The home office has been around for years with spatial locations that include a den, library, basement corner, bedroom nook, garage stall and kitchen table. It has been a hallmark for entrepreneurs and 70 hour-per-week executives. Over the past few years, digital nomads adapted the home office concept to a third space such as a co-working facility, coffee shop or beach. Today, it is becoming a mandatory area for most of the world as they shelter-in-place. The home office continues to evolve with our needs. This space remains as our environment in which to be productive, professional and creative.
Here are some tips on how you can make your physical home space the ideal refuge:
Functionality – Layout
As with all spaces, its functionality should be of service to your routine behaviors to maximize your energy and time. Look around your area and make note about how you move. Considerations include:
- What area of the space do you most frequently visit to grab materials?
- How many times do you have to get up to access files?
- Do you have to climb over or sort through boxes to obtain desired document(s)?
- How is your space allocated according to your tasks?
Set up your space, regardless of its size, in a manner where you can easily access the tools and resources you need without a dramatic interruption in physical movement and thought. Ask yourself some simple questions such as:
- Do you need every file on your desk?
- Should your files be in vertical cabinets or storage boxes versus stacked in a rack that require moving every folder out to find the one?
- Are your pens and other tools scattered across your desk?
Functionality is intertwined with furniture composition, lighting and organization to create your customized home office.
Invest in desks and chairs that are designed to support your work as well as your physicality. Ergonomics in the workplace is often a discussion relegated to the corporate environment. However, ergonomics applies to all workplaces since they revolve around fundamental physical wellness principles, specifically our musculoskeletal structure. Ignoring ergonomics results in disorders such as carpel tunnel, rotator cuff injuries, muscle strains, lower back issues and more. We all know how much health care costs so investing in furniture to support your body is a wise spend.
Chairs are the top office investment. One of the most iconic ergonomically designed chairs is the Herman Miller Aeron model. For over twenty years, they have nearly perfected this chair that pairs human-centered design with targeted technology for total comfort. According to the company, its “PostureFit SL technology affords the ideal sit — chest open, shoulders back, pelvis tilted slightly forward. Adjustable pads provide lumbar support and stabilize the base of the spine for the perfect balance of ergonomics and comfort.”
Another reason why this chair has such an loyal audience is because it is completely made in America out of Michigan 100% green-energy facility. Yes, there are more options out there from Herman Miller and other companies, but this chair has been an industry benchmark for some time.
Learn more about this chair:
The typical desk is 29” to 30” high. If it is too high or low for you, that is where your chair becomes an asset to help you adjust to the right height. The key is to feel comfortable at your desk even if it means adding a footrest or increasing the height of your monitor(s) to reside at a comfortable eye level.
Some desks are designed to transform into surfaces that you can standing in front of walk in front of on a treadmill. Studies over the past decades have equated the health impact of sitting all day to smoking; both of which have severely decreased health outcomes. Thus, the standing desk continues to gain appeal and acceptance.
If you have the space, then a credenza is an additional piece of furniture that provides more work and storage area with complementary style.
Click the highlighted text to learn more about top rated standing desks and desk top conversion products. Keep in mind that the industry continues to provide more stylish and multifunctional furniture solutions to accommodate your needs.
Most likely you, like most people, have been impacted by the effects of bad lighting. Side effect include feeling energetically drained, headaches and/or mood shifts.
Multi-directional lighting is essential and has a direct impact on your work productivity. It is necessary to have light that projects upwards, downwards and sideways. Your entire workspace needs to be illuminated with light diffused throughout. Lamp shades are great aids to soften and scatter light. Task lighting helps yo to focus. It can also block overbearing direct light which can cause headaches, decrease energy and cause eyestrain.
Structure your workspace to leverage these light tips as well as natural light. Capture the optimum effects of natural lighting by positioning your computer or workstation in front of or next to any windows in the north and south direction.
Maintaining an organized physical space mirrors your mental space. Less physical clutter equates to less mental clutter, subconsciously and consciously. The symbiotic relationship between physical and mental organization allows you to experience more fun, freedom and overall wellness. Organization solutions include built-in storage systems or modular and multi-functional furniture set-ups.
A few ways to easily and instantly organize your office include:
- Group materials in the same area such as catalogs, product samples, client binders and electronic devices.
- Alphabetize books, binders, catalogs and other reference materials.
- Gather, group and hide stacks of papers or loose items such as product samples, pens, rulers, etc. in labeled decorative, storage boxes.
- Organize documents that you need daily closest to you. When working on a project, compile all necessary materials in one place so that you can flow through your work.
- Color code your files according to a task or business category.
- Adopt a touch-it-once policy with any paper or digital files to work with organizational efficiency and accuracy.
Setting up your office space with functionality in mind will allow you to apply your energy to work that really matters and not mundane time wasters. Once this baseline is made, you can add creativity and style to really make it your own sanctuary. If you have to be there, then love the space you are in.
Enjoy these stylish spaces designed for serious business.
Image credits (top-to-bottom): ©Herman Miller, ©Madegoods, ©Perigold, ©Luxdeco, ©Une Hinrondelle dans les tiroirs, ©Home Designing, ©Home Remodel101, ©House & HomeFeature Image: © Casa Tres Chic Blog Spot