Welcome to the FRISKA guide for working from home. Here at FRISKA, we’re well aware of the demands of office workspaces and we want to invite you into the FRISKA family, to understand not only what we know to be true about office spaces, but to talk about the ideas surrounding offices — and this guide in particular looks at home office spaces.
Here at FRISKA, we aim to invite people to immerse themselves in the mindset that comes with great Scandinavian design and to become a part of our community.
To start with, we’ll go over the essentials for a home office space. Then, we’ll discuss what the business benefits of working from home are reported to be, moving to some of the health benefits, and finally, we want to show you some of the ways that we think great FRISKA spaces, healthy workspaces, can be set up.
Let’s begin with that checklist:
Checklist of necessary items
Desk — though any desk is a natural place to start, we recommend one of our height-adjustable desks to offer the freedom of movement throughout the day, and we’ll talk about why in our Freedom of Movement section.
A good desk needs to be at a height that is comfortable for you, but there are some common mistakes people make with desk height and posture that we’ll talk about later in this guide.
Chair — the kitchen table may have chairs, but if you’re going to be working from home for any substantial period of time, please consider a good office chair with proper support.
There are many great office chair manufacturers, so we can’t really recommend one in particular, but do consider that a chair is not something you should skimp out on.
Computer — obviously, a computer is a necessity for any office-based position nowadays, and working from home usually requires that you have the space to set up the device that your employer gives you. This is different for every organization, so we won’t go into specifics. However, there are some things to consider.
If you’re working from a laptop, your own, or work is given, for long periods of time you might want to consider a stand-alone monitor that you can raise to the correct height to ensure your posture doesn’t suffer. Of course, for those that prefer to work away from the home, there are also portable monitors available, but in those circumstances, you may want to simply use a good laptop stand to raise the screen a little.
Peripherals — alongside a computer, you’re going to need good peripherals to perform your best. When working away from the office, there’s a good argument to be had for regularly connecting with your co-workers using video conferencing software, so you’ll need a good webcam.
A lot of webcams will have microphones built-in, but if you’re Skyping in from a busy location, consider a headset that will reduce background noise. More importantly, however, is to use a hands-free headset so you don’t injure your neck by holding your phone to your shoulder with your head.
Working space — most importantly, you need a balanced space to work. This sounds like common sense, and in a way, it is but at first a lot of people working from home like the idea of sitting in bed and relaxing whilst doing work.
This is a mistake. Linking your bedroom to your work will make it hard to switch off at night, and you might even see a dive in productivity if you’re thinking about how comfortable you are in bed!
It’s also terrible for your posture, so definitely consider setting up at an actual desk.
Are there Benefits to Working From Home?
There’s a lot of discussion going around the web right now regarding working from home. It’s a natural extension of the COVID-19 situation that the world has been dealing with since early 2020. But working from home has been some companies’ method for many years, and surely will be for years to come.
As such, there are many people talking about the benefits of working from home. Some companies have infamously reversed long-standing policy decisions about their remote working options for fear that workers are losing their edge.
IBM, the computer industry giant, had 2000 remote workers by 1983, way earlier than anyone else. By March 2017, however, they wanted their 40% of employees who worked from home to now come into an office, instead. Yahoo, Aetna, and Best Buy have all reportedly reversed work from home policies.
However, there are also many reported benefits of working from home. Whilst it’s not necessarily the best fit for every person out there, there are definitely things to be said for it.
The biggest benefits of working from home are:
Remote workers are reported to be up to 65% more productive than office bound workers. Part of that productivity is the flexibility — 58% of employees working from home saw flexibility as the biggest benefit, (Buffer) — choosing exactly when and where to work. Some remote workers like to split their time between the home and, say, a coffee shop or coworking space when working remotely. Being happier about your surroundings makes for more productive workers.
Allowing employees to independently choose where they work has also been shown to give a 13% boost to quality of work in a Stanford study; with fewer defects overall. Maybe it’s access to highly caffeinated beverages, maybe it’s being comfortable in your home… whatever it is for each person, it seems to help.
Being more productive and performing better leads to better engagement from workers. In other words, less absenteeism is seen in a workforce with work from home opportunities. There have even been some reports that home workers put in longer hours than their office-bound counterparts.
Approximately 54% of people would move jobs for the chance to work flexibly, meaning that a 12% reduction in turnover accompanies remote work agreements being offered. Especially in the modern world, where there are easier ways to manage connections to the office and coworkers, flexible working arrangements are seen as a great boon.
Forbes reported that the average company saved £8,750 ($11,000 USD) per year due to part-time remote workers, a 21% higher profitability than 100% office-bound workers. There are many startups that employ remote workers as part of their initial workflow to ensure that the costs associated with renting office space are negated.
Remote working definitely has its supporters and detractors; though a report from Buffer suggests that the majority of workers enjoy working from home, there are some people who reported they would want to work remotely less often.
There are a lot of things that go into working remotely, but the biggest issue that people had was the isolation from coworkers — 20% said that loneliness is a major detractor. This would be particularly difficult for people who are used to working in busy environments with coworkers just a desk away.
It’s clear that keeping team communication frequent is the best way to work from home; and once the COVID-19 situation is fully over, companies that use remote workers need to concentrate on how to make sure that every employee feels included in the team. Setting up check-in calls can help everyone stay focused and feel integral to the team.
