Homes & Gardens

Working from Home by Fay Sweet

Get your home office right and the work will follow.

When so many people are working from home nowadays, it pays to spend some time thinking about your working environment. Getting it just right can prove to be a huge incentive, whilst getting it wrong, will have you dragging your heels every morning. Even the simplest thing, like an electrical or telephone socket being in the wrong place, can throw it all up in the air. Fax machines and such like on the floor are just not on.

You may think that going to the extravagance of buying a book on working from home is an expense too far. But Fay Sweet, who has worked from home for the last ten years has refined the art. Listen to her advice. Home.workis full of ideas, some that you may well wish to leave amongst the pages of this glossy work but there are plenty that will have you wondering why you hadn’t thought of them.

There are several case histories, which make for interesting reading. The most original being that of a textile designer. Living in a converted Victorian school, a mezzanine floor was constructed over half of the living area, with an amazing glass floor. Just remember not to wear a skirt though.

Fay Sweet advises you to sit down and work through exactly what it is that you need to be able to work from home. Time is not wasted with this exercise. You may need to invest into buying in some equipment but it is worth it in the long run.

1. To start, make a list of all the things that are required, right down to a mousemat.

2. Lighting. Assess natural light first. Do not buy lights on looks alone. Consider whether you want to go for tungsten, halogen – they all give off very different light.

3. If you need to decorate, neutral colours are best, although you will come across some fairly whacky schemes in

4. Plan your storage. Frequently used items should be close at hand. A wall fixed pigeon holder for small items is useful, such as staplers, discs.

5. Chair. This is definitely worth spending money on. Go for one with adjustable features, well padded detachable armrests can be an asset. Casters – are you one of those wannabe moguls careering round the room?

6. If there is room, have an armchair so that reading can be undertaken in comfort.

7. Plan your desk, so that you know where everything is. If you need scissors, have an office pair, don’t waste time searching in the kitchen drawer.

8. Ensure that you have sufficient surface area for spreading out papers in an orderly fashion.

And finally, working with a computer, be sure to follow this advice. The monitor must be set up directly in front of the body and at arm’s length, approximately 2 ft. The top of the screen should be at or below eye level and angled backwards. The keyboard should be directly in front of the screen.

Fay Sweet clearly knows what she is talking about and for homework to be a success, follow her simple rules. We have.

Publication Details
160 pp. Photography by Winifried Heinze. £25
ISBN 1840911557.
Published by Conran & Octopus.

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