When designing your home office, it is crucial that you focus on creating a work oasis that meets your work needs and the needs of your body.
You have created a space that really suits your style. The colours fit well, the wall decorations match your style, the rugs are nice, and the feel of the space is real.
Unfortunately, the feeling in the body after a day of work is not great. In fact, you are stiff in the neck, tired in the back, and sore in the shoulder.
When you design your home office, it is important that you think about ergonomics - you and your body will spend many hours here.
In this article, we guide you on how to set up a beautiful home office that takes into account the needs of your aesthetic self and your body.
Designing the home office: Three general principles
When designing your home office, it is a good idea to start with three well-founded rules of thumb.
If you follow them, you increase the likelihood of keeping your body healthy and pain-free despite a work life that mainly takes place behind a desk and in front of a computer.
The rules of thumb for designing your home office are:
1. Have room to move: You need to arrange your home office so that you have room to move. Changing working positions is the key to a physically healthy working life in your home office.
2. Make it easy to get up: It is crucial that you design your home office so that it is easy to get up and stretch your body. A height-adjustable desk is ideal, but your position should be easy and convenient to get up from in any case. The deep armchair rarely invites you to handle the next task standing.
3. Have furniture and equipment that suits you: Your home office must be tailored to you. This means, for example, that your chair, your desk, and your equipment (keyboard, mouse, monitor, etc.) must have the right dimensions and details according to your needs.
Once the overarching principles have set the framework for your home office, you can begin to consider what else should characterize your space - how do you create a work oasis that is efficient, good for your body and at the same time a space that fits well in your style.
We have put together 8 pieces of advice that together will ensure that you create exactly that work oasis:
1. Let office be office and living room be living room. Separating the office from the other rooms of the home makes it easier to relax when you have free time and work without interruption from the filled dishwasher, the clothes basket that has thrown up on the floor, or the dust that dances on the shelves while you work . But I do not have a free space I can use as an office, you might be sitting and thinking now. Never mind. You do not need a whole room - take the landing, the basement, the annex, vacant square meters under the stairs, or maybe even an insulated shed (if there is a window).
2. Choose colours you like but which do not become (too) disturbing. If you feel particularly inspired when you are surrounded by green, go with a green colour for the walls, but just consider once more whether it should be that turquoise, or whether it becomes a little too much after 4-5 hours of work.
3. Design according to light sources. Light may not be what you think about most - as long as it's there, it's fine, isn't it? But no, that is not really the case. Improper or inadequate lighting can result in overworked eyes. Go for a design where the light becomes a combination of daylight (which comes in from the side) and light from a good table lamp (where the light comes from the other side).
4. Make room for thoughts and ideas. Hang a bulletin board, a whiteboard, or a glass board on the wall so you have a place to store your creative (or not so creative, but still important) ideas.
5. Create a wholeness in the room. A home office can quickly become a messy affair where non-office stuff ends up filling the space. It is difficult to prevent the box with heirlooms from your great-grandmother or the children's discarded toys from moving in when there is a lack of space in the other rooms. If you lay a loose rug on the floor that matches the overall elements, you can create wholeness despite the many different elements in the room.
6. Get the mess away. If you choose closed storage solutions, which may even be mobile, so that they can be moved away or around, if you also need the space for, for example, a guest room, you can store the clutter away and avoid those disturbances.
7. Choose the good furniture. Let's get the cards on the table. If you care a lot about design, then it is probably not in the department of office furniture that you feel most happy. Office furniture rarely looks like something that has come from Arne Jacobsen, Charles and Ray Eames, or Marcel Breuer. But if you do not want to end up with back pain and a wry neck, then it is in the office furniture department that you should look for both your desk and your chair for the home office.
8. Choose good ergonomic equipment. For the vast majority, the keyboard, mouse, and monitor will be the most important equipment units in the home office. Applicable to all three is that they must support the correct working position and suit your individual needs.
In our ergonomic checklist for your workstation, we have listed all the details about what requirements your mouse, your monitor, and your keyboard must live up to. You can find it here.