Currently, around 5 million employees are working from home in America, and approximately 50% of the UK workforce is set to begin working from home by the end of 2020.
Those numbers came beforethe coronavirus pandemic hit in 2020, and work from home opportunities became a must-have for countless growing brands.
If you’re one of the millions of people working from home in this new landscape, you might be wondering how you can make your home office experience a little more comfortable.
Switching from a traditional office environment into a WFH (work from home) landscape is pretty daunting. With these home office ideas, you can ensure that you have everything you need to feel productive, comfy, and happy at home.
1. Prioritize a comfortable office chair
Let’s start simple. The most crucial piece of furniture in your office is probably your chair.
This is where you’re going to be sitting for 8 to 10 hours every day, answering calls, and responding to emails. Uncomfortable office chairs are responsible for everything from posture problems to back pain and neck strain.
Sitting on an uncomfortable chair doesn’t just mess up your back, though. It can also harm your productivity. If you’re constantly thinking about how bad your shoulders ache, then you can’t focus on the task at hand.
So, what defines a comfortable office chair?
- Back support: The natural curve of your spine should fit perfectly into the chair. High-backed chairs with lumbar support are often best for those who spend a lot of time sitting.
- Thigh support: Make sure that chair is comfortable on your backside and your thighs. Plenty of cushioning is essential here.
- Arm support: It’s hard to hold your arms aloft so you can type all day. A set of arms will ensure that you can operate at your best all the time.
Pro tip – for extra comfort, invest in a footrest. Keeping your feet slightly elevated can improve circulation and reduce your risk of back problems.
2. Choose the right accessories
There are plenty of accessories you’ll need to consider when you start to work from home. You might want a video camera and microphone so you can tune into regular conference calls with your team.
Maybe you need a filing cabinet or a printer so that you can keep track of your invoices.
While the exact accessories that are crucial for your home office design depend on you, there are a few options that are necessary for anyone.A mouse and keyboard is usually a must-have if you’re using a desktop computer, for instance.
Let’s start with the keyboard – mechanical keyboards are ideal for satisfaction and comfort. While they might be noisy, they offer an incredible level of responsive typing comfort. If you write a lot, you can’t go wrong with a mechanical keyboard.
For a mouse, stick with something that’s weighty enough to feel durable, but lightweight enough that you can move it around easily. Gaming mice are great for fitting your hand comfortably. Avoid smaller travel mice that are terrible for extended use.
But when we really delve into the reasons for why we can’t let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past or a fear for the future. – Maria Kondo
3. Invest in the right desk
A desk is another one of those essential pieces of equipment for the work from home landscape.
While it might be tempting to say you’ll save yourself some money and work from your bed or your sofa – that’s not great for your productivity or your comfort. Find a space in your home, specifically dedicated to your work and fill it with a desk.
The ideal desk is one that you can reach easily without having to stretch or lift your arms too far. However, there are different kinds of desk available that might be better for you health-wise.
For instance, research tells us that sitting for too long isn’t good for your health.
If your work from home lifestyle doesn’t require a lot of sitting, you can maybe consider a standing desk instead. A standing desk helps to improve your health, balance, and posture.
At the same time, some people say that standing desks are excellent for focus and productivity.
If you’re not sure that you’ll want to work standing all the time, you can buy a standing desk extender that allows you to transform your table whenever you choose.
4. Keep things simple, but ergonomic
When you work from home, sometimes simplicity is best. You don’t necessarily want to spend a fortune on redecorating one room of your house.
Although you can go above and beyond with modern home office ideas, there’s no need to do this unless you want to. The chances are no-one will see your office except for you.
You can even put virtual backgrounds on your video conferences today, so your colleagues can’t see the mess.
Channel your inner Scandinavian by removing anything unnecessary from your home office design, including filing cabinets and boxes you don’t need.
If you have a lot of clutter in your office, find storage systems to help you get rid of it. Boxes and drawers can come in handy here.
Organizing your stuff will also mean you’re less likely to use it.
While you’re prioritizing simplicity, make sure you don’t overlook ergonomics. The Ergotron workspace planner will help you to see where you should place your chair, keyboard, and monitor depending on your height – for absolute comfort.
5. Use multiple monitors
You might not have the freedom to create the ultimate computer experience in your standard office space. However, with a home office design – there’s no problem.
While second monitors can take a little while to get used to, they also have many benefits. A second desktop monitor means that you can have your research open and ready on one screen, and your word processing software on the other if you’re a writer.
For designers and coders, you can access multiple tools at once without having to jump back and forth between tabs that reduce your productivity levels. You can organize your entire work day across both of your monitors and reduce the strain on your time.
Just make sure that the monitors you choose are great to look at – bad resolutions can seriously mess up your day and give you a real headache.
To improve your chances of comfort when you’re staring at a screen all day, try wearing a pair of blue-light blocking glasses. These will help to soften the impact of digital screens on your eyes.
You might even find that they help you sleep better at night too.
6. Add splashes of color
The best home office design ideas often transform your workspace into a place that’s fun, engaging, and unique to you. After all, working from home should make you feel as though you have more freedom.
Avoid any depressing aesthetics by adding a splash of color to the mix.
Green plants add vibrancy to your office and increase productivity by up to 15%, according to some studies. If you’re worried about forgetting to look after your plants when working full-time, choose something easy to maintain, like a spider plant or Boston fern.
Green isn’t the only great color to have in your home office design, either.
Studies indicate that blue has a fantastic calming effect on people. If you often get stressed out by work, splashes of blue can lower your feelings of tension. Try a blue pillow for your chair, or a blue plant pot.
7. Blend professional with personal (the right way)
For the most part, you’ll want to keep your work from home office and the rest of your life as separate as possible. That means that you create a separate room that you can work from every day and close the door on when you’re done and ready to join your family.
However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t blend personal and professional aspects in some areas.
For instance, photos of your family on your desk can help you feel more comfortable while you’re working. A picture or piece of art on your wall helps to inspire you, while toys and knickknacks make the space feel like it’s more your own.
Around 83% of professionals say that artwork is essential to their work environment.
Making sure your office is equipped with all the essentials for professional productivity is essential. But don’t forget to nurture your mind and soul too.
Transforming your home office design
There’s more to building a successful work from the home environment than investing in a better internet connection and a reliable router.
While it’s essential to ensure that you have all the tools you need to get the job done, from crucial software to a high-performance printer, you need to remember the added extras too.
If you’re not comfortable and happy in your office environment, you’re not going to do your best work. That’s true regardless of whether you’re working from home or in a traditional environment.
Don’t let your professional life suffer when you’re outside of the office. Use the home office ideas above to create the perfect productivity palace.
ReWired: ReThink Your Life.