COVID-19 is not the only reason people are working from home. Over the next 10 years, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, expects 50% of his employees to be working from home. Remote working seems to be here to stay.
Are you working from home? Don't know for how long? Read on to learn how to decorate a home office for productivity and pleasure.
1. Ergonomic Desk
Your office environment is probably a safe one. It may even have been assessed to identify any risks to your health and safety. Adjustments may have been made to it to promote your well-being, including furniture that is good for your posture.
Working from home might seem safe, but if it has not been risk-assessed, there's no reason to believe that it is. A safe place for domestic living isn't safe for prolonged office work.
You need to make appropriate arrangements for this "new normal" and think about ergonomics. It's not only about comfort. Ergonomics is the science of design that considers your emotional and physical wellbeing when working with machines, such as a computer, phone, and even your desk.
Don't expect to be productive and healthy if you think working from home means lounging on a couch while typing on your laptop. The result may be back and neck pain that can be debilitating for life. Set up a workstation following ergonomic principles including your desk, keyboard, and monitor.
2. Ergonomic Chair
Your chair is an important aspect of your home office design. Don't be fooled into making aesthetically-driven decisions at the expense of ergonomic ones. A beautifully-colored chair might suit your sense of personal style, but it won't help your back much.
Despite this, the market for home office chairs is responding to people's desire to make their home office an expression of their taste, as well as functional.
Choose an ergonomically-designed chair with the maximum adjustment so you can sit at your desk and operate a computer for long periods. Then, select a fabric that complements your decor.
3. Lighting for Productivity
A key consideration in your home office is lighting. Having the right lighting solution will help improve your productivity, stay energized all day, and not break the bank.
Choose LED lighting for its greater brightness and range of color. This will help create a pleasant working light level, but without adding radiated heat.
LED lighting is also energy-efficient. Don't forget one downside of working from home is that all the energy costs associated with your working day are carried by you. LED lights are also long life, so you won't be replacing them often.
Avoid placing lights so that you have glare or reflections to contend with on your computer screen. This will help reduce eye strain. Defused light is best with the addition of directed light when you have tasks to do away from your monitor.
4. Lighting for Aesthetics
Your home office doesn't have to feel like an industrial environment. It's your office, but it's also your home. Consider the aesthetics of your lighting to create a beautiful and comfortable room too.
Installing some fun lighting can personalize your space. Use colored rope lighting to transform your productive office into your funky welcoming home. That way, at the end of the day's work, you can switch off your work brain and switch on the fun.
Working from home can be great if you need to balance home and work responsibilities. It reduces commute times, makes you available for childcare or elder care, and can be flexible. On the other hand, you might find it difficult to separate work time from home time.
One way to do this is to install a whiteboard. You can't help being creative, so when that great idea comes into your head, write it on to the whiteboard. That way, it'll be waiting for you to work on later when you're in work mode.
A whiteboard is also a great place to write your schedule. It's there for everybody to see too. Other family members can check when you're not working and when you are so you might get disturbed less.
6. Inspirational Visuals
A home working environment can be a fun and inspiring environment. It's not all about putting your shoulder to the grindstone in a soulless home sweatshop. It can be life-affirming, exciting, and energizing.
Choose pictures or posters that inspire you. Use them to decorate the walls.
If you find inspirational quotes help you, select a few of the best and place them on the walls. If family photos do it for you, place a few strategically around your desk. You may feel that when the going gets tough at work, you can motivate yourself with the thought that you're doing it for them.
7. Clutter-Free Storage Solutions
Don't forget to provide yourself with storage options.
A desk tidy for essential stationery will help keep your desk clear of clutter. Have somewhere to put your current work projects away so that you can transform your home office into a room for something else easily.
If you can't fit shelves or a filing cabinet somewhere, stacking plastic storage boxes are a useful alternative.
8. Color Choices
Color is a matter of personal taste, but there are some rules of thumb.
Color does set a mood for a room. High energy and bright colors on your walls might seem initially attractive, but think long-term. Can you live with it every day?
Calming and cool colors may have better long-term appeal. Greens or grays are relaxing and might be a better solution. Choose furniture to complement this and use pictures and accessories to bring splashes of excitement into the room.
9. Functional Flooring
If you have an ergonomic chair, it's likely to be on casters. Those casters will very quickly wear a typical domestic carpet.
Consider changing the flooring, even if it's only in the area of your desk. You could also use a flooring protector just for the area where you place your chair.
If you will be spending more time in this room, don't create additional chores. Choose flooring that is easy to clean.
Are you communicating through Zoom or Skype as part of your working from home regime? If you are, consider your office as if it were a TV studio. Specifically, what will people see behind you when you are on screen?
It can be distracting for people to see you on screen with a plant, apparently growing out of the top of your head. Your collection of holiday mementos might be meaningful to you, but do you really want to show them to your business associates?
Organize your office so that you have a neutral backdrop for online meetings.
Decorate a Home Office
Give your home office a makeover and you may improve your productivity. Decorate your home office. You could make it inspirational and safer too.
Talk to us about your lighting needs by contacting us.