Simply put, you need a home office space. You need a spot where you can work undisturbed on regular projects such as taxes, retirement planning, freelancing or even finishing your MBA. Create a home office in that spare room or that extra room that only serves as a guest room once every couple of years. Follow these three tips and you’ll have your ideal workspace in no time.
Work in a Room With a Window
If we’ve learned anything from cubicle culture, it’s that being cut off from sunlight is unnatural and unhealthy. A study by the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne found that workers in windowless environments or “workstations” had poorer sleep quality, slept fewer hours and scored lower on assessments for vitality, mental functioning and social functioning. Lack of natural light disturbs your circadian rhythm, which in turn affects your sleep. Over time, it also can result in health problems that range from diabetes to higher accident rates.
If you can choose your workspace, when creating a home office pick a room with a window. However, you do want to control the amount of light coming in, particularly if your office faces east or west and will get the brunt of the sun. Invest in adjustable quality blinds that allow you to control the amount of light that comes in. If you live in a climate with extreme temperatures, consider cellular or solar blinds that boost energy efficiency. Once you find a type you like, make sure it matches your decor.
Get Attractive, Comfortable Furniture
You need furniture that supports your work. First, determine what your primary function will be in that office. Is it working on a computer? Making sales calls? Providing counseling services? Make sure to invest in furniture that helps you get your work done.
Entrepreneur recommends that you choose a chair manufacturer like Keilhauer or Humanscale that designs chairs to properly support your back and spine and balance your pelvis. The article also suggests getting foot rests, an ergonomic mouse shaped to fit your hand and soft keyboard pads to make work less stressful on your limbs.
Best Reviews features five desks that are good for their durability, storage capacity, work surface and price for home offices. Only one was an executive-style desk, and three were L-shaped desks that emphasize computers. The fifth combined a bookcase with a desk. Its top pick, Bush Furniture’s Cabot-L Desk, has these features:
- A complete organizational system that includes a file cabinet with glass doors, cubed bookshelves and cubby storage
- Under-the-desk charging station
- Optional desk extension with matching-height lateral file
- Polished Harvest Cherry or Espresso Oak finish
Choose Wall Paint That Suits Your Professional Goals
The color of your home office should suit your profession and goals. Sally Augustin, an environmental psychologist and expert on person-centered design, tells Forbes that different colors can be used to gain an advantage at work. For example:
- Greens are thought to boost creativity.
- Pink is calming, which is why many team locker rooms are painted pink.
- White is associated with boredom, or, in some cases like the Apple Store, modernism.
Choose a color that suits your business and inspires you to complete the work you need to do.