When you’re working from home and creating a functional home office, you’ll need to consider the best ways to avoid potential mistakes that could prove to be costly and waste your time in the long run.
Mistakes happen to us all. We learn from them and move on. However, many can be avoided by researching the practicalities of each aspect of your office before committing to a purchase.
Take a desk chair, for example. If you see a great looking chair at your local furniture, you may be longing to bring it home, but put it into perspective first. You’ll likely be sitting at your desk for extended periods of time and may end up with a backache or stiff joints without the proper support. Desk chairs are ergonomically designed for that reason, so no matter how beautiful a chair looks, it may not be the best choice.
- When choosing the perfect office chair, you’ll need to consider six key aspects. The first is height adjustability. The ideal height for your chair will depend on both your height and the height of your desk, so choosing one that is adjustable will allow you to determine the working position that’s most comfortable for you. Your feet should be able to remain flat on the floor and your arms within easy reach of your desk.
- Secondly, a reclining seat back is recommended for putting the least strain on your back. Experts recommend a 135-degree angle, as well as leaving a little room for those moments you simply feel like slouching back and relaxing.
- Third on the list is seat depth. The seat should be appropriate for the size of your body to keep your knees in good shape. When sitting back with your feet flat on the ground, you should find around 2 to 4 inches between the chair and the backs of your knees.
- Fourthly, a chair with armrests is important to reduce strain on your arms, ensuring you stay comfortable and preventing you from feeling tired and lethargic. By resting your arms on the armrests when needed, you’ll be able to recover from any feelings of fatigue and get back to typing away.
- To ensure easy manoeuvrability, the fifth recommendation is a chair with wheels. However, the type of flooring you install in your office will dictate the best wheels for your needs. If you’ve used carpet, try a chair with hard wheels that can easily slide across the material. If you have hard floors, try rubber wheels to prevent you from slipping and rolling when you hadn’t planned to. Trying to keep your chair in place will be a distraction and waste time that could have been spent productively.
- Lastly, lumbar support is key when sitting for prolonged periods. Without adequate support, you’ll be putting a strain on your spine, causing your body to slouch and potentially damage your posture. The lumbar support should be adjustable in height and depth to create the best combination to support the shape of your back.
Next, take space into account. Leaving your working area too empty and stark will give the impression of a dull office cubicle. Such an uninviting look won’t do anything to enhance your productivity and will have you counting down the hours until you can leave to hang out in your living room. Instead, try bright, energetic colours to boost your motivation, as well as unique artwork to spruce up your walls. The floor should also be considered, and the addition of a stylish rug can bring together the overall look and feel of the room as well as providing warmth and comfort. Once the room is painted and styled and your desk has been set up, you may notice the accumulation of cables, linked to office essentials such as your PC, phone charger or printer cords. Ideally, you’ll want to hide these from view to create a sleek, clean-cut image and ensure you’re not wasting time untangling them daily.
The best way to hide cables will depend on your office and the furniture you’ve included. They can be easily hidden behind a large monitor, furniture, accessories or even artwork. The choice is yours. Plus, many retailers now offer desk storage boxes or even desk themselves that contain compartments for your cables, featuring holes to feed them through to a power socket.
Lighting is another important factor in your office. You’ll be spending a lot of time in there, working hard on important projects, so consider the fact you’ll need light to focus clearly on your tasks. Examine the light from your office windows throughout the day and add an effective lighting plan accordingly. Abundant lighting will help you see clearly, protect your eyesight and reduce your risk of headaches or migraines while working.
Finally, a lack of storage is a recipe for disaster in any home office. Without it, you’ll find stationery, paperwork, books and even snacks cluttering up your desk, hindering your productivity. Try furniture that comes with plenty of covered drawers for stashing your vital equipment without making a mess. Alternatively, there are plenty of ways to utilise shelving. Installing shelves and adding baskets or boxes in varying shapes and sizes will give you the opportunity to customise your space fully. Colours can be co-ordinated, plus you’ll be able to decide exactly how many compartments you’ll need to combat the mess your job creates.
Some aspects may be left on the show, such as books or files, which can be easily stacked to look neat and functional, providing they’re not in the way of your workspace.
While many of these tips may seem obvious, they’re often overlooked or simply forgotten during the decorating process. Take a moment to think about them before getting started and you’ll be set up for success from the get-go.
Did you may any mistakes while putting together your home office? What would you change if you could start over?