Working from home should be the best thing in the world, and not having to deal with the daily commute and parking, is even better!
Home offices can be designed with either long-term or short-term goals in mind, depending on who the eventual occupants will be and how much time they will spend working from their desks. For example, if you plan to work from home full-time, you will require a more permanent workstation than someone who only occasionally telecommutes two days per week.
But it is hard to stay motivated and on task if your workspace feels too casual or cluttered. For example, using a cramped, uncomfortable breakfast nook table for your desk while you stare at the ever-growing mountain of dirty dishes in your kitchen sink is not ideal. work environment.
The best ergonomic home office set up should reflect your personality and incorporate elements that you will look forward to seeing when you walk into your office first thing in the morning with your freshly brewed cup of coffee (or tea) in hand and feel enthusiastic about diving into your daily projects.
An ergonomic home office design makes the user feel comfortable and puts no strain on their body, even after hours at their desk. In addition, an adequately designed workspace encourages correct posture throughout your day, so you should take some time out to create an environment that is both pleasant and healthy.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you set up an ergonomic home office in the spare bedroom:
- How much time will you spend in this room each day?
- Do you plan to expand and add new home office features over the years, such as home offices for children who are still living at home with their parents? If so, a workstation that can be seamlessly upgraded is a must.
- Are you planning to use an external monitor or multiple screens for extra workspace?
- Does your home office get a lot of natural light? Do you prefer to work in the dark, or do you like the office lighting to blend into its surroundings and be flexible (working near a window with natural light, for example)?
- How much storage space do you need for home office accessories such as filing cabinets, bookshelves, sufficient tabletop space??
- Consider the room's layout. Is it ample enough to accommodate your home office furniture needs, or will you need to look elsewhere for the home office supplies you need?
- Will you be making conference calls or video conferencing?
Step 1 – Modularity.
Consider employing modular furnishings rather than permanent built-in furniture. To allow you to rearrange your office if your needs change in the future.
Maybe you have a different set of professional goals and aspirations from a few years ago. For example, perhaps you are traveling less and participating in video conferences more frequently, or you have to temporarily adjust furniture placement for an impromptu meeting with clients or collaborators in your home office.
Step 2 – Ergonomic home office chair.
One of the first things you should invest in is a high-quality task chair. One of those items where the saying “what you pay for is what you get” rings true.
Each component of your chair should be adjustable. For example, sitting for long periods in a chair without adequate lumbar support will eventually make your back and neck start to hurt.
Likewise, a chair without an adjustable seat pan can affect blood circulation in your thighs. Last but not least, adjustable armrests help relax your shoulders.
Step 3 – Height-adjustable Desk.
We sit a lot. Driving, watching TV, and then we sit at work all day. When we cannot quickly change our posture, we feel uncomfortable and possibly moody.
An ergonomic home office requires a well-designed height-adjustable desk, so thinking carefully about which type will suit your needs is essential. There are several benefits associated with adjustable height desks, see study made by the University of Waterloo.
If you are not satisfied with the height of your desk, it is easy to raise or lower it to suit. In addition, most modern desks can be adjusted at several different points to conform to the user's shape rather than forcing them to change their posture to accommodate a poor design.
Many medical journals (Science Daily) have discussed the health benefits of adjustable height desks. They improve mood, fatigue, and tension, and even help with weight loss, among many other health benefits.
Considerations when selecting a height-adjustable desk:
- The typical depth is 30 inches and 60-72″ wide
- Ease of adjusting the height: hand-crank, electric, and pneumatic lifts
- How quickly does it raise/lower? Is the mechanism loud and disruptive or physically taxing?
- Weight limitations. Every desk has its limits for how much equipment it can support.
- Some have collision detection, as in sensors that detect any cables or other objects that obstruct movement when height is adjusted.
- If you do not have the option of a height-adjustable desk, you should get an adjustable keyboard tray and computer monitor arm.
Step 4 – Day and Ambient Lighting.
Most office buildings now make use of energy-efficient lighting as standard. Unfortunately, many people assume this is the case in their houses and neglect to take steps to maximize natural light or provide supplementary lamps where necessary.
We all know the importance of the day and ambient lighting, controlling potential glare from sun or snow reflection.
A general ceiling light fixture is prominent but has other light sources that are dimmable, as in a desk lamp that lights downward onto your work surface and doesn't throw a glare onto your computer screen.
- Consider incorporating a mirror to reflect light further into the room to increase natural daylight throughout your office space.
- If possible, position your desk and monitor alongside a window rather than in front or behind your screen.
- It's worth investing in good lighting if you spend a lot of time working from home because it can help you feel more alert and improve your productivity.
Step 5 – Other Furnishings And Surroundings.
Echoing sounds within your office is distracting. Considerations to slow down reverberations would be:
- Add carpeting or an area rug; it does have a higher noise-absorbing quality than hard flooring material.
- Window treatments – can reduce both the noise from outside and the glare from sunlight.
- Wall textiles or tapestries can help control echo or noise.
Mirrors can reflect light and reduce home office shadows but do not reflect excessive glare.
Add plants to bring nature, oxygen, and color into your office space. Just be sure to remember to research how frequently you need to water different types of houseplants to keep them vibrant and healthy.
While you should spend some time looking at the bigger picture, don't forget to think about the little things! For example, a desk tidy can keep your pens and pencils in order, while a document tray turns your desk into a filing cabinet.
Your new ergonomic home office should not feel disorganized, but you need to make space for your computer, printer, and other everyday items.
Designing your own productive home office or remote is not as difficult as it may initially appear to be. With a clear idea of what you expect from the finished design project, spending some time researching the best ergonomic furniture you can afford should result in a beautiful workspace.
With careful planning, you can design an ergonomic home office that makes your home life easier while reducing stress and improving productivity.
You will have successfully created an ideal home office environment by following these steps. Whether your home office is home to your home business, home-based school work, or homebound study/work, you'll be comfortable and productive!