Create a home workspace that promotes wellbeing
Posted on April 03 2020
Whether you’re working from home on a temporary or permanent basis, creating a calming and motivating space is easy with a few simple changes. A little planning will make a huge difference to your satisfaction and productivity at home.
Let the light in
The best place for a home office is in a bright room with plenty of natural light as this will help to create a spacious feel. Natural light boosts your energy levels and can help to reduce stress.1 Throwing a window open to circulate fresh air will help reinvigorate you and improve air quality inside your home.
Try rearranging the room to make the most of your window and allow maximum light in. To avoid reflections and glare position your screen behind or next to a window, rather than opposite one. A stylish set of blinds or curtains will also help you to make the most of your window.
Mirrors are a great way to enhance and spread natural light too. If you do need artificial light, try to use bulbs that emit a softer, warm colour tone to reduce the strain on your eyes. If the view from your window isn’t particularly inspiring, then houseplants are a brilliant way to bring nature into your workplace.
Our brains tend to link different spaces with certain tasks. So if you’re working from your sofa, later on when you try and relax in front of the TV, it’s likely your brain will find it difficult to switch off from work. There are many advantages to a dedicated workspace, away from distractions where you can concentrate.
If you’re working in a shared space and noise is a distraction, try playing some relaxing music or investing in some noise-cancelling headphones. A small indoor water feature can also be a creative way of providing a calming atmosphere.
Just as important to your wellbeing at home is being able to wind down properly. When you’re finished working for the day, make an effort to put your laptop away and switch your notifications off. Sticking to a routine will ensure you also make the most of your own time.
A comfortable place to work
Your work environment should be as comfortable as possible, so it’s worth thinking about your furniture. Lots of us work on laptops at home, often placed at the wrong height for our necks. Tilting your head too much can cause a slumping posture, so try to ensure the top of your monitor is at eye level.
Seating that promotes good posture is important, as most of us spend a good chunk of the day sat at our desks.2 A few adjustments to the way we sit can make a big difference to your posture and comfort. If you feel yourself slouching, try pulling your shoulders back and your back flat against the chair. A lumbar support can really help to support your spine. It’s also worth considering if a footrest, supportive mouse mat or keyboard rest can make you more comfortable.
Clear the clutter
Is your office in a spare room? All too often this is the accepted room to dump forgotten or rarely used stuff. If this sounds familiar then it’s always worth spending an hour or so having a clear-out or investing in some extra storage. Good storage and filing papers away will make it easier to keep clutter at bay, especially if your office is in a small space.
Being mindful of keeping your workspace clean and tidy will help you to focus and be more productive. Perhaps spending a couple of minutes straightening up your desk and putting papers away at the end of your day will ensure you’re ready for a fresh start tomorrow.
Make it yours
At home it’s easy to turn your office into somewhere you want to spend time. One of the perks of working from home is the ability to surround yourself with the things that make you happy. Whether that means keeping your pet nearby or having a mini-fridge on your desk, you don’t need to constrain yourself to the traditional office setup.
Include personal touches to customise your space such as photos, artwork or an inspiration board for your projects. Your office furniture might not be the most stylish, but you can create a cosy look with a textured throw or cushion. Plants and flowers or a fresh fragrance will also make your workspace a more enjoyable place to be.