A decade ago, home offices were anything but the norm. That all changed in 2020, though, and these days, many home buyers are looking for spaces that can be outfitted into a functional home office. Here are five tips for converting an extra space in your home into the perfect home office.
Consider the Needs of Your Office Space
This will depend on what you’ll be doing and how often you’ll be working in your home office.
If storage is a priority, consider a desk with lots of drawers or make use of vertical space with tall shelving. Will you need to set up a printer or whiteboard for any brainstorming sessions? These are all factors to consider when designing your office layout.
Choose the Right Desk
A giant oak desk certainly makes a statement, but for most people, it’s simply not practical. If you’re going to be spending a lot of time in your home office, aim for furniture that is ergonomic. Hours spent slumping at a desk can result in back, neck, and shoulder pain, so make sure you get a desk that is a comfortable height where the computer monitor is no more than 2 or 3 inches below eye level.
Desks that can be raised up to allow for standing work have also been shown to help reduce back pain.
Your Chair is Everything
A good laptop is, of course, important, but don’t blow your entire budget on tech and opt for a cheap chair that will leave you sore at the end of the day.
It’s essential that your chair supports your spine, and the best office chairs have a natural S-curve that contours with your spine. If you aren’t in the market to buy a new chair just yet, consider a lumbar support pillow or seat cushion to add some extra comfort to your old chair.
While a traditional office space has its own distractions, working from home can be incredibly distracting, too. Don’t put a TV in your office. Even having it on for background noise can distract you from getting work done.
Try to station your home office away from the kitchen or living room if possible. These are communal spaces, and it can be easy to get distracted and pulled into the conversation with other family members.
And if there’s simply no escape from your noisy household, investing in some noise-canceling headphones isn’t a bad idea.
Lighting is Key
Opting for a space with good natural light will help with avoiding eye strain, but there may be times when artificial lighting is needed.
Aim for lighting the entire room rather than just your desk space, as this will help to reduce contrast. A floor lamp that shines upwards and out can provide an indirect lighting effect that will help to ease eye strain. When considering the placement of a desk lamp, place it on the opposite side of your dominant hand to reduce shadows when writing.