A home office should be functional, quiet, and conducive for optimum productivity. Unfortunately, many people design a home office without considering the important things, forcing them to redesign the space after a short time. Unlike the rest of the house, a home office goes beyond décor. It has to be practical.
Below are some design mistakes that may be ruining your home office space and affecting your productivity:
1. A Work Desk That Is Too Big Or Too Small
A desk is an essential piece of furniture in any office setup. But before you bring in one, you should first consider your needs. Having a big executive desk in your home office when your work involves emails, spreadsheets, and digital files don’t make much sense. Getting a desk that can comfortably hold your computer with a bit of storage space works perfectly. On the other hand, having a tiny desk can also be very frustrating. If you’ve space constraints, consider adding some easily accessible shelves on the wall above your work table instead of trying to fit everything on a small desk.
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2. Placing Your Computer In Front Of The Window
A home office with natural light flowing through it is a blessing. Don’t ruin it by placing your computer directly in front of the window. Doing so will not only block the flow of natural light into your office space, but your eyes will also suffer as the light will interfere with your computer screen’s contrast. You’ll be forced to squint to see what’s on the screen. Natural light contributes to your well-being and is essential for productivity. You can simply rearrange your space by moving your computer screen away from the window.
Placing the computer screen at the right angle can reduce glare and bright lights that cause eyestrain and an uncomfortable working experience. Moreover, check the surfaces of other fixtures and appliances, like a smart TV and glass cabinet. They can also affect your work performance when light reflects on them to your computer monitor.
If you can’t find a good angle or placement for your desk and there’s glare all around the room, you can install blackout curtains to reduce the light entering the room. Other great alternatives include curtain liners, travel blinds, cardboard, privacy films, aluminum foils, and shade cloths.
3. Poor Lighting
Lighting is one of the most important aspects of office space that shouldn’t be ignored. This includes the wattage of the light bulb and the color. Working in a dimly lit environment will negatively impact your mood and productivity and strain your eyes. On the other hand, harsh lighting will also affect your eyes, cause migraines, and wear you out quickly.
Your office light should be as close to natural light as possible. Invest in soft white LED or incandescent lights which are gentle on the eyes. And if your home office lacks natural light, layer lights by installing overhead lights, table lamps, and wall sconces. If your work involves video conferencing, invest in adjustable lights that can be set to the desired brightness.
4. Putting Your Desk Against The Wall
When designing your home office, you shouldn’t place your desk against the wall such that your back is facing the entry door. Instead, you should place it where you can see people who are coming in and going out of your office. This puts you in a command position. But if the only available place is against the wall, turn your desk to face the door. If your home office space is small, you can use the wall that is connected to the entry door.
5. An Uncomfortable Desk Chair
Purchasing a cute chair that matches your home office décor to act as an office chair won’t do. It might fit seamlessly and blend with the other furniture in the room, but it will not serve the intended purpose. Moreover, regular office chairs can be too stiff. The padding can be too thin, not enough to support the person’s weight. Moreover, some options don’t offer sufficient back support because of poor design. Sitting on an uncomfortable desk chair can cause postural problems, resulting in neck, shoulder, back, or hip pain, as well as spinal issues. Sitting for six hours plus will require that you invest in a desk chair with lumbar support to reduce the pressure on your back and protect your neck.
Most ergonomic chairs have adjustable heights, breathable back mesh, and comfortable sitting cushions. You don’t have to go for the most expensive office desk chair. Just make sure you get one that is sturdy but not too rigid. It should also be appropriately structured. Remember that the right office chairs can prevent sitting discomfort and muscle strain. Do your research before sourcing a desk chair because a significant percentage of your well-being will depend on it.
6. Too Much Clutter On Your Desk
Having your family’s photos, trophies, and your kids’ drawings on top of your home office desk is good for inspiration. Still, they unnecessarily occupy a large portion of your desk space that should be used otherwise. They make your office space look crowded. However, you don’t have to get rid of your pieces of inspiration completely; you can instead install shelves within your home office to use for their display.
Unnecessary magazines and papers, broken pens, and excess office supplies also make your office desk appear full and messy. You should throw away anything that is no longer useful and install cabinets to store things you don’t always use. A cluttered desk affects productivity by causing undue distraction.
Avoid a cluttered desk by keeping seldomly used things in a storage box or a cabinet. Buying wall hooks, wall-mounted file storage, and other organizational tools to hang your important stuff is also a better idea than leaving them on your desk. Furthermore, your desk might be small, and you need to upgrade to one with several drawers to ensure a clutter-free workspace.
You can check out online stores like Freedman’s Office Furniture or your local furniture shop and choose from contemporary designs with features that cater to modern office needs.
Putting up a home office needs careful consideration and planning and should not be treated as an afterthought. Think long-term. With the current changing working, your home office might just turn out to be your permanent working space. To make it a space worth spending many hours in, personalize the look to suit your taste while keeping it practical.