Freedom of Movement in the Home Office
In recent years, there have been more people coming to the fore that argue that sitting for long periods of time is as bad for your health as smoking. Whilst we aren’t prepared to stand by that exact claim, we believe that allowing yourself the freedom to move between periods of standing and sitting throughout the workday is the best way to work from home.
Productivity is a huge part of any business, and that doesn’t change when we’re working from home. It goes without saying that most people working from home in today’s world are doing so online, through the connections that our computers and the Internet provide for us.
For employers, this is actually a good thing because the flexibility of working from home has often been shown to increase worker productivity. A part of that is the ability to stand up and move around the home, grab a cup of tea, give the pets a quick scratch behind the ears, or take in the outdoors whenever you’d like.
So, why restrict that choice of movement to the times that we aren’t at a computer during the workday? For many of us, that means a break here and there, maybe over lunch, but there’s still going to be a long period of time where we’re sat at our desks, possibly hunched over.
Posture is the next thing we’ll talk about, but before we get there, there’s a couple of answers for movement during the workday. One of those is the method that here at FRISKA we’re all about, sit-stand desks. These electric motor powered desks are capable of moving to any height that you’d need them, from 595 mm, making it ideal for wheelchair users, up to 1300 mm, suitable for workers up to 6'8" whilst standing.
Standing desks are rising in popularity amongst office workers primarily because when standing, you’re automatically not slouching in your chair. The flexibility of a standing desk is its greatest strength in the office, whether at home or in the office building.
Posture Habits when Working from Home
Bad posture is something that affects many people, especially office workers and those at their desks. The fact that there are so many people afflicted with the same conditions speaks volumes about how we set up our working spaces.
Here at FRISKA, we’re all about healthy workspaces and we like to call our FRISKA spaces because a space with a FRISKA desk can really help combat some of the most common posture problems.
Of course, standing in one spot all day can also be tiring, especially if we aren’t used to standing for long periods of time. That’s why our range of accessories contains the Nyborg anti-fatigue standing mat.
When thinking about posture throughout the day, you need to consider how you are sitting, the angle that your arms and legs are at, and whether you have your monitor in the correct location.
Choosing the right place to sit is vital, but with the freedom of movement that a sit-stand desk offers, or the strong conviction to move away from the desk regularly, you’re going to combat a lot of these posture habits naturally through moving.
Without a doubt, when working from home you’ve got more chance to move around and therefore more reason to change your posture enough that it might not be a chronic issue but that does not mean you don’t have to consider your workspace setup carefully.
How to Setup your Work From Home Space
Everyone works slightly differently, we understand that more than anyone. With an office desk from FRISKA, you’re able to arrange your workspace exactly how you want it, and deal with changes in your workspace easily.
As much as each workspace is unique, we all need the same core items:
- A desk,
- A chair,
- A computer,
- Power sockets,
- Sufficient lighting
How we arrange our workspace is vital to our health as well as our productivity. If your space is set up in a way that makes it hard to work for extended periods, you’re naturally going to get less done. But more importantly, you’re going to give yourself a lasting injury if you aren’t careful.
Space is a keyword
The word to really think about in ‘workspace’ is the second part: “space”. Without adequate space, you’re doing yourself a disservice and potentially giving yourself health issues on top. We’ve spoken with people who have worked from their bed, and can’t help but wonder how they aren’t crippled with pain every day!
A great space for working is one that is naturally roomy, space to move is important when you’re looking at a screen for long periods of time. Bigger spaces often have better lighting, just purely from how houses are designed, but proper lighting is vital. Ensure you have a light source that is ideally not in your direct line of sight, but isn’t directly behind you, either.
When you’re using video conferencing, you need your coworkers to see your face and a bright light behind you will make that impossible, but it will also produce glare on your monitor that will give you eye strain that should be avoided.
Tidy up First
A general tip that can help keep up productivity at home, when you’re not used to working there, is to keep your desk and space tidy. Usually, a quick clean of the desk on a morning before you get stuck in is a great place to start the day. A tidy desk is a tidy mind, right?
Watch those Cables
Cable management is an important part of keeping a clean and efficient workspace. A good way to get yourself in a mess is to regularly have to deal with wires everywhere. This depends on your computer setup more than other things we’re discussing, but generally if you’re using a computer you’ll have at least one or two cables running about.
On a FRISKA desk, you can use a cable tray or something similar for your power cables or monitor connections — one of our videos even shows how it’s possible to keep external hard drives tucked away for a clean desktop.
Computer World has also posted a great guide on setting up a home office space for the long term, so check that out for the more technical aspects of an office setup.
Find out More about FRISKA
If you’re interested in hearing more about FRISKA and what we do here, see our FRISKA Way page. We offer a range of electric standing desks and accessories that are made in Sweden, paired with desk tops that we source from industry giants EGGER and KRONOSPAN and then machined in our Wales based factory to be the perfect fit for the frame you’ve chosen for your FRISKA desk.
We offer Next Day delivery on all mainland UK orders, and we’re so confident in our products that we’re able to offer the best guarantee in the industry: 10 years!
Contact us here to talk to a team member, we’d be happy to speak with you and introduce ourselves; we look forward to welcoming you to the FRISKA family!