Designing Your New Office... At Home!
Designing Your New Office... At Home!
In the last year, millions of people have found the need for a home office where there wasn't one before. Guest rooms, living rooms, and spare corners in homes all over the world were quickly converted into a space for a desk and personal computer. Kitchen chairs were borrowed and office chairs were hastily purchased. But a home office is more than just a desk, chair, and computer. What makes a space into a productive office? How can you optimize both your focus and comfort when working at home? That is exactly what we are here to talk about.
Today's professional is very likely to be working remotely, and while this might sound like a mini-vacation, we quickly learned that office design really does lend to productivity. We'll need to bring a little of that at-work office feel home to make each personal home office into a more welcoming and productive place to spend the day. Let's dive into the key elements of designing your new office in the comfort of home.
Ergonomic Design = Long-Term Comfort & Work Stamina
Ergonomic office chairs and keyboards aren't just a corporate trend, they've become part of the standard office design for a reason. "Ergonomic" means that something has been designed for efficiency and comfort in the workplace. Now that your home is the workplace, it's time to bring in some ergonomics.
There's a reason that your borrowed kitchen chair is less comfortable for all-day work than shaped mesh office chair, and why your laptop keyboard creates more wrist-stress than your workplace keyboard. It's all in the ergonomics. Supply your home office with workplace-quality ergonomic equipment. Find the right chair and desk height for your comfort. Find a keyboard and mouse set that feels right under your hands. Set your monitors at the right height for your head and neck comfort. With long-term comfort comes longer hours of work stamina.
Lighting the Home Office
You might be surprised how much lighting matters for focus and productivity. A well-lit office will make you feel more energetic compared to a dim or shadowy office. The right hue of white light for your eyes will reduce eyestrain while also providing visual clarity of your workspace. If your home office space is not well-lit, install a new light fixture or supply your workspace with strategically placed lamps.
Customize your lighting situation for your own personal productivity. Multiple light solutions allow you to switch between, enjoying focusing brightness or undistracting darkness based on your own work cycle. You may even enjoy the installation of colored or smart lights to perfect your work area feel.
Designate Your Space
It's important to visually designate work-space vs at-home space. If you have a spare room to make into a home office, your task is fairly easy. Inside the room is work-space and outside the room is home-space. However, not everyone has a spare room for a home office. Instead, your home office may be a corner of the kitchen, living room, or your bedroom. You'll want to keep this space mentally - and therefore, visually - separate from your home life. There are a few aesthetic ways to do this.
Spotlight lighting can create a difference in light when one passes between the two zones, for example. Many professionals make use of decorative folding screens to square off their home office in a larger room. You can also use other furniture to form lines that visually define the bounds of your home office. The couch, cabinetry, and bookshelves can all be rearranged to create a smaller office space inside a larger family room.
For a more lightweight solution, you can also hang curtains that can be pulled back when your home office is open to family intrusion or dropped to indicate that you need focus and privacy.
Curate Your View from the Desk
You may have heard the old adage that an untidy desk belies an untidy mind. In truth, it can go the other way around. The look and feel of our environment can shape the nature of our thoughts. Clean lines and an attractive view are important when you're sitting at work - whether that work is your workplace or home office. At home, you can control which direction your desk faces and what that view looks like. You can admire a window, a nicely tidy set of bookshelves, or even a tapestry hung from the wall just to spruce up your office.
By giving yourself something both aesthetic and tidy to look at, you can better focus your mind for the work ahead.
Turning Your Home Office Into a Video Broadcasting Studio
If your work involves frequent video meetings, then your home office design has one more role to fulfill: A broadcasting studio booth. With the camera on you during work hours, naturally, you want to appear both professional and competent. That can be surprisingly tough with a quickly placed webcam. The right (or wrong) lighting, shadows, and backdrop can make all the difference.
You'll likely want a ring light to cast a shadowless light onto your face without blinding you during camera-time. You may also want to curate your background to be something either professional or neutral in appearance. A plain wall, a curtained window, bookshelves, and a hung wall tapestry are all good options for a flattering video-chat background in your home office.
Being a Professional in Your New Home Office
The final key to the puzzle of at-home productivity is your attitude. It often helps to view those few steps into your home office more like the morning commute. Treat the transition from at-home to at-work with respect. Go through a real morning routine of dressing for work, eating a good breakfast, and energizing before you sit in the chair. Get your mind in the right place at the beginning of each day and stick to a work routine to turn your well-designed home office into a real place of at-home productivity.
If you're looking for the right elements to transform an empty space at home into your new home office, we are here to help. For all your light fixture and home lighting needs, Urban Ambiance is ready to provide. Contact us today to consult on your new office lighting designs.