Have you been able to adapt your home so it doubles as an office during the pandemic? We asked some of our Which? Trusted Traders for their tips and advice.
We’ve all been though a big period of change since the pandemic began – many of us who are able to have been working from home since March.
Which? Computing editor Kate Bevan set out how those changes had impacted her and her colleagues back in May, including changes to the daily routine and her own home office set-up.
Like the other teams across the organisation, I’ve also been working from home for a long time now, and it makes you realise that many homes just aren’t equipped for it. Spending hours on a sofa hunched over a laptop whilst your pet chews your cables is hardly an ideal situation!
So it’s understandable that some have decided to take matters into their own hands by converting a room, or even installing an additional room, to become a home office.
Creating a home office
If you’re fortunate to already have the space to convert a room into a home office, then it’s wise to use a trusted company for any skilled trades required.
For example, electrical wiring for sockets for your computer or a carpenter for a new purpose built desk. Painters and decorators could also be used to really bring a professional touch to your new workspace.
When you decide to use a trusted company for any home improvements, it’s wise to get a minimum of three quotes so you have a better understanding of the costs involved. Most reputable companies will not charge for a quote, and the overall cost should include VAT.
Adapting to lockdown conditions
Since entire businesses have had to switch to home working, have you noticed any big changes to how they’ve been able to deal with their customers?
Russell, another of our traders since 2015, said that while some customers were desperate for his business to finish their jobs, others were worried about the prospect of having installers in their home:
“Prioritising the demands of running a business and responding to valued customers, whilst simultaneously looking after children and maintaining their education at home is demanding on a whole new level, but it’s amazing what can be achieved in the absence of any other alternative.
For a company that has offered face-to-face personalised advice on solutions in homes for 40 years to suddenly switch to ‘virtual reality’ has been a 180 degree about turn.
It’s been extraordinarily frustrating and enlightening all at the same time – we’ve functioned with at least half the staff working remotely at times. Our virtual office solution we implemented slowly over two years prior to Covid has come into its own”
Have you had to adapt to working from home? Do you have any hints or tips for installing a home office, or converting a room in your home?
And how do you feel businesses have adapted to the new conditions? Let me know in the comments.