Here, how to create a happy, healthy and productive home office …
1. Find your g-spot
That’s G for ‘Great’! If your home has multiple potential office spaces to choose from, that’s great too! Now, what you need to consider. First, noise and people traffic. There’s no point setting up a desk in the living room if family are going to be walking in and out – especially if you need to hold private phone calls or video conference meetings. The amount of space you require may also dictate where you set up your home office or desk, as will internet connections and power supply. For example, if you require multiple monitors and a printer.
2. Go for green
While the above points may determine your home office location, if it is an option, consider an office space with a leafy, pretty or ‘nature’ filled outlook. Studies show viewing green spaces can improve mood, focus, efficiency and our health. Even better if you can work from your garden! No garden outlook? Then add some greenery to your space. And if you have natural light coming through, even better. A US study found natural elements and sunlight exposure related positively to job satisfaction and organizational commitment, and negatively to depressed mood and anxiety
3. Get ergonomically comfy
Getting good posture requires more than the ‘adjust and tilt’ lever on your chair.
According to WorkCover Queensland, setting up a computer workstation correctly can reduce the chance of sprain and strain injuries: “office ergonomics can help you be more comfortable at work, lower stress, and reduce injuries caused by awkward positions and repetitive tasks.”
Those ergonomics include desk height, space, monitor, mouse and keyboard position, screen text size and brightness. And of course, the all-important throne. “Adjust your chair to suit you, including the seat height and tilt, lumbar support and backrest position. This includes having your feet flat on the ground or footrest.”
4. Stay active and take a break
We all know staying active is essential to good physical health and mental wellbeing, but it really is essential to get up from your desk and move your body at least every 30 minutes, according to The Heart Foundation. “Take regular breaks from your computer, get up and take a break every 30 minutes and rotate standing tasks and sitting tasks.”
This won’t just help your physical health, taking a mental break from work tasks and getting outside for some heart-pumping exercise or just letting your mind rest in the fresh air has umpteen benefits. Many studies support this. According to The Australia Institute, “breaks from work reduce physical and mental fatigue and assist the body’s response to physical and mental stress. For employees working long hours on computers, breaks are important to prevent eyestrain and interrupt prolonged periods of sedentary, repetitive or monotonous work. Taking a break increases general productivity and decision-making ability, and helps to sustain concentration and energy levels to process information better.”