Ergonomic Home Offices: Designing Workspaces for Physical and Mental Well-being
- January 24, 2024
The home office is the epicenter of productivity for today’s modern professionals, especially if they are working remotely. Much like our bedrooms, we spend a lot of time in the home office, meaning it can hugely influence our daily lives and can have a profound effect on our overall health. From the desk setup to the lighting and the air quality, there are many factors to consider to ensure that your home office helps rather than hurts your productivity. Follow along as we share what you should bear in mind when designing ergonomic home offices.
How Stress Affects Productivity
Extended periods of too much stress can negatively impact our lives. However, stress can be hard to avoid in the workplace because of the challenging situations, dynamics, and relationships that are inherent in many work situations. A recent workplace study by Zippia illustrated that stress can impact productivity by draining energy, increasing worry, reducing creativity, generating a lack of focus and even bringing out the negative sides of our personality. The imbalance of energy that prolonged stress brings about is destabilizing to both our physical and mental well-being. By utilizing holistic interior design concepts, we can systematically address the symptoms caused by workplace stress until a better work-life balance can be achieved.
Tips for Designing a Healthier Home Office
Not all home offices look like they’ve come straight out of an interior design magazine. For many, this is a result of restraints on space and time or even a lack of understanding of holistic interior design principles. The spaces we inhabit are an external reflection of our interior worlds, so if we want to feel less stressed we must cultivate a space that allows for calm and tranquility. In the home office, using the right furniture, lighting, and space distribution will not only boost productivity but will also help craft a space where the body and mind can better manage daily work demands. Here are five areas of your home office that you can revamp to improve your wellness.
Maximize Wellness with Ergonomic Furniture
The ergonomics of your desk furniture is one the first areas you should evaluate when seeking to improve your home office. After all, the wrong chair or desk setup may produce negative effects on your body and decrease your overall productivity. Too much stress and strain can manifest itself in many ways, including lower back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, knee pain, eye strain, and sciatica. Nowadays, there are plenty of excellent office furniture lines created with your posture and bone health in mind, making ergonomic home offices easier to design.
Boost Brightness with the Right Lighting
Although it can be hard to get the perfect lighting conditions at home, there are solutions for achieving healthier lighting in your home office. If you can leverage natural lighting, that would be the ideal option to improve the body’s natural circadian rhythm. Of course, for many living in flats and apartment buildings ample natural light can be difficult to come by. If natural lighting is not available, you can also try incorporating full-spectrum lighting which can replicate natural sunlight and has positive effects on your mood, productivity, and overall well-being. Additionally, combining task lighting, like desk lamps, and ambient lighting, such as ceiling lamps, can help you create a mixed-lighting environment that can be adjusted as your energy levels ebb and flow.
Optimize Your Space
Crafting a functional workspace will allow you to better manage stress by ensuring all your tools are right where you need them. If you have a smaller home office, you will want to incorporate more storage to keep important documents in order and minimize clutter. The optimal organization will help keep energy moving through your workspace and aid you in completing your tasks on time without struggling to find records or other important items. If you work with technology, you’ll want to factor in cables and arrange your workspace accordingly. With a fully optimized space, you can minimize clutter and cultivate a home office that feels calm and cozy.
Of course, I can’t forget to mention that this is a great opportunity to incorporate Vaastu Shastra into your space. For those who are unfamiliar with it, Vaastu Shastra is an ancient science that involves strategic placement for positive energy flow that can contribute to a balanced and harmonious home office. By positioning your workspace towards the north, northeast, or northwest, you can promote a smooth influx of positive energy. Also, it is believed that placing your desk towards the north, east, or northeast can enhance concentration and encourage positive thinking. For meeting spaces, the ideal direction is northwest, as this allows for effective communication and decision-making.
Add a Touch of Greenery
In the world of holistic interior design, including plants in a space is a common strategy for two main reasons. The first is that the color they bring into a room is aesthetically pleasing. However, the second has much more to do with psychology. Research shows that indoor plants can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, relax the muscles, and improve creative problem-solving skills, as well as boost your physical and mental well-being. It’s fairly simple to select plants for your home office, from succulents to low-maintenance houseplants according to your design preferences. Not to mention, many houseplants can help improve the air quality, which is important, considering you likely spend a lot of time in your home office.
Incorporate Aromatherapy & Air Purifiers
The air quality at home is something that not everyone thinks about but it has a significant impact on our health and even mood. I would suggest investing in an air purifier for your home office, especially if you live in a city where air quality tends to be much poorer. Over time, you will notice the difference in how you feel and improve your overall wellness with this small switch. Another way to support your physical and mental wellness in your home office is through the use of aromatherapy. Adding a diffuser with calm or energizing oils to your workspace will aid you in managing stress throughout the day and improving productivity.
Find Balance in Your Home Office
Designing ergonomic home offices that cater to both your physical and mental wellness is possible when addressing the most important factors in a workspace. Working from home should be a positive and pleasant experience, and we hope that with these tips you’ll be able to create a calm refuge in your everyday work life. Should you need assistance or have a special project in mind, please contact LivHoli Interior Design Studio. We will be happy to help you with all your holistic interior design questions and requests.