Posted March 31, 2020
By Anne Grice, ASID
Even if it’s temporary – our work environment directly impacts attitude, motivation, comfort, productivity and even health. The impact of positive changes can be huge. Here are six points to consider for a productive home office environment.
* Win two of these cute modern desk lamps when you enter our GIVEAWAY – details at the end of this blog.*
1. Seating – The most important tool for your home office. I tried sitting in my dining chair for one day then went to my office to get my wonderful ergonomic chair from Knoll that I purchased over 20 years ago. Don’t skimp. You wouldn’t buy an old or outdated computer, so don’t buy a cheap chair. A great chair will last many times than your computer. Select a chair that is ergonomic, adjustable, fits you so that your feet are flat on the floor, and that provides proper back support. Fit balls and kneel chairs are great for your back, also. I find that I sit more working alone at home, so anything that promotes movement of your spine is a plus.
2. Standing – Maybe a standing desk is more suitable for your type of work. I LOVE my VersaDesk because it’s motorized and raises & lowers at the push of a button. There are lots of studies out there regarding back health and overall fitness related to using a standing desk.
3. Work surface and Storage – Your seated desk should be between 28” and 30” high (depending upon how short or long waisted you are) and at least 24” deep. A dining table will also work well. I like a deeper table because it allows me to accommodate my computer, as well as any papers, etc. However, you don’t want to be reaching forward for your keyboard. Make sure there is enough room for all the “stuff” while allowing room to actually work!
Make sure your monitor height is near eye level or your back will let you know! If you are working on a laptop, borrow a monitor from the office and raise it up on a few books to get it the right height. Get a wireless mouse to add to your laptop for ease of use.
Since your space is temporary, utilizing a simple stand up file holder is a great way to store and keep your files organized.
4. Lighting – Poor or dull lighting equals a somber mood. I decided to be in the basement and leave our dining table for family use. Adjustable lighting is great as it allows you to adjust the lighting for optimum use. Table lamps and adjustable task lamps can be used if needed. Another way to improve the lighting and mood is with window treatments that allow control of light and heat. I’m not sure you can overdo it with the lighting. I found a little task lamp in my daughter’s room and pointed at the wall and it added to the overall brightness.
5. Décor and Layout – Make sure your layout works and change it occasionally. I know we’ve undergone a lot of change but change is good and helps creativity. Instead of family photos you have at the office, add something professional – your awards, a photo of your work or something that makes it feel like you are at the office.
6. Finish the job – Be sure to include everything you will need – all your supplies, a trash and recycling can, a favorite plant, your favorite quote for inspiration, etc.
The Good News is – Studies show that even a few small changes to the work environment boost productivity.
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About the Author
Anne is the principal of Anne Grice Interiors, the Roaring Fork Valley’s award-winning interior design and remodeling experts since 1996.