In the third and final installment of our “Upgrade Your Home Office” series, we’re going to talk about how important it is to invest in good furniture in your office, such as a large, sturdy desk and a comfortable chair, as well as look at proper lighting techniques, and why that is so important for your productivity and mood.
Invest In Comfort
Perhaps the most important consideration for your home office is make sure you are comfortable. At the beginning of the pandemic, nobody knew how long people would be required to work from home. If anything, people estimated a couple of weeks to a few months (at most). But it appears that people will be working from home much longer, and some workers are remaining at home permanently. Therefore, it is time to invest in well-built, high-quality furniture for your office that is both pleasing and comfortable.
- Upgrade your desk. Working from the dining room table is a fine short-term solution. For the long term, though, you need to a large, comfortable desk that has enough desktop space for all of your everyday items, such as a mouse, keyboard, computer, speakers, printer, notebooks, and pens, as well storage for all of the things you don’t use all the time, such as a calculator, stapler, or paper clips. It should all be within easy reach, so you don’t have to keep getting up to do your job. You may also want to consider sprucing up the desk with a nice leather desk mat. Fireside Furniture has some excellent options for beautiful home office desks, such as this high quality writing desk, or this gorgeous writing desk with reclaimed wood finish and matching file cabinets.
- Get a comfortable chair. The right office chair is crucial for your working life, both for posture and concentration, and there have been numerous studies to show it (here is one). Since you spend so much time at work, seated at your desk, you need to find an ergonomic chair, provides good lumbar support, and is adjustable. While you are seated at your desk, try to ensure your elbows and knees are at even 90 degrees, which will keep you comfortable long term. This, along with finding the right desk, will allow you to work better and keep you from fidgeting and taking constant breaks to stretch. (And remember: at the end of a long day when you’re looking to relax, Fireside has a ton of great recliners as well!)
Ironically, this crucial part of the workspace is both completely obvious to some people, while completely overlooked by others. If you’ve already set up your office to have plenty of good natural light and create a pleasant ambience, then you may want to skip ahead. But if you find that your eyes constantly straining or you start to get drowsy during the workday, then we recommend you take a look at how much light you have in the room.
If it’s possible, we strongly recommend natural light — so set up your workstation near a window if you can. Barring that, make sure you have a good lamp that makes it easy to see your immediate surroundings clearly as well as read off your screen and words on paper. Mood lighting is nice sometimes, sure, but for working at home eight or ten hours a day, low light can be harmful. It can make you tired, even kind of depressed sometimes, and over time can deteriorate your eyesight.
Also, if possible, set up your desk so you can look at a window and try to focus on a distant object (at least 20 feet away) every 20 minutes for 20 seconds, the “20-20-20” rule which allows the eyes to relax from the focusing, especially if you are on a computer a lot of the time.
In addition, we recommend soft light from a lamp, rather than harsh overhead lights — if this is an option. Finally, if you need to use a man-made light source, try to use a full-spectrum bulb, which best mimics the light from the sun.
Throughout this series, we’ve offered many different ways of revamping your home office space in order to enhance your productivity and well-being. The furniture experts at Fireside Furniture have much more advice to share, so please visit our showroom at 695 Route 23 S, in Pompton Plains, NJ to see what we have. We can’t wait to show you around!