We’ve put together a few tips for creating a fabulous and functional home office. If you put this advice to the test, your office just might become your new favorite room! Your office should be both functional and inviting. Home offices don’t have to be boring and, when put together with your special needs in mind, they can become a tool to boost your productivity.
Invest In Seating
Make sure the seating is both stylish and ergonomic. It may seem strange that we’ve made seating the first point on our list, but think of it this way: Like it or not, the office chair is where we spend the bulk of our day. According to a 2013 survey commissioned by Ergotron, a company well-known for producing office furniture, found that workers — and Americans in particular — are prone to sitting for up to 13 hours per day. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, about 90% of us experience back pain at some point in our lives, and 50% of the working population has back pain every year in the US. With staggering numbers like these, it is critical to make sure your office chair is properly fitted to your body. Your best bet is to invest in an ergonomic chair with customization options. Ideally, you should search for a chair that allows you to sit comfortably with straight shoulders and offers plenty of lumbar support. The supplemental seating is where you can really let your sense of personal style shine. Consider adding a chair or two opposite your desk that allows you to welcome visitors. Alternatively, you could add an accent chair and bookcase in a cozy corner of the room.
Add Plenty of Lighting
We often neglect the lighting. Is your desk lamp too bright or too dim to effectively work under? Are you getting sufficient natural light from the sun? To have that, make sure your designated work space has enough windows to let the sunlight in. If you’re new to lighting styles— or need a refresher — here’s an overview of the different types you can include:
- Ambient: Lighting that’s used to fill most of the room, usually from overhead
- Accent: A light fixture used to highlight a specific feature like a bookcase, fireplace, or piece of art
- Task: Light fixtures, like a desk lamp, which serve a specific purpose
For best results, try to include at least one example of each of these types of lighting in your home office. And feel free to add more, if needed. In this case, it’s better to err on the side of too many light sources than not enough.
If you have the tendency to leave things lying around, a pile of clutter will form before you even realize it. However, when you increase the amount of physical space, it will take longer for that to happen. The extra space will also make your work space look less cramped. Do yourself a favor while you’re setting up your home office and put organizational systems in place that are easy to use and suit your unique needs. Are you the sort of person who can keep open shelving looking neat or would you prefer the ability to keep your office’s inner workings hidden from view? Once you have a firm idea of the kind of organization you need, do your research. Search sites for design inspiration. Look for items that fit your budget, your room dimensions, and your aesthetic.
Add a Personal Touch
There should be some leeway on what you can place in your work space to provide that personal touch and inspiration to an otherwise, sterile office environment. Your office needs a healthy dose of personality. Do your best to make the space feel like your own by infusing it with plenty of personal touches. With any luck, this effort will help make your time spent in the office that much more enjoyable. One of interior design’s best-kept secrets is that a fresh coat of paint is the best way to give a room a makeover. And don’t be afraid to add a sense of comfort into the room through textiles like rugs, throw pillows, and blankets.
In some ways, an organized and productive home office takes a lot of experimentation and a bit of luck before you can get it just right. You will find yourself trying to balance new technology, organization, processes, and designs with your budget to get the perfect fit. Time-consuming as it may be, it is still an enjoyable process to observe how your home office will evolve. Home offices don’t have to be boring. In fact, with the help of a few personal touches, they can become spaces that are as useful as they are fashionable.
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