imagine that they operate in some magical, invisible ether, but they are a physical radio signal so are blocked by walls and obstructions.
Open your garage door to let some light and air in
With the weather picking up as we go into spring, open your garage door and freshen up the space. Letting some air in, as well as the natural light, is going to make you feel less imprisoned during the daytimes.
A large garage door is a perfect, unexpected bay window – make the most of it.
If you are in the process of converting a garage and you need to upgrade its door, we offer a number of services and products to ensure you get the best door you need – from automatic security doors, to manual pullovers. To find out more, get in touch today!