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8 tips to make your work-at-home experience as pleasant as possible

By Johannes L. Chua


Your home-office project has been delayed for so many times because you just don’t have time to do it. But with time now on your side due to the community quarantine in the metro, it suddenly made sense to do that home-office now that work-at-home is considered by your company.

To make work-at-home a pleasant experience, your home-office is not just about picking a table and a chair, and just opening your laptop to start typing. There are various factors to consider according to interior designer Florence Ang who has set up various home-office corners for her clients here and abroad. Here are eight tips from her.

1)      Choose the right location


“Location, location, location” is a catchphrase used in the real estate industry to emphasize the value of an ideal location. Ditto also with the location of your home-office. Ang said your home or unit doesn’t have to be huge to have your own home-office section, it just needs to be “in a right location.”

“For example, you don’t want your home-office in a place where people come and go, or pass by often to go the bathroom or the kitchen,” she said. “You want your home office in a place where you can secure your stuff and have some privacy and peace to do work.”

Ang also suggested that a home-office, if possible, should have a view. “When you are working, it is inevitable that you will be tired, experience back pain or have an eye strain. A wonderful view of the outdoors can work wonders in easing your mind and promoting creativity.”

2)      Light it well


Interior designers have always emphasized the big role that lighting plays in a space.  “How could you add the numbers correctly if you are working in a dim lit space?” Ang asked. She also added that a lighting corner should have natural light (preferably near a window) or white light LED lights. It is not advisable to have warm lighting in a work-office as it promotes relaxation and sleeping, two things you don’t want to do in a work-office.

There’s an array of lighting options to choose, from desk to floor lamps, and ceiling to wall lights, that will be the perfect fit for your home-office space.

3)      Choose the correct seat


By correct, it means “not too comfortable” too. A seat is important as you will spend lot of hours, especially during these quarantine days, to type, write, or read. Therefore, it is important to have a seat that “contours” your body to a correct level that you are not seating too high or low. It should be a functional seat that allows you to be comfortable working, but not too comfortable to start sleeping.

4)      Have space for storage


Some people would say a simple desk is enough for a home-office corner. But where would you put the stapler, the pen container, the markers, the post-its, etc.?

“It’s better to have a desk with storage spaces and drawers,” said Ang. “It saves you time from standing up and finding the little things that make your work complete.”  Storage can also be used to put your notebooks, bond paper sheets, records, among others.

5)      Think ergonomics

Number 5

Ergonomics is the science of fixing spaces and furniture correctly so that work can be done efficiently. For example, the placement of your printer is crucial to reach the electric socket.

“Most people are excited to create their own office-space only to be frustrated that they need to buy an extension cord, as the electric socket is too far away,” said Ang.

Ergonomics, she said, is also considering the size of the furniture as a table too large can distract the view or hamper easy access.  The right furniture size can also translate to a more comfortable experience.

Ang also suggested to “hide the unsightly wires or cables” of printers or speakers to make the look more work-friendly and clutter-free.

6)      Get creative with colors and accessories

Number 6

You don’t have to be boring when it comes to your own office space at home. As you will be working there for most of the time (especially during quarantine), design it in a way that reflects your character.

“You can paint the wall with a color you like, or have a wallpaper with a design you love,” said Ang. “Introduce elements and accessories that you love in order to inspire you. For example, if you are a cat lover, put some cat figurines or cat-inspired lamp. Or if you want to travel the world, put some visuals to remind you of that goal.”

You don’t have to be so serious in terms of the design, you just have to be serious when it comes to finishing the work at hand.

7)      Introduce a “green” element


Green, as they say, soothes the eye. And green—as in indoor plants—can do wonders especially in providing cleaner air and a “lighter” atmosphere. If you don’t have that much space for your home-office, then mini potted plants can be placed strategically on floating wall shelves, hanging on the ceiling, or just tucked in corners.

8)      Make it clean


This also applies to the entire house, not only your home-office corner. A messy space, studies have shown, can also “mess up” your mind. So before you endeavor to have your own home-office, make sure you clean first the other portions of your house.  Use containers to “organize” your pens, erasers, and knickknacks. And on these days when the virus that causes COVID-19 is around, it is also prudent to disinfect your space.

Source: Manila Bulletin

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