These days, having a welcoming and accessible space to work from home is more a necessity than a nice to have. Even with the accelerated advent of remote work (thanks to Covid), many of us are still working at the dining room table. Sat on seats that are uncomfortable, in an environment that isn’t appropriate for what we’re doing.
In my opinion, a dedicated workspace is a game changer. It’s a place where you can genuinely focus on your work without it intruding on your personal life. Getting work/life balance right when working from home is definitely a struggle. Installing a productive, dedicated remote office is a great way to help with the balance.
Our Remote Office Design Tips
The style and substance of your remote office will be specific to your requirements. Some people need a space where they can welcome others. Some professions need more than just a desk with a laptop. You’ll know better than anyone what features you need to have.
The following tips apply to almost everyone that works remotely and from home. Regardless of your profession or the work that you do, these will ensure that your work environment is second to none.
Don’t Skimp On Space
Of course, there are those of you reading this that will be trying to squeeze a home office into a space that simply shouldn’t have one. Your home simply might not have enough rooms to have a dedicated space. That said, as best you can, give your office enough space for you to comfortably work in it.
The best way to approach it is to imagine you’re sitting at your desk. Do you have enough space to push your chair back, stand up from the desk and leave? All without having to bend or squeeze past something.
Also don’t judge the width of your desk on the width of your keyboard. Your arms will flair outwards considerably so that you can adopt a comfortable position.
Pick The Right Spot
The cliche “Location, location, location,” rings true here. You need to pick a spot where you’re going to be able to concentrate undisturbed. It should also be a place where you don’t resent going there every day. The temporary kitchen table setup is far from optimal. It likely hinders your home life as much as it does your work life. If you’ve got the space, dedicate a room to it. Then at the end of the day, you can close the door and leave work behind.
Look After Your Back
Back pain and injuries have dramatically increased since people began to work from home in greater numbers. This is typically due to poor choices of chair and desk.
Starting with the desk, ideally, it should be at least 120cm wide. Not used to metric? Try using a cm to inches calculator when comparing options. A desk that wide will allow you to have a computer, keyboard, and some additional space for paperwork or decor.
The all-important chair is your best line of defense against back pain. Get an office chair that is ergonomic and supports you. The dining chair from the kitchen might be nice during dinner, but it’s not designed for you to sit on for hours at a time during work.
Allow Yourself To Be Tidy
Desks are easily cluttered. Usually, they gather clutter because users don’t have enough proper storage space. By investing in proper office storage you’ll give yourself the best opportunity to have a tidy desk. That means solid shelving above or to the side of your desk, a filing cabinet, or a simple intray.
If you’re in the habit of having drinks at your desk, try to get into the routine of taking them back to the kitchen when you’re finished. It’s all too easy to let them pile up. Before the end of the day, you’re looking like you’re working a wash station at a cafe.
Let There Be Light
Natural light is a must-have for any remote office. It’s a natural mood booster and allows you to work to the best of your ability. The best option is to place your desk perpendicular to the window. This will allow your eyes to adjust to the natural light and reduces strain.
If you find that you’re struggling with glare on the screen, see if you can get some translucent blinds fitted to the window. These will still allow natural light to flow into the room without creating spots of glare.
Those of you that don’t have a natural light source near your desk should invest in some daylight bulbs. These bulbs seek to mimic natural light and will give you a similar feeling. Many remote workers use SAD lamps (seasonal affective disorder) to achieve this effect.
Get A Handle On Your Cables
Going wireless is going to make your desk considerably more zen. Wires strewn everywhere, going in and out of machines, and wrapped around your legs aren’t a good feel or look. Instead, get hold of wireless mice and keyboards for a start. Wireless internet connections are commonplace enough that you shouldn’t be too worried about LAN cables.
Where you do have to use cables, try to use some cable management techniques. This includes bundling your cables together so that you see just one tube rather than many strands. You could also invest in some cable clips that tame under the desk cables.
The best remote workspaces won’t feel temporary. They’ll feel as if they were designed to have you working in them. Each case is unique, and you’ll bring your own style and desires to it. The key is to first look after your health, then your work requirements, before applying style.
- Always work on a chair and desk designed to support you.
- Let natural light in to boost your mood and productivity.
- Give yourself as much space as you can for your workstation.