5 tips for setting up a home office

By Aaron De Silva / EdgeProp | November 29, 2017 6:04 PM SGT
Corporate Singapore has some ways to go before fully embracing remote working. Yet, there’s no denying that more and more companies are allowing their employees to adopt flexible working arrangements, whether it be variable work hours or working from home on certain days of the week. While some workers are happy to toil away on their dining tables or sofas, others would prefer a more dedicated workspace in the form of a home office. If you belong to the latter category, here are five things to consider when setting one up.
1. Choose the location of your workspace wisely
Image Source: Decoist
Just like a property purchase, it’s all about location, location, location. As far as possible, situate your workstation close to a set of windows. Avoid putting it up against the wall, or in a corner of a room. If you’re going to be spending long hours at your desk, you want to create a comfortable setup. Natural light has many benefits – it reduces strain on the eyes, and contributes to feelings of happiness and wellbeing. Plus, it gives you a good reason to take frequent eye breaks, more so if your windows overlook a nice view.
2. Equip your workspace with smart furnishings
Image Source: Danish Design Co
Having determined the orientation and layout of your home office, it’s time to furnish it with functional, ergonomic pieces. Now, before scouring the web or diving into a furniture catalogue, consider your workflow. What items do you need (or like to have) at your fingertips? How many devices do you typically use, and how much space do they require? Do you need a printer, and if so, where should it go?
As with a corporate office setup, the main pieces of furniture are a desk and chair. But not just any desk or chair. While your home office doesn’t need to comply with corporate standards, it does pay to invest in quality furnishings to maximise your productivity. Don’t get carried away by inspirational images on Pinterest or in magazines. Your granddad’s antique writing desk might be a family heirloom, but it may not be optimised for modern use. And yes, you could use a dining chair in place of an ergonomic chair, but it’s not going to provide adequate support for your back.
We love the HiLow 2 desk from Danish Design Co. It can be adjusted to different heights to accommodate sitting or standing working positions. Furthermore, you can order a table with custom measurements, and choose from desk components like a cable grommet, tabletop socket, lamp holder, mounted waste bin and pen tray.
3. Think about your storage needs
If the nature of your work involves a lot of paperwork, files and catalogues, then you’re going to need proper and effective storage solutions to manage the clutter. If your home office is set up in your library, then you can use the existing shelves and cabinets to house your files. Otherwise, if you’re in need of storage space, consider a modular shelving system.
4. Create a comfort zone
Now that you’ve made all the key functional considerations, it’s time to think about enhancing your workspace with a lounge area. After all, downtime is just as important as uptime. If you don’t have the luxury of space, then a simple lounge chair or armchair will suffice. Use this as a place to read, strategise or just gather your thoughts. If your space allows it, add an ottoman, a rug, a small coffee table and a reading lamp. It will encourage taking necessary breaks.
5. Personalise your space
Image Source: Home Designing
You might have already personalised your office cubicle with knickknacks and photos of loved ones. There’s no reason not to do likewise in your home office. Of course, you can personalise it even further, and no one will judge you. Put up an inspirational print/photo/artwork – maybe even your kids’ framed masterpieces? Or dedicate a small area of your desk to a mini-shrine of things that inspire you – holiday souvenirs, fengshui crystals, a book of thought-provoking quotes. Don’t be afraid to express your creativity: use a funky mug as a pen holder, for instance. Lastly, don’t forget to green your space. Plants work wonders to uplift the spirit.