Create an inspiring office space at home
Last updated: 04/02/2022
After a lengthy period of working from home for many of us, giving your home office an upgrade can work wonders for your motivation. Here are some simple yet effective tweaks you can make while creating or reviving an office space at home.
If you’re working from home more-or-less full-time, it’s well worth investing in a proper office chair. While many have been making do with dining chairs, this isn’t sustainable long-term, and can cause back problems. It may mean spending a few quid, but look to buy an adjustable office chair, ideally with lumbar support. You may be able to pick up something cheap in your area on Gumtree or another second-hand site.
Likewise, to make sure you’re sitting in the right posture, you may need to adjust the height of your keyboard. You could use a box to do this. Or you could invest in a proper desk riser, which needn’t cost the earth, and could double up as storage to keep your desk space neat and organised too.
If you have a cat which likes to set up camp on your laptop, angling it with a laptop riser will mean not having to shoo them away.
It’s now known that sitting down for long periods of time can cause health problems. For this reason, you could consider a fully adjustable standing desk, and see if standing up while tapping away works for you. Mixing it up and changing positions during the day will help keep the blood flowing, and avoid stiffness in your muscles and joints.
The diagram to the right shows the correct sitting posture while working at your desk.
Image from Furniture@Work
To save you from window-hopping, getting a second monitor is a really useful way to multitask. And while it’s not being used for work tasks, you can full-screen relaxing YouTube videos – of walks on desert-island beaches, for example – to put you in your happy place.
Often, the default when setting up a home office is putting a desk against the wall. But does this really work for you? If you feel hemmed in, or that there’s something missing in this position, then try to face into the room. Or work by a window, if you can. The impression of space can make a world of difference to your working environment.
Having a well-lit office makes all the difference. In particular, natural light will ensure you’re more awake and on top of your game. Studies have also shown that daylight in the office is likely to improve your night’s sleep, meaning you’ll be more alert and productive the next day too.
If you aren’t able to work near a window, you could switch to illumination which mimics natural light. SAD lamps may be a worthwhile investment, and help keep up your energy levels, particularly through the winter months.
Image from Insider
Getting some indoor plants will breathe life into your office. This will help to keep the office feeling fresh, and add some very welcome colour.
Image from Garden Trading
In addition to getting some plants, make sure your office space is nice and cheerful. Keep colours bright and breezy. The dominant colour should be light, and not feel too imposing. Not only will the space be more inviting, but it’ll help to stimulate you, and spark creativity.
Pop up some postcards and photos of loved ones, if you don’t have them up already. And visualising what you’re working towards should also help to motivate you. Maybe add a pinboard, with pictures of a goal, such as a holiday you’d love to go on.
Image by Edgar Santos
Having a clear division between your working day and your home life is really important for your work-life balance, and as such your mental health. So it’s a good idea to take a walk both before and after work. It’s also advisable to avoid blurring the physical lines of your home and your office. Make a clear delineation, and shut the door when you’re done for the day.
What if you don’t have the luxury of space, and can’t close the door on your home office? It’s always worth making an effort to clear your workspace away at the end of the day. If you have a laptop, pack it up. If you have to work at a desk in your bedroom, you could get a divider, and shut off that area for the evening. After all, you don’t want a constant reminder of work during your down-time.
Image from Kreis Design
Before getting stuck into giving your office a facelift, check out these DIY on a budget money-saving tips.