That is inviting, ergonomically comfortable, and makes you feel energized to start your workday, first thing in the morning after you pour your first cup of coffee or tea in the morning.
The freedom that remote work from home provides is priceless, but it also means you need to create your own “office” space to be productive, inviting, and, most importantly, ergonomically comfortable.
A place that makes you happy and energized to start your workday, first thing in the morning after you have poured your first cup of coffee or tea.
Where to set up a Home Office.
When setting up your home office, the most logical place for the home office is close to the house’s entrance. It saves time, effort, and energy that would otherwise be trekking through your home looking for misplaced files or documents. If you have in-person meetings with clients and consultants, this would be the best location.
If your home office is small, you might benefit from having a separate play area where you can relax or entertain guests when you’re not working.
Your home office needs to provide you with everything an office in a traditional workplace would, but without the commute time. It also needs to feel like a place to relax while working from home.
The Importance of Ergonomics for Your Home Office
Ergonomics in any workspace is paramount to maintaining good health and productivity. But unfortunately, the average home office is usually not designed with ergonomics in mind.
Office ergonomics are essential because they keep your body healthy. For example, if you don’t adjust your chair, keyboard, or screen height and position, it can cause problems for your eyes, back, and posture.
If this sounds familiar, don’t worry; you are not alone. Many people spend long working hours inside spaces that initially did not offer ergonomically designed furniture.
If you can work from home or start your own business. Consider considering these suggestions, below when creating your home office space.
Ergonomic and height-adjustable desk
What makes an ergonomic desk? An ergonomic desk is height-adjustable to work seated and standing. A typical office desk adjusts between 28 and 30 inches tall.
Height-adjustable desks are perfect for an ergonomic home office setting.
You can set up your laptop or desktop computer on a fully adjustable work surface; that allows you to change the height of the desk surface with just a touch of a button.
A sit/stand desk ensures that you are not sedentary all day or constantly shifting your weight.
Ergonomic Home Office Chair
The right chair can help to reduce muscle strain on your neck and back. But spend a little more to get a high-quality ergonomic home office chair. That will keep you comfortable while it supports your posture.
You’ll spend hours in this chair, so choose one that is easy to adjust and consider the lumbar support and armrest features before purchasing.
Don’t Forget the Lighting.
You need good natural light in your home office. The best places for your home office will usually have plenty of indirect natural light. You should put a desk lamp on one side away from the window. All lighting should be adjustable, or dimmable lighting will reduce eye strain above and beside your desk.
Your eyes will appreciate a properly illuminated workspace while working on your computer or using other digital devices throughout the day.
Position your desk strategically to take advantage of natural lighting as much as possible. For example, if you can place your home desk perpendicular to windows, you may find that helps with softer indirect light for most of the year. For information, see this Forbes article.
You can also install blinds or drapes to block out the sun – or snow glare and improve your lighting conditions.
Computer Monitor, Mouse & Keyboard Placement.
You may want to move your computer screen forward a little bit, so it is directly in front and center of you.
If your keyboard or mouse is outside of an ideal ergonomic reach, you’ll find yourself leaning forward to access, which can strain your neck and shoulders.
Your computer monitor should be at a reasonable distance and angle for viewing and at the correct height to reduce neck and back strain. Consider purchasing adjustable computer monitor arms and a height-adjustable desk.
What’s Your Ideal Office Temperature?
The temperature of your office can significantly affect how productive you are. Be it heating or cooling, it can affect your concentration and overall performance.
The thing is, we all have different preferences for what temperature we like our workspace to be. OSHA recommends temperatures to be between 67-72 Fahrenheit and humidity control about 40-60%.
Some people like it cool while others enjoy a warm office. The former feel they get more done when the air is cool and dry. While the latter need a much warmer and more humid environment to keep them comfortable and productive.
Improving the acoustics in an office can be expensive, but it’s essential when working from home. Unless you live alone or with incredibly quiet flatmates or family, you’ll need to consider noise control. You can purchase actual soundproofing materials for walls and doors.
Sometimes the best option is to invest in a pair of high-fidelity headphones that will shut out distracting noises from your neighbors or other members of your household.
Close the doors.
A big part of noise control is having a home office with a door and closing them. Closing doors to an office may seem like an obvious thing to do, but if your bedroom doubles as a home office, this might not be realistic.
The best solution is to designate a corner of your room as an office and then shut the door when you’re busy. And put up a sign on the door, so family members know you are not available. Best of all at the end of the workday, you can close the doors and walk away!
Storage and Office Organization.
Make sure your office is as clutter-free as possible. Use bookshelves or filing cabinets to store binders, and other loose paperwork out of the way while still leaving them accessible when needed.
While a messy desk doesn’t mean you’re unproductive, a cluttered office with a lot of stuff lying around will make it hard for you to focus on your work.
There are some things you’ll always need to have on hand while working from home, including pens, pencils, paper clips, and those sorts of things.
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