Whether your home office is a designated space for your remote work, or simply a nook for paying bills and organizing your schedule, you deserve more than a metal desk and extra chair stuffed into a spare corner. We have 10 suggestions for making a home office better, most of which you can do immediately and often for little to no money.
Ergonomics is a mish-mash of different areas of study that all meld together to help the worker or yourself, create a better environment. The basis of ergonomics is to create a workspace that is adjusted precisely for the worker. Your environment should serve you, not the other way around. So, here are three fundamental ergonomic principles to apply to the workplace that could save you from unnecessary pain or discomfort.
1. Keep Things at a Comfortable Distance
If you sit at a desk and work you should make sure to keep things you use regularly at a comfortable distance for you to reach. You should aim to place objects you use most often at a distance you can reach with your elbows still bent and near your body.
2. Make Sure Your Chair is Adjusted Correctly
If you have a chair that is designed ergonomically correctly, then you will be able to maintain a position where your upper arms and lower legs are always vertical, your forearms and thighs are horizontal and your lower back is always supported by the back of the chair.
Consider investing in a better chair if you feel that the one you currently own is not giving you any comfort no matter the position. You spend hours parked in your office chair; a beautiful, ergonomically correct, comfortable seat is worth every dime.
3. Your Computer Screen Should Be At Eye Level
If you find that you have to constantly look down to see your computer screen, this will create a forward head posture that can wreak havoc on your neck and shoulders. Your eyes should be parallel to the top of the computer screen, your screen should be between 18 and 30 inches away from your eyes and your screen should be tilted at 15 to 20 degrees as well.
Embrace Natural Light
Move your desk close to the windows, but place it parallel to the panes. This ideal set-up gives you the happiness benefits of natural light, and a good reason to turn away from your computer every few minutes to take in the scene.
A window’s natural light is ideal, but if you’re in a windowless space, hang a pretty picture above the desk, or position your chair to face the door. Try a few table lamps, which offer a nice soft glow and interesting design possibilities.
Get Creative With Storage
If you’re the sort of person who needs to see something to remember it exists, try wall storage: magazine-type racks, or children’s library-style display shelves.
If you need bookcases, get them big enough that you don’t need to overstuff them, and some decor that will look great as the backdrop in your video conferences. Most offices are from guest bedrooms so trick out that closet with a shelving system, so you minimize the need for storage in the main office area.
Create Some Comfy Space
Unless you’re going for a contemporary look, choose extras that enhance the comfy feeling of your home office. Hang inspirational prints on the walls, whether that’s simply your kids’ framed artwork or a classic painting.
A great home office has a nice comfy chair for curling up, plus a table for your coffee and a great lamp. Add a throw blanket and a comfy pillow and you’ll want to take thinking breaks or naps.
Never underestimate the power of nature. Adding a few plants to your home workspace can make a big difference. Studies have shown that proximity to nature, including office plants and access to windows that look onto natural scenes, have a positive effect on workers. Plants could boost productivity and decrease stress.