Many of us are working from home more than ever before and it looks like this could be “the new normal” for many. While you might be tempted to kick back on the sofa with your laptop, we encourage you to give your home office setup more serious consideration.
What initially feels like convenience and freedom can quickly become a pain in the neck – for real! – if you don’t have the right work-from-home environment. So why not set yourself up in a beautifully designed space where you can escape the chaos of family life and be productive?
In this post we want to share our best tips for creating a home office where you can be comfortable, but still professional, while working from home.
1. A Home Office Chair that Works for You
If you are working from home full-time, a comfortable office chair is one of the most important investments you will make. We recommend choosing a highly adjustable model so that it can be customized to suit your body. Our favourite is the Aeron chair by Herman Miller. We love this chair because it has dozens of adjustments to suit almost any body type and size, plus it has a softer look than most commercial office chairs.
If your work from home schedule is less demanding, or you are looking for a more fashion-forward option, you could consider a simpler chair with fewer adjustments. In that case we love the Adelaide chair from BoConcept for its style and simplicity. It has a single height adjustment – which is critical to maintaining good posture. If you are choosing a chair on wheels always opt for one with 5 wheels since they are much more stable.
2. A Work Surface Built to Your Specifications
Whether you are working at your kitchen table or you have a dedicated desk, the height of that surface in relation to your chair height is very important to your long-term neck and back health. Standard desk height is 29″-30″ but more important is that your chair is high enough so your elbows are at a 90 degree angle when typing. This applies whether you are standing or sitting.
3. Storage & Filing Solutions that Reduce Your Stress
Maximize productivity by keeping distractions out of sight with a variety of filing and storage options. Ideally you could stash everything behind closed doors, however if you don’t have the space or budget for custom built-ins, consider more standard solutions like file boxes, decorative storage boxes, or even nice looking baskets.
When designing any workspace, make sure that daily use items are stored within reach, reserving cabinets, file drawers, and closets for seldom-used materials.
4. Lighting that Motivates and Energizes You
In any space it is important to have a variety of light sources. In a workspace, natural light is key to keeping you feeling awake and motivated. If possible, situate your workspace close to a window.
If you lack natural light, then a powerful overhead light on a dimmer offers the flexibility of different levels of light at different times of the day. We suggest a neutral to warm light to counterbalance the blue light emitted by your electronic devices.
When working at a computer, ensure that the room is not too dark and the screen is not too bright. The contrast of light will put undue strain on your eyes. Proper task lighting, in the form of a desk lamp, is indispensable, especially for reading and writing.
5. Soft Elements for Added Comfort in Your Home Office
Offices are often filled with hard surfaces, so don’t forget to bring in some sound absorbing soft furnishings like a rug, upholstered chair, drapery, pillows, and even plants. Not only do these help cut down on echoes and noise for video calls, they also soften the look and feel of the space and will give the room a more finished appearance, making it an all-around more pleasant place to work.
6. A Beautiful Backdrop for Your Conference Calls
In recent months, we have witnessed a lot of video call backdrop fails and although you may not be anchoring the local news from your home office, it pays to have a professional backdrop for video calls.
Keep in mind that you will want a simple, clean backdrop; something that is not too distracting or busy. A wall of beautifully styled bookshelves looks great but not everyone has the design eye to execute this successfully.
For a simpler approach, opt for a console table topped with a subdued piece of artwork and a few carefully chosen accessories.
For a basic backdrop, consider adding interest to a blank wall with applied wall mouldings or wallpaper.
7. Final Touches that Bring a Smile to Your Face
Home offices are often overlooked when it comes to decorating. If you are striving to work in a relaxed, comfortable environment where you can feel professional and productive, your office should contain things that inspire you and make you happy; for some that means original artwork or bits of nature, for others it might mean the smiling faces in family photos.
Whatever brings you joy, be sure to incorporate those things into your workspace.
There has never been a better time to establish a comfortable home office. Whether you are working at home temporarily from your dining room table or you are in it for the long haul with a dedicated room where you can shut out the distractions of family life, why not set yourself up for success? Our seven tips above will help get you there.
Ready for a home office that doesn’t feel like work? Contact us and let’s design your dream space together!
Until next time,