Tips for designing your own home office
Once considered a luxury, having an office space at home is becoming more common, and working remotely is a viable option for an increasing number of workers. Whether you work from home for just a few mornings or 50 hours a week, creating the right environment is important to keep you healthy, happy and productive.
If you're considering designing your own home office or looking for inspiration in updating your current workspace, here are 6 quick tips for designing a home office.
Be inspired, but stay realistic
Browsing for inspiration is a great way to get ideas, but don't lose sight of the end goal. That beautiful vintage desk you saw in a furniture store may look great, but will it provide space for your project work? That gorgeous cabinet may match the one in your dining room, but is it really practical for regular use?
Seek inspiration, but try to find furniture and accessories that won't get in the way of your work, or become increasingly uncomfortable as time passes. Look for practical furniture that does the job you need to do - keeping you comfortable and productive.
Provide enough storage
Despite the dominance of computers in paperwork, you will likely still have a lot of paperwork, so providing ample storage space is important to stop your home office from becoming cluttered. A standard filing cabinet can feel overwhelming, so look for alternatives.
If you rely on visual reminders to get things done, look at wall storage options that keep things in sight, such as pins or chalkboards, or magazine racks. If a bookcase is something you need, get one that's large enough to avoid overcrowding, and even more attractive if you have visitors or need to use it as a backdrop for a conference call.
Whatever you decide, make sure you have enough space to keep things tidy and not spill over into the rest of the room.
Understanding the mechanics of the body and the importance of sitting properly can help avoid the most common back pain and work-related ailments.
Chances are that the office tool you use most often is your computer, so creating a space that can accommodate it should be an important consideration. The top of your monitor should be at eye level or slightly lower, and your forearms should be parallel to the floor as you type. Feet should be firmly placed on the floor, or on a footstool on a chair.
If you put in a lot of time, you should also look for a comfortable and reliable office chair. A mesh office chair that offers a high degree of ergonomic quality, comfort and durability, preferably with a long-term warranty. There are many styles to choose from to match your interior design.
Provide enough light
Make sure you have adequate access to light. Having access to natural sunlight is the best option, but as the weather gets harsher, the light can get worse, so consider your interior lighting options. The light you need will depend on how you work. If you work a lot on paper or look down at your desk, a traditional desk lamp may be the most effective. If your needs are different, look for more options, such as a swivel lamp.
Drop in some greenery
Plants make us happy. Countless studies have shown that they can reduce stress, increase happiness, and improve productivity. Placing them in any occupied space is beneficial, but this is especially true in the workplace. Consider adding one or two plants to your home office, such as a small one at your desk and a large one somewhere in the room.
While live plants also help clean the air, the visual stimulation of synthetic plants provides similar benefits, so if you feel you can't take care of real plants, you can use pretend plants instead.
Make it your own
One of the greatest benefits of a home office is that you can personalize it to your liking, so don't forget to add your own personal touch to the environment. Adding elements that directly appeal to you can help spark creativity and make you feel happier, both of which can help increase productivity.
Add some of your favorite artwork to the walls, place modern office coffee table, or hang posters of your favorite bands. Paint the walls with your favorite color or place decorative items in an empty storage space. There are tons of options to look forward to spending the day at the office, so make the most of the control you have over your environment.
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