Are you one of the millions of Americans who began working from home when the pandemic began in 2020 – and continue to do so as it eases? Or perhaps you’re working part-time from home, or pursuing an advanced degree while you commute to a job. Or maybe you’ve always worked from home, possibly running your own business. In any of these scenarios, having a space that is optimized for health, functionality and security will make your work life better. Four experts share insights on how to set yours up.
Creating a Healthier Workspace
Jasmine Marcus , a physical therapist in Ithaca, New York, works with patients on orthopedic issues that include workplace well-being. She’s seeing more complain of ailments related to their home-based workstations since the pandemic began, she says. “I’ve also read research backing this up. It tends to be more low back and neck pain,” she adds. Marcus attributes this to not having setups designed for full days of work.
Acknowledging that a quality desk chair is going to be the right choice for your body, Marcus offers these tips on selecting one: “You want it to be comfortable and supportive of your spine, as well as adjustable in height. You also want adjustable arm rests so your shoulders can be relaxed while your arms are supported. If you’re shorter and your feet can’t reach the ground, you should add a footrest.” […] “Sitting all day is hard on the body, no matter how great your setup is. I think a standup desk is key for being able to change position frequently.” […]
Creating a Well-Designed Workspace
[…] Daniel Ian Smith, a San Francisco and New York-based interior designer, says many professional clients are incorporating home offices in their renovation projects. […] Artwork is also a great workspace enhancement, he says. “When you’re not staring at a screen, you should be looking at something inspiring. I love expansive landscape photography for this, especially if there’s not a large window with a view.” Connecting with nature offers wellness design benefits and is a big work from home trend, he adds. “Get a desk that has beautiful texture or natural wood grain.” He also suggests plants and personalization. “Get the office chair in a bright color instead of black.” Textiles like custom lumbar supports covers can also be colorful and interesting, he adds. […]
Creating a Smarter Workspace
[…] Beyond security, Whitaker says a home office should have good lighting, audio and acoustical features and, as Smith noted, video capability. When it comes to lighting, he comments that home offices – even dedicated, enclosed spaces – are often multi-functional. “It’s a conference room, research lab, and even a place to possibly unwind after a grueling day of work. Each use case requires a different color temperature when you consider task-based lighting,” he comments. Having a smart lighting system that you can adjust as needed is a smart, healthy approach.
Acoustics can be challenging in a home environment, even when noise from open, adjacent rooms is not a consideration. Acoustical panels can correct for sound issues, the technologist notes. So can features that absorb noise and vibration like rugs and even plants. […]
Creating a Functional Workspace
Irene Williams, a digital wellness educator, speaker and long-time work from home professional adopted the Japanese concept of Kaizen, meaning continuous improvement, into shaping her space and schedule. “I keep my processes streamlined and work areas organized,” she shares. What this looks like for Williams is “making sure outlets, phone chargers, and basic supplies are available and easy to reach anywhere I might be working; I move around to different spaces throughout the day, including out on the patio. I have batteries for my headset microphone right by the station where I conduct virtual meetings.” She also has lumbar pillows, footrests, and other items positioned so she can work ergonomically and comfortably, she adds.
“In our next house, I want to have a cart set up to accommodate my virtual meetings and Zoom recordings. It will have the lighting attached and all the accoutrements on board so all I have to add is my laptop to be ready to go. But, because this will all be on a cart, I can roll it around to different spots and, most importantly, roll it into a closet when not in use. Right now, an entire corner of our pretty study stays set up for Zoom meetings because it’d be too cumbersome to disassemble after every use. That’s not the aesthetic I prefer, but it is the best option for now.” Many of us are dealing with our current best options, and collecting ideas for improvement.
Gold, Jamie. “Four Experts Share Tips on Creating Your Best Work from Home Space.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 17 Aug. 2022, https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamiegold/2022/08/16/four-experts-share-tips-on-creating-your-best-work-from-home-space/?sh=53d96d557e0f.
With the boom of work-from-home created by the pandemic, many more people, most with no experience in space design, have needed to create a quality home office for themselves. The considerations of this activity are much like my own in the digital public participation lab. These experts’ advice for creating a work space that is healthy, comfortable, efficient, and flexible is advice that I should take.