Designing the Perfect Home Office

By Liz Shiro

When the pandemic hit at the start of last year, many businesses had no choice but to send their employees home to work remotely and stay safe. While there was much uncertainty during this time, we were able to observed some major benefits to remote work such as spending less money on commercial office spaces and increased employee productivity with more flexible scheduling. In fact, a study conducted by Enterprise Technology Research suggests that the productivity of most workers is more effective when working from home, so we can actually expect remote work to double in the United States this year.

Other benefits of working from home for both individuals and companies include saving money on office spaces, more schedule flexibility, and a larger available talent pool without the restriction of physical location. Many companies are now in the process of restructuring their financial efforts to invest more in their employees and less on building costs and maintenance. This includes setting aside a budget for employees to help them create an at-home work environment where they can thrive and work efficiently. If you're working from home and wondering how you can design the perfect home office, we've share some tips below to help you get started.

Keep Work Out of the Bedroom

If possible, set up your work-from-home station away from your bedroom. A bedroom is meant to be a calming space for resting and unwinding, not working. When this boundary is not set, it can be easy to get consumed by work and can even begin to have a negative impact on your sleep. In July 2020, 69% of American’s who work from home were feeling burnt out which could have been brought on by feeling overwhelmed in the place that is supposed to be a safe haven. By creating a separate area for your home office, you are better able to establish boundaries and distinguish work from play and rest.

If you live somewhere with limited space, to your best to position your desk facing away from your bed. Our beds can seem like a comfortable and inviting place to work but the slouched position you will inevitably assume is not good for you or your productivity long term. 

Work-from-home space with natural colours and textures

Avoid Sitting For Extended Periods of Time

If you work a typical 9 to 5 job, you may find yourself sitting for nearly half of your day. Sitting for a long time can cause chronic pain, weight gain or other unwanted side effects. Our cardiovascular systems work best when we are standing upright, so it’s important to exercise, get your body moving, and stand as much as possible. A great investment in your home office could be a standing desk, which have been increasing in popularity as their benefits become more well-known. A few studies have been conducted regarding their benefits, and it’s been shown that standing desks may help people reduce blood sugar spikes and lower the risk of heart disease.

Person sitting back on the couch while working remotely

Engage with Nature

While working from home, one major thing to consider is your mental wellbeing. According to a study done in the UK in 2014, they showed that engaging with nature could help lower cortisol levels and help us reduce stress and increase our productivity level by up to 15%. According to Edward O. Wilson and his concept of biophilic design, we innately desire being close to nature. Therefore, choosing nature-inspired designs and natural materials for furniture such as a wooden desk and chair or having pressed flowers for your wall art could help boost your overall mood and productivity.

Biophilic designed home office space with raw edge wood table and views of nature

With remote work only rising in popularity, creating a healthy home office is one of the most important elements of creating a healthy home. And when you have a healthy home, you are one step closer to having a healthy balanced life.