We are spending the vast majority of time in our houses because of the coronavirus pandemic as we work from home and adopt a whole new vocabulary like social distancing. So how can our homes be havens that enhance emotional, mental and physical well-being? Our two-part series will focus on creating a home office and overall tips for a healthier home.
Productivity is the name of the game.
There is a great deal of information about the best technology and how to change your work habits to be more productive. But what about the actual space you work in? Here are four important considerations:
Too often we ignore aesthetics in the workplace. The truth of the matter is that an aesthetically pleasing space that reflects your personality and makes you happy actually enhances productivity. Unlike company workplaces, a home office allows you to truly make it your own with artwork and accessories. It’s all yours so you can be free to create a space you really enjoy to be in for most of your day. One thing to factor in is color. There is a psychology to color that affects your mood and energy levels. Blues, greens and violets, for example, can be too relaxing for an office. Red, on the other hand creates, excitement and may be too powerful for a home office, unless used as an accent color. If you want to find out more about the psychology of color, click here
Lighting is one of the most important aspects of a productive home office. You want as much natural lighting as possible because it will make you feel and perform better. If no natural daylight exists, use a combination of general and task lighting. Look for task lighting fixtures that let you control the amount of light and those that are daylight-replicating light sources. Make sure you aim for yellow-cast illumination since it has the most positive psychological effects. Be careful where you place your lighting -- overhead lighting directly above a computer screen causes glare while light directly in front of a screen can lead to eyestrain.
Try to find a space in your home that is free from distractions and has a door. If you don’t have a spare room, consider portable screens or divider walls that double as bookcases as potential solutions This division enables you to create better work/life balance. Distractions are not only inside but also outside. While natural light is important, for example, facing out onto a busy street may interfere with your focus in addition to providing you with less privacy. Also consider sound damping techniques like white noise machine, fans, or upholstered furniture and rugs.
Clutter is a productivity killer. Fortunately there are very creative home office storage solutions Consider investing in high quality furnishings like bookshelves and desks. Make smart use of wall space for ideation and schedules. Purchase accessories that help your organize your desk space. If you have limited space, there are interesting desk solutions that pull out, pull down, or fold away. There are even desks specifically designed for closets.
For most of us working in bed or on the kitchen table just doesn’t work any more because our bodies take a beating. Actually, that kind of set-up is not good for anyone no matter what their age. Investing in ergonomically designed furnishings and equipment is very important in creating your home workspace with the most important purchase being a good chair. Your chair should be adjustable and comfortable. Some manufacturers are using research to understand the biomechanics of seating and designing chairs that feature a pelvis balance point and free shoulder technology. Also consider a footrest as well as an ergonomic mouse and soft keyboard pad that allow your wrist to relax.
Pictured are two office spaces we have designed
We are here to help.
Sensory Six is an expert at helping clients virtually. Our clients are located across the country, and we have mastered the art of virtual consultation and design. Our furnishings, lighting and accessories are all ordered on-line and can be delivered right outside your door. We are also experts at problem solving. We can work with you on your existing space to find a solution that lets your work at home without disrupting other spaces in your house. We want your home to remain your haven. Please give us a call if we can help you during this difficult time.
Next month, we will share our thoughts on what materials you should be using to create healthy spaces as well as other consideration like usage, sound, and lighting. Join us for Creating a Safe Haven During the Coronavirus Part 2: Is Your Home Healthy?