Originally Published March 19, 2020 – By Mekaila Oaks
There’s a sense of freedom and relaxation that comes with working from the comfort of your own home. You don’t have to wake up as early to commute. Your furry friends can lay by your side as you keep working on your proposal. You can stay in your sweatpants all day. However, you can only work from your bed or living room couch for so long. You’ll eventually become uncomfortable or start getting distracted. Having a designated home office space helps separate personal life and work life. It also makes it easier to stay focused and productive during work hours.
Telecommuting has become more common over the years, but now more than ever people are working from home as a response to the current pandemic we’re facing with COVID-19. Whether you live in New York or Sacramento (or anywhere in between), you will likely be working remotely for the foreseeable future. While having a dedicated home office space is ideal, you can also make your dining room, guest room, or even the bar top in your kitchen work. Wherever you decide to set up shop, having the right home office design and setup can make all the difference. Check out our top 5 tips for creating a home office to stay motivated and inspired.
1. Incorporate feng shui into your home office design
Place your desk in a commanding position
When setting up your workspace for good feng shui, place your desk in the command position. This position is important because it gives you the power to be in charge of your own life and energy. To be in the command position, you should be:
• Located as far away from the door as possible
• Not in direct line of the door so the flow of energy isn’t blocked (preferably be diagonal from the door)
• Have a view of the door, rather than having your back towards it
• Positioned with “support” behind you (avoid facing a wall and instead have a wall behind you)
Choose colors that promote positive energy
In feng shui, color plays an important role. Each color has its own meaning and effect on a room’s energy. While the colors you decide to incorporate into your home office design will depend on the feng shui elements and energies you wish to surround the room, it’s important the colors work harmoniously together. Consider incorporating green as it represents growth and new beginnings, or white as it represents creativity and clarity.
Use inspiring decor that supports your aspirations
By visually displaying the goals and success you hope to achieve, you’ll create an environment that attracts positive energy. You can incorporate this into the interior design of your work area with artwork that inspires you, mantras that motivate you, or anything else that you feel will attract prosperity and success.
2. Bring your home office to life with indoor plants
Indoor plants are a simple home office design addition that can make a big difference in the atmosphere of the workspace. Plants have a calming effect. They can make you feel more focused and productive, while also providing health benefits as many are natural air purifiers.
In most offices, you have to stick to smaller plants, such as succulents or spider plants. But since you’re at home and designing your own space, you have the freedom to add larger house plants, like a beautiful bird of paradise or a fiddle-leaf fig.
3. Let there be (natural) light
If possible, set up your home office where there’s plenty of natural light. Not only does natural light improve productivity and engagement, but it’s also been shown to help reduce eye strain, frequency of headaches, and drowsiness while working. One thing to consider is the glare this light can cause on your computer. So it’s best that light is coming in either in front of or from the side of you, rather than behind.
If your office space has minimal natural light, or none at all, making sure your space is well-lit is crucial. Having just a desk lamp won’t do. Incorporating various light fixtures into the interior design of your work area can be a great way to disperse light throughout the room. Avoid using bright white and cool lighting, like fluorescent, and aim for warm light or full-spectrum. You can find creative ways to brighten up your workspace too. Decorate with mirrors or other reflective decor or paint the walls a lighter color.
4. Choose ergonomic and functional furniture
It can be incredibly uncomfortable spending most of the day at your desk, especially if your chair is stiff or your desk is too high or too low. Poor ergonomics can result in various physical issues like muscle strain, frequent headaches, or becoming easily tired. Of course, it’s important that you stand up and move around throughout the day. However, you can avoid common issues like neck stiffness or back strain by incorporating ergonomic office furniture into your home office design.
• Choosing a chair that supports your back for good posture and has adjustable features can make all the difference. If you’ll be sitting for a majority of the workday, opt for a chair with a memory foam seat. If back and leg pain is a concern, choose one with a waterfall design to support your back while relieving tension behind your knees and legs.
• Ensuring your desk is the proper height plays an important role in your overall comfort and wellness. Typically, your desk should be at a height where your feet are flat on the floor, your shoulders are relaxed, and your eyes are level with the top of your computer screen. If possible, get an adjustable desk that can be used for sitting or standing.
• If most of your day is spent typing, consider an ergonomic keyboard and mouse to reduce hand and wrist pain.
5. Maintain a productive workspace by keeping it clean and clutter-free
With no coworkers around, it can be easy for your used coffee mugs to pile up on your desk or let your documents spread out among your work area. And while it’s nice to be in the comfort of your own workspace, little messes here and there can become distracting and reduce your productivity. Having storage for documents and supplies that you’ll be using in your home office is a simple yet effective way to stay clutter-free while working remotely. If being tidy isn’t your strong suit, consider using a professional cleaning or decluttering service.
Originally published on Redfin