One thing the pandemic has taught us is to prepare our homes for every scenario, including working from home. But with so many distractions — and the comfort of your home — losing focus and going off the track can be easy.
And so, it is essential to set up an office that is comfortable, provides a productive environment, and, of course, contributes to the aesthetics of your home. Keep reading to learn our top 7 tips to set up an ergonomic home office!
Ensure The Layout Is Optimal
An optimal office layout ensures the computer is away from distractions. The best desk placement is usually near a natural light source, which would most likely be near the window.
Working perpendicular to the window is ideal, especially if facing the window is too bright or distracting. Bonus points if you get a view of the door from your seat — this helps incorporate the principles of feng shui, too.
Whilst planning your layout, make sure you allow yourself enough space to work comfortably. You should be able to move from side to side on your chair, and sit up and down easily.
Incorporate The Right Chair
The first step to creating an ergonomic home office is investing in the right furniture. Choose a chair that provides adequate back support, ensuring your hips reach the back of your chair, and the backrest supports your natural posture. It would be ideal for the chair to have armrests, allowing the shoulders to relax.
Next, ensure the height of the chair is optimal. Incorrect chair heights can put pressure on different parts of the body and cause aches. The correct position occurs when the knees are bent at a right angle and are directly in line with the hips.
Keeping your feet flat on the floor helps keep your posture right. If you’re struggling to achieve this with your chair (for instance, it is too high to let you reach the floor), you can buy a footrest to help do the job.
Alternatively, a quick DIY would be piling up hard-cover books to attain the height needed — and voila, you have a footrest for your feet. If your feet are already on the floor, you may lay down a rug to soften the area. Be sure to choose the right rug, though!
Focus On The Desk
Ergonomic desks keep you sitting comfortably with your back straight and wrists neutral. One idea is to use adjustable-height desks. These allow you to adjust the height of the desk by raising and lowering it so you can sit and stand alternatively throughout your workday.
An L-shaped desk is also a part of an ergonomic layout; it provides more surface for supplies and essentials. Placing the desk against the wall — and preferably on the side of a window — shall do the trick.
Additionally, You can consider using split keyboards and wireless headphones. If you already have ergonomic furnishings but they appear worn-out, you can breathe life into them through DIY upcycling projects.
Keep It Organised And Clutter-Free
Cluttered desks can contribute to lack of focus and loss in productivity (unless, of course, you're the type of person that thrives in clutter!). Therefore, an ergonomic home office should ideally be organised and free of mess.
Begin by removing knickknacks and other items you don’t need. Tuck away essentials in nearby cabinets and get rid of items that are no longer in a working condition, such as a worn-out fax machine. The aim is to keep flat surfaces as clear as possible.
Consider purchasing items for organisation, such as:
Cable organisers: There are sure to be plenty of cables under your desk, and tidying them up is essential for a clutter-free space. One option is a cable box that grabs all trailing cables and keeps the space free of tangled wires.
Document stand: Practicing bad posture is easy when working with papers, and a document stand can help with just that. This allows for a better display of hard copies of documents, allowing you to view them and the screen simultaneously.
Credit: In Deqor
Supply organisers: If you have stationery and other supplies lying around, buying a supply organiser is an inexpensive way to keep them assembled but close at hand.
It may appear that plants merely add to the aesthetics, but beyond that, they have a multitude of other benefits for your office, too. Plants help reduce stress levels, purify the air by adding oxygen, and are believed to reduce rates of sickness and absence in regular offices.
With all their benefits, plants can increase productivity levels and replenish focus in workspaces. They also provide a decent resting spot for the eyes. Speaking of which, you’d want to place a large plant at a 20-feet distance from your desk to help follow the 20-20-20 rule. This means looking at an object (for example, a lively, green plant) 20 feet away for 20 seconds after looking at the screen for 20 minutes. This helps reduce strain on the eyes and ensures you take a small break every now and then.
For more tips on how to incorporate biophilic design into your home, read our guide here.
Keep The Lighting Right
Working in a dark space can place strain on the eyes, so ensure the lighting is just right in your home office. You’d want windows to allow in natural light — it's best to place your desk to the side of these (instead of having them in front or behind you).
Additionally, you want your computer screen to be brighter than the sun, so it will pay off to pair blinds or shades with the windows. You can pull these down on days the sun is too bright, ensuring the amount of light indoors allows you to work comfortably.
If you lack natural light, getting a desk lamp helps alleviate eye strain by reducing the contrast between your screen and any dimness surrounding it.
Curate The Right Colour Palette
Pay close attention to the colour scheme of your space. Pops of yellow and orange are ideal to create a high-energy space; even incorporating bold hues in bits will do the trick. Yellow greens and beige greens are believed to be stress-reducing tones, and are also particularly famous in home offices.
However, you can always stick to a light-hued office to satiate your love for neutrals, too.
Working at home is both a blessing and a challenge — and if you don’t have the right workspace, the latter would outweigh the former. Follow the tips shared above to set up an ergonomic home office that provides comfort whilst ensuring efficiency, and watch your productivity levels rise considerably!
Need some help with optimising your home office? Just book one of our Interior Design Gurus here! They can look at your space over video chat and give you tips, ideas and guidance on how to achieve an interior that you love.