A couple of months ago I made the switch from working full-time in a typical 8-5 office to working full-time from home. While I love working from home, my office leaves a little to be desired. Instead of the large office I used to have, I now work in a tiny corner of my living room.
So redesigning my office space is on the forefront of my mind: storage, comfort, and functionality are the priorities. When searching for creative ideas, I found an article from Shape with some great tips for creating a healthy home office
. I'll share some of the tips I'm going to try after the break.
- Paint walls with soothing colors. Soft blues and greens are calming, while yellows and pinks are energizing. Avoid complicated and busy patterns on the wall as it may be distracting. The walls in my living room are a basic cream and in urgent need of a makeover. While the blue and green suggestions sound nice, I think I'll opt for a soft golden color -- a little energy is always welcome during the workday.
- Choose an ergonomic workstation. Look for a desk at an appropriate height for you. Also, choose an adjustable-height chair with proper back support and position your keyboard and mouse at the right height. In my office, space is an issue. Also, since my office is in my living room, I don't want anything that looks too business-like. I've found an adjustable chair covered in suede that's not only ergonomic and comfortable, but it suits my living room decor. I'm still on the hunt for a better desk.
- Add a footrest under your workstation. For proper back support, your feet should be flat on the floor or on a footrest. Otherwise you may find yourself scooting to the front of your seat which places undue pressure on your spine. By the end of the day, I always find my shoulders hurting. I'm not sure how yet, but I'll find a way to make myself a handy little footrest to see if it helps. (If it works out, I'll be sure to post the how-to!)
- Bring the outside in. Add plants and fresh flowers to your office -- they promote healthier air and are restful. Adding other natural elements -- such as using a shell or a piece of driftwood for a paperweight -- are also beneficial. After reading this advice, I moved some plants around in my living room so they were visible from my desk and it is more pleasant.
- Modify the lighting. Your computer screen should be the brightest light in the room. Overhead lighting that is too strong can cause you to strain your eyes to see the screen. I've found it necessary to close my living room blinds during the day to keep the glare off of my monitor.
A more pleasant and comfortable work environment is beneficial for your health and your productivity. I can't wait to see my office space shape up!