Whether you work as a freelancer or you’re someone who telecommutes or works from home, you will need a designated work spot to get your work done efficiently. But, it takes a bit more than just setting up your desk next to an outlet if you want to have a productive work zone.
The following home office design tips can help you see show how everything from good organization, storage, tech equipment, ergonomics, lights, and greenery can keep you productive when working from home.
Pick your spot
It’s essential you have a space designated for work only. It could be a separate room but it can also be just a specific seat at the kitchen table or a nook in the bedroom. The key lies in separating your workspace from your relaxing space. That helps you focus when in that specific spot.
It’s also beneficial to have a backup plan when your designated work spot isn’t doing the trick. For some, that means sending emails on the couch, researching from the floor, or typing off on the laptop on the kitchen counter while preparing dinner. For others, that just means getting out of the house and working from a local cafe.
Keep it organized and stocked
Among the most important considerations for your home office are storage and organization so you have the peace of mind to work efficiently. You could colour-code files for each client, have separate binders or drawers for different projects and most importantly, keep your desk clear of mess and clutter.
To keep your home office functional, you’ll need to invest in key items – pens, paper clips, folders or anything else you might need. Stock up because having a dedicated set of work supplies means you won’t waste time and nerves searching for what you need in the middle of a project. Set yourself up for success!
For a great work environment at home, it’s not all about the technology and equipment. Bringing nature into your home office can bring many benefits as well. Greenery brings any space to life and reminds you that there’s a living and breathing world out there outside of work.
Shades of blues and greens that you commonly see in nature have been proven to reduce stress levels and create a calming work environment. A couple of potted plants and even a decorative long-lasting rose will give you a place to rest your eyes. Every 15 to 20 minutes, look away from the screen to your greenery collection and it’ll give you the perfect break and a refreshed perspective.
Get quality lighting
Sunlight does magic for creativity, but when it gets dark, you’ll need proper lighting to continue working. You could opt for lamps with warm-colored lightbulbs to provide a cozy atmosphere but experts advise having a range of options when it comes to non-natural light.
Most people forget proper lighting when they design their home offices, but it is essential to provide appropriate task lighting to limit eye strain. Desktop lighting besides overhead ambient lighting will create sufficient light necessary for a comfortable work environment. More light choices also allow for flexibility, so you can choose the right lighting for a specific task.
Big offices generally have the corporate budget and people in charge of securing the best equipment and laptop stands, wrist guards, and other ergonomic supplies. But this doesn’t mean you can’t as well ensure your own ergonomic health at home on a smaller budget.
Laptop users are particularly disposed to poor wrist and posture position, so the solution could be adding a laptop stand and using an external keyboard and mouse to reduce chronic pain. Standing desks have also become very popular in offices around the globe over the last decade. They allow you to go from sitting to standing, changing your perspective and gaining the health benefits as you don’t spend the entire day sitting.
If you do choose to sit and work, the right height for your chair and desk are imperative. For an average person, the ideal sitting desk height is 30 inches, and seat heights are around 18 inches. You should also allow 48 inches of space between the edge of your desk and whatever is behind you. In this case, adjustable desks and seats are lifesavers.
Above everything else, the key to designing the perfect home office for yourself is making it personal. What works for someone else may not work for you, so you need to test out a few fresh ideas until you unlock the perfect combination of comfort, creativity and productivity. Your home office is your space, so claim it!