The way we work is changing, more and more people nowadays have the option to work at home which requires a comfortable, functional and organised workplace that meets all business and office needs and promotes productivity and efficiency.
The best case scenario is to have a spacious, secluded, quiet and comfortable place, an attic or a basement for instance, where to organise an office, thus successfully separating your profession from your personal life.
When you cannot devote an entire room to a home office, try to convert an awkward little nook or reclaim an unused corner, for all you need is enough work space to get your job done; a folding screen could separate you from the world, and it could also act as an inspiration board. When the space is tight, look for multifunctional pieces of furniture and make smart use of the vertical wall space; customise the shelves to your needs.
Whatever the size of your office, it is advisable to consider the following essentials:
- A work surface
The office desk should accommodate your computer equipment and be sturdy enough to support it.
- Proper seating
If you spend a considerable amount of time in your home office, think ergonomically and invest in a good office chair with a backrest, cushioned seat, swivel base, adjustable armrest and height feature. It could be expensive, but an uncomfortable chair can hurt your back and cause discomfort and pain.
- Sufficient storage
Efficient storage – cabinets, shelves, credences, is needed to properly organise files, papers and office supplies; an office desk or armoire with built – in drawers is a good option, too. You could also improvise with different containers placed on open shelves or under the desk or even repurpose furniture – nightstands with drawers could serve as printer stands and provide storage for printer paper and other office supplies.
- Efficient lighting
Always bear in mind that lighting of your office can have a considerable effect on your productivity and fatigue levels for at least two reasons: first, if you do not like your workspace, lighting could definitely enhance its atmosphere, and second, lighting problems, like glare, dim light or too bright light, for instance, can add extra strain on your eyes and leave you feeling exhausted.
So, consider colours: white or light-coloured walls and furniture make the space bright and airy and you need lower intensity light and fewer lighting options. Generally, the rule is to light a dark office about 20 percent brighter than you would if the walls and furniture were light-coloured.
Try to follow some basic suggestions: make sure lighting is not too bright, direct light toward papers, not eyes, avoid bright lighting on your monitor, and, above all, always keep in mind that a good lighting scheme uses layers of light for the most efficient and aesthetically pleasing design strategy; you could also include dimmers and decorative lights to add drama and create the mood in your office.
If necessary, consult lighting designers to get the right lighting scheme that entirely meets your needs and prevents glare, headaches, and eye strain.
More tips that might be helpful:
- Clear the pathways
- De-clutter both the space and the desk, improve your organization – throw away things you have not touched in a year, and file away important papers or items sitting in piles throughout the space
- Remember: if you cannot find it, you cannot use it, which means that your file folders have to be labelled and your office supplies – kept in the place designated for them, for instance
- Keep your furniture simple and add colour with accessories for a bright modern vision
Your office space is not all about work, there should also be things that inspire or motivate you, so bring in items you love, add small details – matching storage boxes or pretty pictures on the wall, for instance, to add a sense of calmness and an informal touch. Give your eyes something attractive to rest on – drawings by your children, photos of family and friends, a colourful calendar or even a living blooming plant if the space allows.
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