Work From Home Hacks From A DKG Designer
Now during the pandemic, many of us are working from home. While working from home has a lot of perks, it can also be challenging in many ways. Positives include a healthier work-life balance, eliminating stressful commutes, hanging out with your pet and of course the ability to design an office you love---ideally without the distractions that threaten your productivity.
Make the best of your current work at home situation with these design and decor suggestions to keep you as efficient as possible.
1. USE PINTEREST RESPONSIBLY.
Pinterest is a great way to find inspiration, but while these spaces look great they might not be practical and optimal to tackle a 50-plus hour workweek. Upholstered chairs are lovely, but they are not made to support your posture for long periods. A small desk won’t house your projects and files, and while some people like bright colors and art, it might distract you. When designing the perfect workspace, functionality comes first and beauty second.
2. SEEK ERGONOMIC SEATING OPTIONS.
Did you know the top of your computer screen should be at eye level or a little below? And while this rule of thumb helps optimize the way you present during Zoom calls there are even more reasons why your monitor's placement is super important. As you scan down the screen, your eyelids will naturally close a bit and hydrate, which reduces eye fatigue. Our tip? Position your keyboard so your forearms are parallel to the floor and adjust your chair so your feet rest firmly on something-whether it's the ground or a footrest. Splurge on a chair that makes you want to put in the hours due to its comfort for both your vision and alignment.
3. WELCOME NATURAL LIGHT.
Before you decide on a location for your workspace consider the placement of your desk, Sitting in front of a window will do wonders for your circadian rhythm. Your circadian rhythm is your body’s 24-hour internal clock that runs in the background alternating between periods of sleep and alertness. This system will thrive being able to see the light change during different times of the day instead of being stuck in cubicle culture wondering if it's dusk or dawn. If a window is not available, try and give your desk a scenic view by imitating a window. You can do this by using subtle landscape art or mirrors. You can even buy removable wallpaper with soothing scenes.
4. PUT THOUGHT INTO ARTIFICIAL LIGHT
While natural light is great, there are improvements you can make to foster WFH success the next time you change your lightbulb. Think of the winter months when darkness settles in at 4 pm or when a tight deadline has you burning the midnight oil. A desk lamp will give you better task lighting, a table lamp will give boost ambiance. Aim for a 3000K bulb, lower will be too warm and higher can feel cold and stark.
5. STORAGE DOESN’T HAVE TO BE BORING
There are many functional and stylish options to keep your workspace organized. Good storage is a must to prevent clutter from discarded papers, abandoned files, and stray supplies. Trust me, I’m way more focused when my workspace is clean and uncluttered. While file cabinets are not the most attractive, many brands have been upping their game with fashion-forward picks that blend into your home’s interior instead of competing with it. Depending on the space available floating shelves are also great options and allow you to display prized accolades or favorite mementos making great backdrops for your next Zoom call.
7. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PLANTS
Plants not only tend to be instant mood boosters but they also clean the air while improving cognitive functions and heightening your concentration. It’s like bringing the outside in when you’re stuck on a three-hour conference call! The best part is many house plants don’t require a green thumb and need minimal care to flourish!
8. HIDE THINGS YOU DON’T WANT TO LOOK AT.
A jungle of mismatched cables will never look inspiring. Consider running cables in channels, use power strips to minimize the unsightly mess. Also, no matter how sleek and modern they are, most printers and technical office equipment aren’t attractive. Hide them in closets or storage alcoves.
While working from home is the new normal there are several things to consider to keep you productive! These changes don't have to cost lots of time or money but mindful changes will go a long way.