A home office needs to be functional, but also pleasant to spend time in. Given that you’ll probably be working alone, it mustn’t feel closed in or too detached from the rest of the world. Otherwise, this could potentially affect your mental health over the long term. Here is how to furnish and decorate your home office to create a happy, productive space.
Canvas Prints on a Wall or Two
The idea with canvas prints is that they provide a different perspective on an otherwise blank workspace. While they’re pleasant for you, they may also be an enjoyable backdrop for Skype or Zoom calls without needing a green screen or other extras. With canvas prints, they can be organised and ordered using an Android app such as Photobox direct from your office. If you’re going to be having visitors and your work is on the creative side, photo books are another great idea. A high-quality photobook can break the ice or be used to showcase past projects.
Use a Large Enough Desk
A desk needs to be large enough to accommodate what’s required. Trying to use a cramped desk isn’t going to be tolerable for long. So, if your home office is likely a long-term thing, plan accordingly. It can help to be organised and not have a cluttered desk policy. Even so, there is only so much you can do with a small desk footprint. Do sacrifice elsewhere in the office to make space for it, even if it needs to hug the entire wall. If you need a corner desk because the room isn’t either long or wide, that will be fine as well.
Think Carefully About Light Sources
When the office is a former spare bedroom, it may not have benefited from much natural light before. Unless you’ve got some serious blinds on the window(s) blocking out the sun, it’ll be a consistent problem. Use a combination of brighter overhead lighting, standing lamps that reflect light onto the walls and ceiling, and maybe a desk lamp. It’s easy to forget that large offices have bright fluorescent or LED lights that provides plenty of illumination. This is often lacking at home.
Use Comfortable Chairs, Not Flashy Ones
A comfortable chair is a high priority; a flashy or designer-looking one is not. Being well supported in the chair, especially for your lumbar spine, ensures you won’t get unbearable back pain from excessive sitting. That doesn’t negate the need to get out to exercise and to enjoy the fresh air, but it at least keeps you comfy while you work. What ‘comfortable’ means to you will vary from other people. However, ergonomic chairs matter to avoid getting older and discovering your back is wrecked.
Introduce Some Plants to the Space
A couple of standing plants enliven an office area that’s closed off to the world. They provide a sense of living, growing things that need taking care of. This is a good reminder about the bigger picture and what you’re working towards. Watering the plants can form part of your new office routine. They’ve also been found to reduce stress because they remind you to slow down, breathe, and enjoy the moment.
Don’t Lose the Free Floor Space
There can sometimes be a rush to fill up a home office with as much furniture as possible. That is almost always a mistake. Unless your office is expansive, it needs to feel larger than it is. Filling a modestly sized office at home with too much furniture makes it appear smaller. It will give you that sense too and could even make you regret working from home. Therefore, choose each piece of furniture with the utmost care. Ensure it is needed regularly and fills a purpose. If something can satisfy 2-3 needs, rather than just one, even better.
Don’t Skip the Bookshelf
Unless you never have printed reference materials or business books to hand, then you’ll want to have a bookshelf. The bookshelf doesn’t need to be a major piece of furniture either. Some options include fold-away bookshelves or slimline ones. Therefore, they needn’t take up too much floor space to fulfil their function.
Plan Early Whether You’ll Have Visitors or Not
The need for a second or third chair in the office is a major consideration. It entirely changes the remaining space and the necessary layout for it. Don’t make the mistake of designing the home office and purchasing most of the furniture and decorations, before figuring out if you’ll have business clients coming over. They can only stand looking over your laptop or papers for so long before it becomes uncomfortable for them. Bear this in mind.
Every home office is necessarily unique. Work towards making it a personal space to feel productive or creatively productive, as the case may be.