5 Tips for the Perfect Work-from-Home Office Space

Working from home is a dream that more and more people are making a reality. But setting up an office inside your own four walls can be tricky. Here are 5 tips to help you create an office space that really works for you.

1. Start with the chair


The chair is arguably the most important component in your office setup, so finding the right one should be a top priority. Choosing the wrong chair could seriously undermine your productivity, and it can be detrimental to your health too.


Your ideal chair should have all the right features. Models that offer height adjustability, for example, allow you to alter the seat to fit your personal requirements. Without height adjustability, you could find yourself straining to look at the PC monitor. Over time, this can lead to neck, shoulder and back pain.


Your chair should also allow you to tilt the seat so that you can sit comfortably with both feet firmly on the floor. The position of your wrists and forearms should be the same height as the surface of your desk, and your eyes level with the top of your computer screen.


It's a good idea to go for a model that offers lumbar support. This type of chair encourages you to adopt a naturally comfortable and healthier sitting position. It supports your middle and lower back muscles, and can help you avoid feeling sore and stiff after long sessions at your desk.


Another useful feature is a tilt mechanism for the back of the chair. This allows you to move around and reposition yourself at regular intervals, which can help ease the tension in your back muscles.


Always check that your chair of choice comes with a thick, padded seat. This may sound obvious, but if you’re comfortable in your chair, you can sit and work for longer, a factor that can have a positive impact on your productivity.


While not considered an absolute necessity, armrests can provide extra support while you work. They help minimise pressure on your back and can go a long way to easing tension in your neck and shoulders. If you do decide on a chair with armrests, make sure they are padded and can be adjusted to a height that feels right for your natural posture.


2. Find a suitable desk


Now that your choice of chair is done and dusted, it's time to find a desk to go with it. Size matters here. You need a workstation big enough to accommodate your PC, keyboard, mouse and other devices, and still have ample room to open up hardcopy files, spreadsheets, and any other written correspondence that comes across the surface of your desk.


You should also think about the features you'd like to have. You may like the idea of a height-adjustable desk, for example, to avoid the health risks related to sitting down for long periods. A desk you can work on both standing up and sitting down can be a definite boost to your wellbeing.


If you're a fan of tidy, uncluttered desks, you will probably prefer a desk that comes with organisational options such as inbuilt wire management and concealed access ports.


3. Consider your storage options


Ideally, your work-from-home office space should be neat and tidy 99% of the time. This is where storage options are invaluable. There is a vast range of different types of furnishings available, so with a little thought and research, you're sure to find something of a suitable size and capacity to cover all your storage needs.


If you need to keep your documents organised and within easy reach, an old fashioned filing cabinet is probably the most convenient solution. Today's filing cabinets come in a huge variety of sizes and shapes, from tall and slim to laterally wide and extra deep. Units are available in different styles too, allowing you to pick something that matches your existing decor, like a shiny metal look, or with a traditional wood finish.


If you lack space, an under-desk drawer unit may be your best option. This type of unit fits neatly under the workstation, which means they are out of sight but still within easy reach. They generally come with two or more drawers and provide a surprising amount of storage volume.


4. Organise your devices


Now it’s time to organise your desktop devices and equipment. You don't want to simply dump stuff onto your desk. Instead, devise a strategic arrangement. A badly arranged work surface is sure to have an impact on your productivity levels, so it’s worth giving this matter some thought.


You should, for instance, ensure your laptop or computer screen is placed at roughly arm's length directly in front of you. If you use a mouse and keyboard place these in front of you too, about six inches from the edge of the desk. If you really need more on your desk, such as a paper filing tray or stationery pot, position them so you can reach them without having to overstretch.


Always keep clutter on your desk to an absolute minimum. Too much stuff can make your workstation look and feel chaotic, causing distractions that can badly hamper your concentration.


5. Add some personal touches


Working from home means you have full control over the appearance of your space. Don’t be afraid to add some personal touches that reflect your personality, and make you feel more comfortable. A favourite photograph, a piece of art you really love, or one or two souvenirs from the past can create an atmosphere in which you feel right at home.


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