More and more people are finding viable options for working at home. From freelance and consulting to remote work options from companies around the world, home offices are becoming more of a necessity than a want for many.
Working from home can be great. It allows you to be comfortable, multi-task, have pets at work, and even be home for your children when they get home from school. Even though such jobs often involve travel, they can be quite rewarding and beneficial for your family too.
The comfort of your home office is critical in these cases. Whether you are renovating or just getting started, here are six ways to make your home office more comfortable and functional.
1] Center Your Desk
Put your desk in the center of the room rather than on one side or the other. This is often better for lighting, as home offices are often converted bedrooms or dens.
This also allows you to make the best use of windows. There will also be space to interact with clients if need be, set up printers, file cabinets, and other office equipment and provide you with a walkway around your desk area.
This also makes your office feel more open. Not being pushed up against the wall in front of you or behind you gives you the illusion that you actually have more room in your office rather than less.
2] Use Rugs and Runners
No matter what kind of floor you have, rolling a chair back and forth on it can be hard on the surface. I can really tear up carpet and damage the fibers or wear off the finish of hardwood or laminate flooring. The solution is to use runners or rugs. There are a lot of comfortable and functional options.
- Plastic runners: these runners essentially cover the floor and give you something to roll on. They are not always the most comfortable underfoot, but they are effective.
- Bamboo and laminate: there are bamboo and laminate runners that cover the floor in the same way plastic ones do, but look better and can come with foam padding that makes them feel better also.
- Area rugs: there are low-pile area rugs that offer more comfort than their counterparts, but also allow your chair to roll over them with minimal damage. They will often last longer and certainly look better than some other options.
Using rugs or runners to make your floor more comfortable, keep from wearing out you’re the original flooring in the room, and make your office more functional as well.
3] Stand for Something
One of the best things you can do for your health in your office is to change positions often, and one of the best ways to do this is to get a standing desk.
A standing desk offers you the option to stand or sit at various heights. They come in a number of varieties, from those with electric motors to ones you crank by hand. The more automated the desk, the higher the cost.
However, these desks all offer you a different position to work in, and can be adjusted for chairs, stools, or full standing. You can purchase them in everything from simple desktops to oak and other hardwoods. Setting up your monitors and other hardware is easy, and most come with good cord management options.
Get a standing pad for comfort though, or your feet and legs will hurt and standing can be hard on your joints rather than easier on them. You can often store the pad under your desk when it is not in use, and it makes a comfortable place to set your feet even when you are sitting down.
4] Light it Up
Lighting is one of the most important considerations for your office. The better you can see, the easier it is to work, and the less eye strain you will have. As stated previously, most home offices are set up in bedrooms or dens not originally meant for office furniture, so lighting is generally inadequate.
Get a desk lamp, one that is adjustable. There are a lot of LED options out there, and they come with USB plugins for charging devices. There are also other fashionable, low energy options. Stay away from fluorescent bulbs, as the light is often harsh and can actually cause eyestrain and other issues.
Make sure that you use natural light when possible, soft light that is still adequate if not, and keep brightness to a minimum. You can install programs like Flux that will change your lighting throughout the day, making working on a computer easier.
5] Have a Seat
Besides standing, you will want to sit much of the time, and a comfortable chair is a must. Good lumbar support and choosing whether you want arms on your chair or if you work better without them are merely the first considerations.
A chair that is adjustable in height, width, tilt, and other positions is important. Your feet should be able to sit flat on the floor in front of you with your legs at a 90-degree angle.
Your elbows should be at that same angle when typing on your keyboard. In some cases, a keyboard drawer can be added to the desk to make a chair you already have or that fits you well in other ways work in your space.
For many, breathable fabrics that allow air circulation are better than leather or vinyl, but you will have to determine what works best for you. Go to an office supply store and test out several chairs. Sit in them for as long as possible and adjust them.
Pull them up to desks that mimic the height of your own to see how they fit. Consider chairs that have a money back policy if they don’t work for you.
6] Add Some Sound
Many people work well with music, and there are a lot of options for great speakers that also perform other functions. Your home office sound can also control lights, temperatures, fans, and even set alarms and reminders for you.
From the Echo from Amazon to the Google Home and the new Apple Home Pod, there is a speaker that is right for you. If you already use Apple products, the home pod will integrate well with them, where if you are a PC user and use Android phones, the Google Home or Echo may be your best choice.
There are of course other Bluetooth speakers out there that are not as smart but provide great sound quality. Shop around and try some out at various stores to see which ones you like best.
Whether you are renovating your office or just setting one up, use these six ways to make your home office more comfortable but also functional. You’ll be more productive and happier with your work at home as a result.