6 Easy Ways to Create a Healthy Home Office
The Coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we work, as millions of people find themselves working from home permanently; it’s become more essential than ever to have the home office that support your health and productivity.
Whether your creating a brand new office or updating your existing space, these 6 tips will help you create a healthy home office designed to keep you happy, healthy and super productive.
The first thing towards establishing your home office is to choose the area that you’ll be working in.
Good design = healthy home office
Increasingly many of us are seeing our work and home lives blending together. Creating and respecting the separation between your home and your office is essential for your health and well-being. Ideally then, your workspace should be separate from the rest of your home.
A Healthy separation between home and office
The ideal workspace is therefore a place that’s solely dedicated for work and away from any distractions. For those fortunate to have a spare room, consider creating your home office in the quietest corner of the house or perhaps create a bespoke garden office?!
However, the space, or rather lack of it, is one of the biggest issues when it comes to creating a suitable working area in the home…
But don’t you worry, there are ways to work around it!
Although, not always easy, as depending on your living situation, there are ways to work around it. If your space is limited, you will still want to create a clearly defined area for work. The practical answer to this is to strategically place items (such as a screen, curtains or a large bookcase) to define your workspace, thus creating a separation. You will need to be able to switch off from your work at the end of the day and a visible separation will mentally help you to do just that.
Now you have defined your home office space, it is important that you design the interior of that office to help you to be focused and productive. For this, ensure you have the right ergonomic furniture and equipment to work comfortably and efficiently.
Ergonomic furniture = healthy home office
The two primary investments are your working desk and chair. In selecting your home office desk and chair, your body shape and size are important factors to consider before making a purchase. The desk should be adjustable and always set at a height that ensures you don’t slouch. You may want to invest in a desk that can be adjusted to both sitting and standing.
Furthermore, take the time to find the right desk for your space and choose a desk with drawers so you can keep your space tidy and free from clutter. Keep your “office” as minimal and clutter free as possible.
For your chair, it is advisable to buy an adjustable chair that supports your body shape preventing back pains. Find something that reduces strain, provides back support, improves posture, and allows you to sit comfortably. There’s nothing worse than being uncomfortable all day! It’s surprising how many people are still working from their bed or a kitchen table!
A proper ergonomic chair and a desk will make all those hours at the computer a lot easier and far more enjoyable.
Lighting is another key element of home office design and a blend of general and focused task lighting is the way forward. Good lighting makes all the difference for your home office and will make a huge difference to your circadian rhythm and mood. Nothing matches the health benefits of a natural light to boost your health and productivity during the day. If you can, position your desk facing a window. ‘Studies have shown that views of greenery, even in your peripheral vision, can help you feel rested and rejuvenated, allowing you to focus for longer, so it’s a good idea to position your desk with a view through a window,’ says Biophilic design expert, Oliver Heath.
Try to position your desk near a window or in a place where you can benefit from natural light and try not to obstruct the light with blinds, curtains and furniture.
New research from Cornell University Professor Alan Hedge finds the optimal amount of daylight reduces eye strain and headaches of office workers by 84 percent.
Fresh air =healthy home office
Do you have access to a great window that opens or a balcony? Setting up near some fresh air can make working so much more enjoyable and motivating. According to research from the World Green Building Council, opening a window for fresh air can improve productivity by up to 11%.
If you don’t have access to fresh air or if it’s cold outside, getting a few plants or an air purifier will be a worthwhile alternative.
Plants= healthy home office
Getting some desk plants and flowers is another great idea; greenery has been proven to offer both physical and psychological health benefits. Research shows that with plants around, “people were more productive and had a 12% quicker reaction time. They were less stressed and had lower blood pressure.”
A few plants also improves the air quality and brings a sense of calm to your work space. Indoor plants are especially important if your window doesn’t look out onto a garden or green space.
Choose colours that will create a healthy, home office
Colour has a huge impact on our mood and feelings, and colours like yellow or red are the perfect if you want to feel invigorated, positive and energetic.
I recommend green if you want to feel relaxed and balanced. Alternatively, choose a neutral colour and add decorative items to inject energising pops of yellow, orange or red.
The key to establishing a healthy home office is to keep things simple. Connect with nature and make sure that your setup visually appeals to you as well as is comfortable.
And please let me know in the comments what your tips and tricks are for creating your healthy home office!