Now is the time for your home office

Create the best home office with DIY Homefit!

Can you believe it’s almost the end of September? We’re all aware that each year seems to fly past far quicker than the one before. But this year has been exceptional in that respect.

Of course, with Covid-19, much of this year has been very different from what we used to regard as normal. For several months we have been in some measure of lockdown and many plans have had to be changed or cancelled altogether. 

During this time, many of us have been working from home, and many have been furloughed. As the furlough scheme begins to wind down, it’s possible that some people coming back from being on furlough may also be working from home for at least some of the time.

The concept of the home office has therefore grown dramatically during the pandemic. Even though many businesses had some proportion of staff working from home before Covid-19, the scale of home working has been unprecedented since lockdown. But what this has shown is that for many jobs, most people can be just as productive working from their home office as in a work office. 


Will you ever go back to the office?

So the question now is, will you ever go back to the office? In our recent article The DIY home office you deserve we reported that not only are 93% of people able to perform their job fully from home, but that over half of these people would still prefer to keep working from home.

And a significant number of  businesses are responding positively to this sea change. The original intention for many businesses had been for staff to return to the office around now. Indeed, people are being encouraged to do so by the government if there is a Covid-safe environment for them to work. But some major businesses – including banks such as RBS and Barclays – are postponing the return of their staff to the office until early 2021. Others such as Facebook and Google are not planning for employees to return until July 2021.

So chances are that you are likely to be working from home for at least part of the time for the foreseeable future. This is part of “the new normal”. So what kind of things can you do to make sure that you work at your best when working from home? How can you work smarter, not harder?

Here are our five top tips for making the most of working from home:


Get into a routine

The thought of doing things whenever you feel like it, rather than within certain hours, can be very appealing. And some people can make it work. But once the novelty has worn off, most people do find it effective to have some kind of regular routine. So it may be helpful to set the alarm for the time you would normally get up for work, get dressed, and get started. Without having to commute to the office, you can probably then finish earlier in the day than you normally would.

Do take breaks during the day as your productivity will dip otherwise. You need to get up, stretch your legs, go and do something else for a while, and ensure that you are eating and drinking regularly and sensibly during the working day.

Make sure though that family and friends are aware of your routine. Otherwise they may assume that because you are at home, you are available for other things as well. And also be strict with yourself about clocking off at the end of the day. You need to find your own way of separating work from home, so that when work is done, you can get on with the rest of your life.


Have a comfortable place to work

One thing that really helps you to work effectively from home and to get into the routine we’ve just been talking about is having a comfortable place to work. The ideal would be to convert a spare bedroom, extension or outbuilding into a practical home office, such as the one pictured below. 

With stylish home office furniture from DIY Homefit, it is easy and economical to kit out the perfect home office for you. Whether you prefer a contemporary or more traditional look, there is something to suit every taste. Check out our full range of home office furniture here.

Having a home office really helps to draw the line between your work and home life. At the end of your working day you can simply shut the door and walk away. Job done.

But if you do not have a whole room to create your home office, then you can still make the most of whatever space is available. Even a single wall in a bedroom or dining room could serve very well as a home office, as shown below.

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Set goals for the day

Wherever you do work, it is really important to have agreed goals and priorities so that your working day has a sense of purpose. You can then make a To Do list, in whatever format you prefer, and cross things off as you go along. 

It is important not to be distracted either by what is going on around you at home or by emails, other work demands and indeed your own ideas. So try to stay focused and organise your time to deal with all these activities and get everything done. 

The other thing to guard against when working at home is trying to do too much. Many of us feel that because we are working remotely, we need to show everyone that we are working really hard. But there is no need to do significantly more work than you did whilst you were office-based, so be careful not to slide into that habit and end up working far longer hours than you are being paid to do.


Keep in contact with colleagues

Many of us miss social contact with our colleagues when working from home. It can be hard to feel part of a team when you are on your own all the time. So maybe suggest that your department has regular team briefings if that is not already happening. Occasional training sessions would be good too, so that you are still progressing in your professional development even though you are working remotely.

And don’t forget that you can pick up the phone any time to a colleague if you need a sounding board or just a friendly voice. It can sometimes feel intrusive to do so when you are all in your individual home offices, but you are all still one team. Always remember that in an office you would have ongoing social interaction, so perfectly ok to keep doing this even when working remotely.


Have fun!

Last but not least, as well as the day to day social and work-related contact with your colleagues, you need to keep having fun at work! If no-one else is organising anything, then there is nothing to stop you getting the ball rolling.

Whether it’s virtual Friday after work drinks, a fun weekly award ceremony, a Zoom quiz night or online escape room, the opportunities are endless. 

So kick off your shoes, and find a comfortable place in your home office to get your feet up, relax and have some fun!


So if you are likely to be working from home for the foreseeable future, make sure that you are prepared both mentally and physically to give it your best shot. DIY Homefit can help! Take a look at our home office ideas and our full range of home office furniture and get ready to  work smarter not harder.