Organised for work

Working from home is now the new norm across a wide range of professions. To be productive at home having a calm, ordered working environment is essential.

Here are some tips on setting up a functional and productive home work space.

Space
Many new builds include a study, but if you have an established home look around the spaces you have and identify nooks, storage space or rooms that can be re-purposed into a permanent or temporary work space.

Other options outside the main home are garages, sheds or bungalows. Add shelves for storage, turn an old table into a desk and create a charging station with multiple USB power points.

Ergonomics
Ergonomics is an important consideration in a home office. It is important your home working space is comfortable and does not cause any strain or stress on your body.

First, check the position of your monitor. Your computer monitor should be positioned directly in front of you, with the centre of the screen at eye level.

Whether you are sitting or standing when you are working in front of the monitor, your neck and shoulders should be in a relaxed and neutral position. If you use more than one monitor, be sure you can see them easily without having to turn your head.

You can buy ergonomic products online that can help reduce muscle strain, such as ergonomic office chairs with armrests, or under-desk keyboard trays that put your keyboard in 
the best location.

Your desk needs to be at a height that allows you to naturally rest your elbows in line with your keyboard and mouse.

Your chair should be adjustable and provide proper back support. Look for a desk chair that swivels and can move on castors.

The computer screen should be an arm’s length away and positioned just below eye level so your head and neck aren’t bent.

Place your stationery and printers within easy reach so you are not twisting to reach them.

Consider a stand up desk, which is prevents excessive sitting during work hours and the associated health risks.

Multi-purpose
To save space think of furniture and technology that serve multi-purposes such as extendable tables and folding chairs. Bookshelves can be used for files and large folders, while wireless technology for keyboards, mice and printers will also eliminate messy cords.

Lighting
Natural light is the best when working at home during the day. A study flooded in natural light will improve your mood and your productivity. If your study space is dark, then look at correctly positioned overhead lighting, lamps or even desk lamps. Do sit directly under a light as it will cast a shadow on your work space.

Desks
According to the experts at Harvey Norman, the desk is perhaps the most important part of any home office as it can have a huge impact on how productive you are throughout the day.

Shop for a desk according to how you will use it. If you need to work with and store lots of papers, for example, consider a desk with a large desktop and built-in drawers.

If you work on a desktop computer, consider a desk that features a built-in keyboard drawer as this will keep your desk space clear and your cables hidden.

If you are trying to fit your furniture into a small room, be sure to allow for at least 1 meter of space in front of the desk so you can sit at your desk in comfort. A corner desk also works well in a small space.

Darker wood looks bigger and heavier than lighter wood and so tends to be best suited to larger rooms.

Clutter is unsightly and can make a room look smaller than it is so always make sure you purchase furniture that offers enough storage space for your items.

Glass table tops and light coloured frames can create the illusion of light and space, which makes them ideal for smaller home offices.

Cabinets
Cabinets and display cabinets help you apply the finishing touches to your home office by allowing you to show off your qualifications and awards or manage your documents with ease say the experts at Harvey Norman.

Make sure you opt for the display cabinets that allow you to show off the pieces that you want to. Adjustable shelving means your cabinet can be adapted to suit your collection.

Cabinets with a combination of drawers and cupboards will give you more storage options so you can keep your home office free from all clutter.

A display cabinet with a mirrored back will create a light and spacious feel, making them perfect for a smaller study or home office.

Personal touches
Finally add personal touches that make the space feel warm and welcoming. Photographs, prints, momentos and indoor plants are ideal and up to individual taste. Indoor plants have proven health benefits and can reduce stress and improve oxygen flow.