It’s no surprise that the topic of home offices has been steadily growing in popularity since Ontario imposed physical distancing to combat the spread of COVID-19. Many office workers who had never worked from home before found themselves carving out a workspace in their living room, dining room, or even kitchen. When your living room or kitchen design wasn’t created with this type of activity in mind, it can be a real challenge.
Even months later, many businesses in Ontario have entirely rethought their plan for their workplace, and many intend to have their workers stay home indefinitely. This has led many people to examine their temporary home offices and start making plans for something more permanent.
If you’ve never used or needed a home office before, the possibilities can be daunting. It’s easy to make something work for a few days or even weeks, but after a prolonged period of time working on the couch, you’ll crave the stability of a dedicated space. Today, we’ll show you how to plan out and design the perfect home office.
We have plenty of experience in every facet of interior design and would love to help you pick out the perfect flooring, best doors and windows, or even lighting that will make your home office a productive, work-friendly space.
Consider Your Needs First
As you begin the design process for your home office, consider your needs first. If you work exclusively on a laptop or desktop, you’ll need to take that into account. Some people who spend hours on the phone may need to prioritize privacy and quiet over size.
Spend some time writing out every task you do regularly, and make sure your home office supports your work responsibilities without too much disruption. Make a list of equipment you’ll need to have around, as well as any reference or reading material necessary for your work.
Once it’s all listed, you’ll have a much better sense of what your home office will need to accommodate. If you don’t have much space to work with, you can still create a beautiful and functional home office. You’ll just need to plan carefully, and source pieces that can do double-duty.
Optimize for Productivity
In a home office, productivity starts with the space you choose. Some people can get work done with lots of noise in the background, while others need noise-cancelling headphones even when they’re alone.
The most productive home office space is likely going to be somewhere isolated, where you can get a little distance from the rest of your family members. Try and find a space that you can keep uncluttered, and focused entirely on work. This helps with concentration and promotes a better work-life balance. If you’re able to walk away from your workspace, it’s going to be a lot easier to rid yourself of work-related stress than if you’re working in the same place that you go to for relaxation.
There’s a reason why furniture in most office buildings looks very different from our homes. The industrial chairs, uniform desks, and overhead lights are all designed to keep employees comfortable, so they can work for as long as possible. As you transition into working from home, it’s important to bring some of these ergonomic considerations into your home office. Working on the couch might be relaxing and fun, but after a few weeks, you’ll start to feel the tension building in your neck, back, and shoulders.
There are plenty of resources on ergonomics out there, but the most important thing to remember is that your workspace should support a healthy posture, with minimal discomfort from reaching or repetitive motions. Carefully consider the furniture you use for your office, and pick and place technology deliberately, so you’re not straining your eyes.
4 Must-Have Features for Your Home Office
Everyone has their own working style, but the basics remain the same. Here are some of the most important features you should prioritize for your home office. Once you’ve secured these, you can add extras and accessories like a printer, document storage, and desktop organizers later on.
1. A Great Chair
A great chair is the first step in designing a productive and ergonomic home office. You can opt for something traditional like a rolling office chair, or source a supportive armchair or high-backed stool.
Whatever chair you choose, make sure that you can set your workspace up so that your back is supported, your knees are level with your hips, and you can comfortably sit an arm’s length away from your computer.
2. A Flexible Work Surface
There are plenty of options for desks and other work surfaces, depending on your taste and budget. Many people are going crazy for adjustable desks, which can be used standing or sitting interchangeably. This is a great way to encourage a bit more motion in your day, which is especially important given that long periods of sitting have been linked to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
Whether you use it standing, sitting, or both, your desk should have enough space for all of your work materials, and you should be able to use it comfortably without strain.
3. Technology Add-Ons
Whether you have a laptop or desktop, there are plenty of technology add-ons that can make your workday a lot easier. Some of our favourites include a wireless mouse, noise-cancelling headphones, portable chargers for your devices, or a Bluetooth-enabled speaker so you can play music.
4. Functional Lighting
It’s not always at the top of everyone’s lists, but lighting is extremely important for your home office. Without good lighting, you can easily strain your eyes and give yourself a headache. Most homes come with overhead lighting, but this isn’t the best option for a home office, as it can cause glare on your computer screen.
To mitigate this, experiment with natural light, and task lamps for focused work. One source of light is rarely enough for a home office.
Whether you’re just getting started, or you’re putting the finishing touches on a new home office, there’s always more to learn. At Duby’s Home Centre, our staff can help you choose the right elements for a productive and functional home office. Come check out our Amherstburg showroom today!