It has become quite the norm for people to work from home these days. Whether due to flexible working hours, choosing to be self-employed or for other reasons, technology has enabled us to stay connected to colleagues and business contacts anywhere in the world at any time.
Although there are benefits to home working, such as fitting work commitments around family or avoiding a stressful commute into the office, lots of people nevertheless find it quite difficult. They may become distracted by other things going on in the house, or find it too quiet. There’s a danger of ending up wasting time procrastinating or feeling the need to frequently decamp to a cafe, laptop in hand, to seek out a bit of background atmosphere.
The key to successful home working is getting your home office tailored perfectly to you, so as to make you feel positive about spending time there and motivated to focus on your tasks. Regardless of whether you have a whole room or just a tiny corner of your house or apartment to work in, to be truly productive you need to feel comfortable in your space.
So here are five considerations for making your home office more comfortable:
Stressless Office Chair
If you sit at your desk for many hours at a time, it pays to invest in a top quality, comfy and supportive office chair. Poor posture results in back, neck, shoulder or wrist pain, muscle stiffness, aching and fatigue – not good. Try not to slouch and do adjust your chair so it supports your posture. The ultimate choice would be a Stressless Office Chair, such as the Stressless Metro below. These luxury leather reclining office chairs offer anatomically correct lumbar support and bring the comfort of Stressless from your living room into your home office. With a superior rolling and rotating base and a choice of low or high backed models, they are designed to adapt to any changes in your position and will provide relaxation to your back while you work, so your mind will work better.
When you sit at your desk, feet should be flat on the floor and wrists level with or lower than elbows. Your face should be approx 50cm away from your monitor to avoid eye strain. You should be looking straight at the monitor and not craning your neck. Raise your monitor if necessary by placing it on top of a few heavy books and ideally use a headset if you spend long periods on the phone, rather than holding the receiver awkwardly in the crook of your neck.
Working in poor light isn’t healthy or efficient, it can potentially lead to eye strain and headaches. Natural daylight is ideal for your home office, but to avoid glare choose window blinds that will allow you to adjust the amount of light coming in. If you are in a windowless office, consider the possibility of fitting a light tube or tunnel, which directs daylight down into the room from above, via a clear domed opening fitted into your roof. At the very least, you should invest in a good, bright and adjustable desk lamp.
A chaotic, cluttered office with piles of paperwork, books, haphazard folders and files is not conducive to work. You’ll increase your efficiency and improve your mood if your office becomes a clutter free zone. Ditch the visual clutter and enjoy a tidier mind too! Buy some new file folders and a paper shredder and set aside a day to streamline your paperwork and systems. Can you scan and save important documents, thus going completely paperless? If you really do need to keep paper records, but aren’t naturally organised there are lots of helpful tips and tutorials on my favourite organising blog, I Heart Organizing – why not check it out and create a home office system that works for you.
Just because your home office is your place of work doesn’t mean that you can’t make it a nicer environment to be in. Bringing in a few creature comforts, such as a cosy rug under your desk to scrunch your toes in or a scented candle to invigorate you, can really enhance your mood. As can photos of loved ones or framed art, to inspire you. If you hate the silence, get a Bluetooth compatible radio for company. Something like the VQ Hepburn Mk II radio not only looks and sounds incredible, it has additional features such as a USB charging port.
Nespresso Coffee Machine
When we’re stressed and busy, we may forget to eat and drink, but its important to replenish fluids and keep energy levels up. Have a container of healthy snacks near your desk and always a jug of water to keep hydrated. If you are a coffee lover, why not treat yourself to a coffee machine so you can enjoy coffee shop style lattes at your desk? This gorgeous, luxury Nespresso Magimix Maestria coffee maker allows you to prepare milk froth like a true Barista with its classic steam pipe:
Ambient Room Temperature
It is impossible to work when you are either too hot or too cold. An ambient room temperature is key to your comfort, so you may want to get yourself a small fan heater or an oscillating desk fan, depending on the season. Keep your office ventilated year round to avoid condensation which can encourage mould growth or the room getting too stuffy, which will make you feel sluggish and lethargic. Of course, plants are not only a popular interiors trend at the moment, but they are also great for helping to purify the air, so a couple of house plants on your desk might be a good idea, too.
So there you have it; five ways to make your home office more comfortable. I would also recommend giving your office décor some thought; a calming new wall colour and a few new, smart desk accessories such as a stylish pen pot and cheerful magazine files can really make all the difference and ensure your home office looks smart and feels much more comfortable and inviting!
For more home office inspiration, go to my office Pinterest board: