Working From Home? Here Are 7 Keys to Setting Up an Ideal Home Office
Warning: You might actually end up LIKING work.
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When companies turned to remote working due to the pandemic, many of us chose to work on the kitchen counter, the family room sofa, and even our beds as a temporary solution, hoping that things would return to normal. However, as working from home has become more common, (thanks to the Flexible Working Arrangements (FWA)) homeowners are going out of their way to set up a permanent office at home.
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From television to your bed working from home poses a number of challenges and distractions; but a well-designed home office/workspace can assist you in remaining focused on your tasks. To get you started, here are some key essentials for transforming any room in your house into a productive hub while remaining as stylish as the rest of your space.
1. Set the right mood with colour
Colours can impact your mood and behaviour, so it’s important to choose colour wisely when painting your home office walls and selecting the colour of your furniture and built-ins.
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When designing a home office, you're usually looking for ways to improve your work concentration. This often means keeping distractions and subsequently, colour to a minimum. A crisp white and cool grey palette are calming tones that can help you think more clearly, calm your mind, and concentrate. Other ‘natural’ colours that have a similar effect include blues, greens, and other earthy tones like beige, tan, ivory, or light grey.
Darker colours may look stylish but they are far less stimulating and can make you feel more tired and less inclined to work. On the other hand, brighter colours, such as yellow, red, and orange, can help spark creativity and energy, but they can also be distracting and prevent you from working efficiently if used in excess. They work well as an accent colour in a neutral-toned space.
2. Make sure the room is well-lit
Good lighting is essential for creating a comfortable work-from-home environment. Having ample natural light can make a room feel larger and more open, and ward off fatigue after long hours staring at a screen. Meanwhile, task lighting is essential to ensure that you can see clearly and focus on your work.
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Place your desk near a window to get as much natural light as possible. Just be wary of glare, which can interfere with your concentration. Pair windows with sheer curtains, blinds, or translucent window shades that you can adjust throughout the day to avoid glare.
You should also install a few overhead ceiling lights to brighten up your workspace, or a pair of floor lamps in the corners of your room. Don’t forget to include a desk light to provide shadow-free task lighting as well as additional light if you work in the evening.
3. Invest in an ergonomic chair
As you'll be sitting at your desk for long periods of time, an ergonomic chair is essential for your spinal health, overall well-being and focus.
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There are many options on the market today, but ideally, you want a chair with good lumbar support for your lower back and height adjustable options so that you don't end up slouching, reaching, or craning, which can cause pain when working for long periods of time.
4. A suitable desk is also equally important
The same is true for your office desk. Choosing the right desk for your home office is critical if you want to work more comfortably. Look for a desk large enough to accommodate your laptop or a monitor and anything else you need easy access to.
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Your desk should also include a clever solution for keeping your tangle of cables neatly out of sight. If your desk lacks this feature, you must consider the placement of the desk to ensure a neat and safe connection to plug sockets.
You might also want to consider a desk with a footrest, a supportive mouse pad to protect your wrist or even a sitting-standing desk that encourages you to move around more during the day.
5. Reduce clutter with comprehensive storage solutions
In today’s digital world, file cabinets and document storage have become less of a priority in home offices. Instead, storage is designed to hold electronics such as printers, scanners, shredders and so on. When incorporating a storage solution, consider where you want these bulky items to be neatly located; either hidden in a storage unit or within easy reach. The same goes with your stationeries, documents, and other essential items. Having a place for everything is the key to a stress-free and calm working environment.
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If you don't have enough floor space, consider a wall shelving unit to store your office essentials. Another clever way to incorporate storage into your office is with a rolling cart. It is easily moved and offers greater versatility when a change is required. Whatever you choose, make sure you have enough room to keep things neat and tidy for maximum productivity.
6. Sprinkle some plants to enliven your office
Placing plants in your home is beneficial, but especially so at your workstation. Numerous studies have found that plants can reduce stress, improve well-being, and increase productivity. It can also be a great way to rest your eyes after staring at a screen for an extended period of time and bring some fresh air into your room.
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If you don't have a green thumb, you can opt for low-maintenance plants such as succulents, aloe vera, or snake plants. For those who find pruning therapeutic, having some indoor plants around the office can double up as a stress reliever in the middle of your workday.
7. Add personal touches to your office space
One of the greatest benefits of a home office is that you can personalise it completely to your liking, so don’t forget to add your own personal touch to the space.
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Including elements that directly appeal to you can help spark creativity, motivate you, and make you feel happier, all of which can help you be more productive at work. Decorate your home office with photos of your family or friends, a cosy blanket, your favourite objects or motivational artwork. All of these small items can lift your spirits, and before you know it, your home office will feel like a place where you actually want to spend your time!
Get professional help to renovate your home office
Send us your request for a free quote and we can connect you with up to four interior design firms to assist you with your home office remodel based on your budget and needs.
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