More than ever, people are including an office in their home. Whether it’s you’re a freelancer or small business working from home or an employee enjoying flexible working arrangements, it’s possible to create the perfect office environment in your house.
Make the right choices in design and equipment and your home office can be a comfortable, productive and ergonomic place to work from.
Location of your Home Office
Some people have the luxury of deciding where in the house they will locate the office. For some, the obvious place is a front room. If you need to meet clients in your home office, it makes sense to place the office close to the front door so they aren’t traipsing through your living areas.
For others who don’t have the luxury of a spare room, find a dedicated space within a room so you need not use the kitchen table. Packing up your work every night before you can sit down for a meal will be annoying. Think about whether you work best in a quiet room or you prefer to work with the family around.
Consider how you will heat and cool your work area. You don’t want to move your office to the living area in summer because it has no air conditioning. If you feel the cold, think about how you will keep your office warm in winter.
Another important consideration is lighting. Natural light is important if you will be spending several hours in the room each day. Natural sunlight is good for your mood and body clock but you don’t want the sun hitting your monitor causing glare. Try to position your desk facing north or south so the sun doesn’t throw annoying shadows. The ideal setup is to have the sun to your side. You may need to change the room’s curtains or blinds so you can block out or let in the light as the sun moves during the day. Make sure your overhead light doesn’t cause you to work in your shadow and invest in a good a desk lamp if you need task lighting.
There’s no need to go to the expense of a built-in desk in your home office. Movable office furniture looks just as professional and gives you the option to change its position. The main decision to make is whether you want a sit stand desk or a traditional office desk.
A Sit Stand Desk
Researchers have found a combination of sitting and standing throughout the day is best for our health - around two hours of sitting to one hour of standing. But there’s no point in buying a cheap desk converter that’s difficult to move up and down or one that could pinch a finger. You won’t use it regularly and soon enough it’s gathering dust in the corner. Look for a sit stand desk that is sturdy and can take the weight of your setup especially if you use multiple monitors.
If you prefer a traditional desk, consider how much room you need for your workstation, papers and books. A corner desk can give you more tabletop space without taking up all the office floor space. You want to keep your home office looking neat and tidy so once you have installed your computer, printer and chargers, consider a cable management basket to hold the power board and cables.
Quality Office Chair
The biggest mistake home office users make is not investing in a good quality chair. Working from home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use an ergonomic office chair. Too many people make the mistake of thinking a kitchen or dining chair will do. But neither is suitable for workers. A quality office chair suited to your body shape and type of work is the best alternative as it will protect you from strain injuries.
A quality office chair has a long-life and a good purchase will see you through to retirement and beyond. Do some research by reading our Ergonomic Chairs Buyers Guide Part 1 and Part 2 so you know what to look for. The next step is to try before you buy. You will spend many hours sitting on your chair so you want it to protect you from neck, shoulder and back pain.
There are so many options available now for home offices. Whether you are setting yourself up to start a business or you are enjoying flexible work arrangements, tell us the dimensions of your room and details of how you work and we can help you find the best home office solution. You can visit the Ergolink showroom, call us on (08) 9240 7066 or contact us online for personalised advice.