Home Office 101

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Thinking of setting up a home office? Here’s what you need to have in mind

According to surveys, the popularity of home offices has grown thanks in part to technology making it easier to work from anywhere. Here’s what to consider when setting up one.

Select The Right Location

“It is important to carefully evaluate every room in your home before you decide the best ‘real estate’ for your office,” writes Lisa Kanarek in the book Working Naked: A guide to the Bare Essentials of Home Office Life. To help you pick the right spot, she offers a few tips. Ask yourself, for example, if you will be able to keep off distractions, if it is comfortable all year and if there is enough lighting. When picking a location, she adds, “Try to think long term. It is better to invest in the right location now than to settle for a space that costs less but won’t suit your needs in a year or two.” A spare corner can work if you don’t have little children or pets, and a spare room is usually the best spot if you don’t want noise or any other distractions.

Follow The Light

Set up an office where you can maximise on natural lighting. Natural lighting has direct links to mood, alertness and metabolism (which are all important for better work productivity and quality of life). According to a study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, office workers with more natural light exposure have longer sleep duration, better sleep quality, more physical activity and better quality of life compared to office workers with less light exposure in the workplace.

Get The Right Chair

Get the right chair to avoid back or neck pain which in the end affects productivity and your health. Test the chair before buying it. Whatever your taste, go for a chair that works for you – not the other way around (this applies to other office furniture as well). It should be adjustable to suit your height and have an adjustable back rest.

Personalise Your Space

Your tastes will drive the colours you pick for your space. Add fun while decorating by taking advantage of the psychology of colour. If you want to pay more attention to detail, go with red accents. According to Juliet Zhu, author of a study that appeared in the journal Science, red boosts performance on detail-oriented tasks. “Thanks to stop signs, emergency vehicles and teachers’ red pens, we associate red with danger, mistakes and caution…The avoidance motivation, or heightened state, that red activates makes us vigilant and thus helps us perform tasks where careful attention is required to produce a right or wrong answer.” Zhu added in her findings that blue boosts creativity because, “Through associations with the sky, the ocean and water, most people associate blue with openness, peace and tranquillity…The benign cues make people feel safe about being creative and exploratory.”

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