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 on Pinterest might look fantastic, but will it provide space for your project work? And that ornate cabinet might match the one in your dining room, but is it really practical for regular use?
Seek inspiration, but try and find furniture and fittings that won’t hinder your work, or become increasingly uncomfortable as the day grows old. Look for practical furniture that does the job it needs to do - keeping you comfortable and productive.
Despite computers dominating written work, you will most likely still have a lot of paperwork, so providing ample storage is important to stop your home office becoming cluttered. A standard filing cabinet may feel ugly, so look for alternatives.
If you rely on visual reminders to complete tasks, look at wall storage options that keep things within eyesight, such as pin or chalkboards, or magazine racks. If bookcases are something you need, get one big enough to avoid over-stuffing, and attractive if you have visitors, or need to use it as a background for conference calls.
Whatever you decide, ensure you have enough space to keep things neat and tidy, and not spilling out into the rest of the room.
Understanding the body’s mechanics and the importance of sitting correctly can help avert the most common causes of back pain and work-related disorders.
Chances are your most-used office tool is your computer, so creating a space to accommodate that should be an important consideration. The top of your monitor should be at eye level or a little below, and your forearms should be parallel to the floor in the typing position. Feet should be resting firmly on the floor, or the chairs footstools.
If you are putting in the hours, you should also look to get a comfortable and reliable desk chair. One that offers high ergonomic qualities, comfort and durability, preferably with a long warranty. There are a lot of style options out there to match your interior design.
Make sure you have enough access to light. Having access to natural sunlight is the best option, but with poor weather comes poor light, so think about your indoor lighting options. The light you need will depend on the way you work. If you’re are frequently working on papers, or looking down upon a desk, a traditional desk lamp will probably work best. If your needs vary, look for more versatile options, such as a swivel lamp.
Plants make us happy. Countless studies have shown they reduce stress, increase wellbeing, and boost productivity. Placing them in any inhabited space is beneficial, but especially so in the workplace. Think about adding one or two potted plants in your home office, such as a small one on your desk, and a larger one somewhere around the room.
Whilst living plants also help to clean the air, the visual stimulus of synthetic plants provides similar benefits, so if you don’t feel you can look after real plants, you can go for pretend ones instead.
One of the greatest benefits of a home office is you can personalise it to your liking, so don’t forget to add your own personal touch to the environment. Adding elements which directly appeal to you can help spark creativity, as well as make you feel happier, both of which can help productivity.
Add some of your favourite artworks to the walls, place some family photographs, or hang a poster of your favourite band. Paint the walls in your favourite colours or place ornaments in an empty storage space. There are loads of options out there which can make you look forward to spending the day in your office, so make the most of being in control of your own environment.
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