Updated: Mar 18, 2021
Creating the right home office environment is more than just picking out all the pieces of furniture you need. Here are our top tips to help you design a WFH atmosphere you'll actually enjoy:
1. Set the Mood: Consider how you want your home office to feel. Do you want to be invigorated for more creative work, or do you want to keep things calm to combat a stressful job? How do you want folks to feel about you when they see your background on video calls? The colors on the walls can have a real impact on all of this.
2. Think about your view: Don't just shove your desk up against a wall because it's easy. If the limited view helps you focus, then it's a good solution. But if you find yourself twisting around to gaze out the window, consider placing your desk facing that way.
3. Finish the space: Don't neglect the details like window treatments, wall art, and decorative objects. Adding these elements into your home office makes the room feel complete and cohesive. You'll enjoy spending time in a fully finished room, without those awkward spaces that seem to be missing something.
4. Corral the clutter: An organized work space is calm and orderly which makes room for clarity and creativity in your work. A messy desktop or disorganized home office can lead to sensory overload with negative consequences like procrastination, decreased focus and productivity, and low morale. Create a place for everything and make it a habit to put everything back in its place at the end of each workday. This sets you up for success the next day and helps you change gears from work to home life.
Magazine files are a great way to hold ToDo paperwork without the visible clutter.
Use bins with lids to corral the chargers and computer accessories when not in use.
Organize your drawers and file cabinets for easy access to often-used items.
Use a mix of open shelving for quick access to reference materials, and cabinets with doors to remove unsightly items from view.
Cut the tag off of lamp cords and then tuck the cord under the baseboard / use clear hooks to run the cord down the backside of furniture legs so they're not left dangling.
5. Add Live plants: Incorporating live plants in your home decor makes a world of difference. Studies have shown that plants not only improve air quality but also reduce stress. Having a plant in view can improve your mood and adds to the overall ambiance of the room. Pick out a basket or pot with some personality and inject a little life into your space!
6. Have multiple light sources: Consider the rule of 3: Having 3 different types of lighting in your room makes it feel cozier and provides lots of options for the right setting. Ambient lighting, like overhead or recessed lights, is used to brighten the space overall. However, if this is the only source of light in the room, it may feel like something's missing. Accent lighting adds depth and dimension to the space by showcasing specific items, like art on the wall. Task lighting, like a desk lamp, illuminates an area for a purpose. Combining these 3 light sources is the secret to a cozy environment.
7. Consider Ergonomics: Creating a home office that functions well is more than just picking out all the pieces of furniture needed; folks need to consider how those pieces will all work together in the space and how their bodies will use them. You're more productive when your environment is laid out having taken your health into consideration.
Arrange furniture in the room for ease of motion between the desk and the file cabinet or bookshelf.
Make sure you're sitting at the right height for your desk, with monitors and keyboards at the right heights and angles for your body. This encourages proper posture and can help prevent issues like neck pain and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Consider using an adjustable desk for trading off between sitting and standing throughout the day. This is a great way to combat sedentary behavior at home, which can lead to heart disease, diabetes, and poor mental health.
Bonus: Tips for sharing a home office:
Arrange desks face to face: This keeps your background your own during a video conference and helps define separate spaces for each person.
Control the sound: Installing a simple acoustic panel between the two desks can help absorb the sound of two people talking, and helps visually separate work spaces for easier focus. Hanging draperies and adding an area rug to the decor make the space feel complete and can help with sound absorption as well.