In today's interconnected world, more and more people are working from home. Some do it full time, while others do it in a pinch. No matter how often you use your office, it's essential to have a comfortable and functional place to work. After all, you're typing emails and planning projects from the same place where you sleep!
Whether you have 200 square feet of gleaming hardwood or that dusty little corner between the couch and the stairwell to devote to your home office, you CAN create a stylish, functional, and comfortable working space.
All you need are a few simple principles, a couple design tips, and a little elbow grease to transform your dreary desk area into a fully functional and inspiring oasis.
Follow these 3 tips to find home office success!
1. Comfort is Key
One of the biggest perks of working from home is you're not chained to a desk in a cubicle, so make sure you're as comfortable as laying in a hammock beside the pool - or at least close! The fact is, a comfortable office doesn’t just make you feel better, it’s also good for your health.
According to a study by Marc Hamilton at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, sitting all day at a desk takes years off your life – even if you exercise regularly. So to combat the negative effects of resting on your rear, optimize your office for comfort and ergonomic alignment.
Does ergonomic sound like a big and scary word? We think it does, too, but 'ergonomics' basically means making your equipment as comfortable possible. A good place to start is to get a professional assessment by an ergonomic specialist. If you're on a tight budget, you can also take an online questionnaire to receive customized tips for improvement.
2. Focus on Functionality
Once your chair is super comfortable, it's time to make your office functional. How you define “functional” depends on the space you have available, but you need to feel like you can be productive and organized. A few design tricks will help you on your way.
Just like those with insomnia are advised not to use their bedroom for anything but sleeping, you shouldn’t use your home office for anything except working. So, define your space. Even if your office is just a desk in the corner of your kitchen, placing a bookcase or file cabinet to section off your working area will help you stay focused.
Is the surface of your desk cluttered with pens, pencils, and candy wrappers? Clearing your desk can increase productivity, so do away with the extras. Overhead lighting and under-desk storage help keep work surfaces clean, contributing to a clearer mind and sharper focus.
3. Style Matters
Last but certainly not least, it’s time to talk about style. While a stylish office may not be a priority, it should be – and here’s why.
If you’re working from home full time, you spend upwards of 40 hours a week in your home office. That’s more time than you spend in any other space in your home. So if your office is boring, ugly, or impersonal, your mood is likely to follow suit.
That doesn't mean you have to run out and spend thousands of dollars on decor. You don’t need chevron wallpaper or mid-century modern lamps to make your office inspiring. It’s all about what feels good for you. If you’re inspired by literature, bring in a bookcase. If you love movies, cover the walls in film posters. If the beach is what chills you out, deck your desk with beautiful shells. As you follow these design principles, remember to tap into your personal style and taste – after all, only YOU know how you work best.
Technological advancements have made it easy to work from home, and many are jumping on the bandwagon. If you have a home office, make sure it's a comfortable, functional, and stylish place to work.
We want to know what you love about your home office. What inspires you? If you're looking for other easy design tips and inspiration for your workspace, check out our Home Office Updates board on the Grasshopper Pinterest page.