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As of 2019, 4.7 million Americans spend at least half of the working week ‘teleworking’ or working from home.1 Because of this, home offices are becoming increasingly popular. But just like any other space in your home, a home office should be designed with comfort, function and purpose in mind. Below are some basic tips to help you get started:

1. Determine your needs: 

What type of work will you be doing in the office? For instance, if your job requires you to video conference often, you will need to think about furniture placement that will provide you with a professional, neutral background. The type of materials you will need to reference and store will dictate your storage needs – whether it’s wall shelves for books, file cabinets for documents or drawers for fabric samples.

2. Choose your location wisely:

According to the ancient Chinese principles of Feng Shui, work or home office spaces must be kept separate from living or sleeping areas. (citation) Not only do the respective areas serve distinct purposes, but relaxation will be impossible if work and relaxation areas are mixed. Again, think of your needs – do you need a space that is quiet and focused? Do you need to be able to spread out with your work? Pick a spot in your house that fits your needs.

3. Comfort and Functionality:

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You want your home office to be comfortable and functional. Don’t sacrifice function for form – this is a working space and your furniture should be working for you! According to a recent Leesman survey of over 700,000 employees, a desk and chair are cited as the two most important features for workspace effectiveness.2 Think about your preferences: do you need a desk big enough for books, papers, etc. or do you simply need a laptop? Pick a sturdy, ergonomic desk chair – your back will thank you in the long run! Don’t be afraid to make this space a little cozy either – have you ever noticed what makes some of your favorite interior photos your favorites? Next time you’re browsing, take a look at some of the styling. The coziest rooms contain personal touches and hints that someone has left the room but will be back soon! This clue could be a cup of coffee on a pretty tray, an open magazine or a pen placed on a desk. Surround yourself with things that make you happy and productive. 

4. Boost your productivity with natural light and a view:

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Research suggests that exposure to nature reduces stress and working in a scenic environment boosts productivity and fosters wellbeing.3,4 When choosing a spot for your workspace, pick something more interesting than a blank wall – try a painting, other artwork or photograph instead! In addition to improving your productivity, having something pretty to look at will also provide you with a welcome break whenever you need it. Although a window in the room is strongly recommended for natural light, do not face it. A direct outdoor view would compromise your productivity due to all the distractions.

In short, this is your space – make sure it works for your personality, your work needs and your lifestyle. 

Design a Great Day!

1 https://globalworkplaceanalytics.com/telecommuting-statistics

2https://www.leesmanindex.com/benchmark-employee-experience/

3https://www.pnas.org/content/112/28/8567.abstract

4https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy02osti/30769.pdf