Creating a More Comfortable Home Office: 6 Tips
With more people working from home than ever before, shopping priorities have switched from business professional work clothing to creating a comfortable home office.
Showing up to work in loungewear, lighting a scented candle and snuggling under a blanket sound fantastic — but how do you balance making your space cozy without losing efficiency and productivity? Here are a few practical ways to make your home office work for you:
1. Practice Office Ergonomics
Office ergonomics isn’t some new fitness craze for the workplace but a method of setting up your office furniture to best suit your body. An 8-hour workday is a long time to spend sitting in the same place. You should take precautions to get set up effectively to negate some of the impacts of a dysfunctional work environment.
When you finish setting up, your feet should be flat on the floor with plenty of room for your knees and thighs to fit under the desk. Your computer should be at eye level and an arm’s length away. Your mouse, keyboard and other necessities should be within easy reach. It may take some time to get this right, but it’ll quickly become a habit.
2. Be Flexible
Holding still for long periods can bring a slew of health issues. Coming up with creative ways to get up and move around can drastically improve your work environment’s comfort and your overall physical health.
Having a desk that operates as a standing or sitting desk is a great way to change positions without losing productivity. These desks are motorized and allow you to change from a seated height to standing height quickly. Alternatively, you can get flexible seating for different positions, like wobble stools and stability balls which can improve your core strength.
3. Get Support
Your chair may be to blame if you struggle with back, neck and shoulder pain. Only a dedicated desk chair has the support your back needs to stay in proper alignment and ease the burden of sitting for hours.
Test chairs in person if possible to get one that fits you the best. Your ideal chair should have adjustable height and tilt, while many desk chairs have even more adjustments like armrest height. While sitting, your feet should be firmly planted on the floor.
If you already have a desk chair and aren’t in a position to purchase a different one, you could consider adding a footrest to align your legs. Another important accessory is a pillow designed specifically for lumbar support.
No matter what you choose, a chair setup can only help good posture, not fix lousy posture. Set a timer and check on your posture hourly until holding good posture becomes a habit.
4. Breathe Better
The air of your home office can grow stale quite quickly if you aren’t mindful of bringing in fresh air. You may not even realize that the air you are breathing can also hold dangerous toxins. Almost everything in your home has the potential to add toxic chemicals to the air, including synthetic carpet, paint, vinyl flooring, cleaners and air fresheners.
There are a few things you can do to combat exposure in your home. Opening a window and letting fresh air in whenever possible is the easiest and cheapest solution. However, that isn’t a possibility in cold seasons or on rainy days. Another option is to buy a home air purifier. These have come a long way at being able to improve air quality. If you want a more permanent solution to air quality, you can install a ventilation system to improve airflow throughout your home.
5. Embrace Nature
Being in nature has many positive effects, and you can bring some of those benefits into your home office by adding greenery. Plants give off oxygen, helping to purify your air further. They can also help a room feel more open and less claustrophobic.
Try adding a few plants to your space for the health benefits and some added visual interest. Before choosing the plants you would like, check to see what kind of care and sunlight they need. Aim for low-maintenance plants that don’t need direct sunlight, as these will be the most likely to succeed in your workspace.
6. Make It Personal
When you work outside of the home, you often have to follow specific rules for what is allowed in your desk space or office. With a home office, you can decide how you want your room to look. Go ahead and add pictures of friends and family, wall art and accessories that just scream you!
Add your personal flair to other office decor decisions like the style of your desk and lighting. Choose a cute rug for under your desk or some elegant shelving. Just make sure that whatever you pick matches your aesthetic and is still functional.
Remember to KISS
You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Keep it simple, stupid.” This rule applies to decorating. As fun as it is to design your office space, having too much clutter will negatively impact its functionality. Choose your decor and furniture wisely to make sure it’s serving you well.
Meet The Blogger
Martin Banks grew up outside of Chicago and covers all things small-business related, as well as the world’s best hockey team, the Chicago Blackhawks
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