Categories Editorial

Creating the Perfect Workspace at Home

Five of the Interior Design team members at Luxury Frontiers share 5 easy tips to ensure a positive and effective work experience while working from home.

Tip 1: Ensure you are working with enough light

Having adequate light in your workspace has many benefits including reduced eye strain, fewer reports of headaches, improved mood, less drowsiness, and making fewer mistakes. All of this ultimately leads to a happier and more productive work experience. To ensure you have enough light while working, you can implement one or multiple of the following:

1. Try bringing in natural light into your workspace by sitting near a window or ensuring your curtains remain open during the day.

2. Integrate artificial light by adding a lamp on your desk. Even with great natural light, you will still need additional lighting for darker hours of the day. Most overhead house lighting is inadequate for work.

3. Always consider where your light is coming from. A light source set behind you as you work on your computer will create an annoying glare on your screen or monitor.

Tip 2: Ensure the chair you work on allows you to keep your feet flat, thighs horizontal, and arms even with your desk

A good ergonomic chair offers proper lumbar support and is usually contoured to fit your lower back. Depending on your height and table’s height, try to select a chair with a seat height between 16-21 inches (400mm-530mm). You want to ensure that your chair allows you to keep your feet flat, thighs horizontal, and arms even with your desk. This helps to promote blood circulation and relieve pressure points. And to ensure a sense of calm and comfort, select a chair with a texture that appeals to you or even drape your favorite throw over your chair.

Tip 3: Ensure you have enough ventilation entering your workspace

Although some of us are not as well equipped with mechanical ventilation at home as in the office, the air quality in your home’s workspace is a major factor to your health, wellbeing, and productivity levels. Ensure there is adequate natural ventilation if you do not have mechanical ventilation. When you don’t feel well, you don’t work well. There’s a clear relationship between improved ventilation and enhanced cognitive function, and breathing better air helps with decision making.

Some reminders to ensure adequate ventilation:
1. It might seem like a no brainer to some, but a lot of people forget to regularly open doors or windows to let the fresh air in and push the stale air out.
2. Leaving the windows slightly open overnight can improve air quality in your home workspace.
3. Change your position, if you can, changing the orientation of your desk to a more prime position for ventilation. This encourages a natural breeze and good airflow in your direction.

Tip 4: Incorporate plants into your environment

Working from home is a challenging task. Often, we place ourselves in an environment which is stripped from invigorating aspects which harnesses our productivity.

Studies have shown that our health can be improved, and our stress levels can be lowered when working within an environment that incorporates other life forms, such as plants.

Here are a few reasons why you should incorporate plants into your work home environment:
1. It increases your productivity levels.
2. Plants constantly clean the air we breathe.
3. Plants create a joyful environment to look at.
4. Studies show that by having plants in the work environment, sick building syndrome as well as general illness decrease.
5. Studies have shown that plants can boost one’s creativity levels.

Although not all plants do well indoors, when looking for the right plants for your new home office, be sure to look for plants that will thrive, such as succulents, rubber plants, or peace lilies.

Tip 5: Remember to take a break and hydrate

For any serious working adult, two of the things that are most often forgotten or put on the back burner are to take a break and to drink water. It is important to consciously aim at reaching this goal as being well-hydrated also improves sleep quality, cognition, and mood. Made up by about 75% water, proper hydration is vital for our brain’s healthy function.

Dehydration can lead to lethargy, difficulties concentrating, and ultimately cognitive decline. And chronic stress has been shown to deplete brain cells, impair memory, and weaken immune functions. It’s crucially important that you engage in regular stress management habits to offset the effects of dehydration. Whether it’s meditation, exercise, or breathing techniques, find something that works for you and engage in it regularly.

A few reminders include:
1. Nothing replaces water – Alcoholic and caffeinated beverages, such as coffee, teas, and sodas, are not recommended for optimal hydration. These fluids tend to pull water from the body and promote dehydration.
2. Boost daily water intake – Drink two glasses of water upon waking up to flush out your system. Additionally, keep a bottle of water on your desk and drink throughout the day. This is particularly important if you exercise regularly or drink a lot of coffee or alcohol.
3. Take a break – Humans were not created to sit in front of a desk all day. A physical break from you computer and workspace gives you the opportunity to also mentally break from your work. Tip: If you struggle with time off to decompress, consider a ten-minute walk in the afternoon (if this is possible in your area), especially on sunny days. Ten minutes might be all you need to come back to the office feeling refreshed.