How to furnish your home office
In the last few years, many Danes have begun working from home. In order to have a well-functioning and inviting home office, the furniture itself needs to live up to certain requirements.
In other words:
It is crucial that you furnish your home office with care and consideration.
Are you having virtual meetings, surrounded by dirty skillets and pans, while your computer fights for space on your kitchen table? Are you writing reports, lying down in your bed, covered by your duvet with your back supported by pillows?
Or have you managed to set up a proper workstation with an ergonomic chair in front of a functional desk, so you can work efficiently?
Having a well-furnished home office makes a wealth of difference to your mental and physical well-being. Your workstation needs to be functional and inspiring to maximise your creativity and productivity – all the while keeping neck and back pains at bay.
In this article, you will learn how to furnish a functional and inspiring home office.
We will answer the following questions:
- What Is the best room to set up my home office in?
- How should I furnish my home office?
- Which type of desk should I choose?
- What should I be aware of when I choose an office chair?
- How do I get adequate and functional lighting?
- How important is natural lighting?
- What’s the difference between general lighting as apposed to task lighting?
What is the best room to set up my home office in?
Your home office or workstation has to satisfy a variety of needs.
Perhaps you need a workstation that lets you plan budgets or tinker on a broad range of creative projects? Maybe you need a home office that allows you to concentrate on work for several hours a day without interruption.
Most importantly, when you’re working from home, you need to create a safe and healthy physical work environment. Your physical health is directly affected by the conditions you are working in. That may sound a little far-fetched or exaggerated, if you are used to working from an office. However, if you are not sitting comfortably or forget to take breaks once in a while, you will run the risk of developing back and neck pains.
In addition, the room you choose for your home office makes a huge difference on your mental well-being and your ability to “clock out” at the end of a working day.You should, to the best of your ability, be able to define your working space as a separate entity from your living area. Your home office might be in your home – but there are many advantages to creating a clear distinction between where you work and where you live:
- It is easier to focus when you are “away from home”.
- It clearly signals to everyone else in your residence that you are “not available” to perform other tasks around the house such as washing dishes, vacuuming, or any other tasks that may distract you, until after you have finished with work.
- It creates a physical space that encourages you to create a productive work routine.
- You can more easily separate your private life from your professional life.
If you are using your home office for virtual meetings or if you need to concentrate for longer periods of time, your setup should discourage others from disturbing your focus. This can more easily be achieved if the home office is in a separate, more secluded room.
If you don’t have an extra room – as most of us do not – you could set up your home office against a wall and separate this “room” from the rest of your home. This could, for example, be done using a bookcase or another type of room divider. By doing so, you can avoid being confronted with your workstation, when you are off the clock. This makes it easier to separate work and leisure.
How to pick the right furniture when you furnish your home office
Which furniture you choose has a great deal of influence on the functionality and comfort of your home office.
When the time comes for you to decide on your office furniture, it is important that you choose a design you like, without sacrificing functionality.
Certain pieces of furniture are a given when you furnish your home office for the first time.
Virtually all home offices require:
- A desk – preferably an elevation desk, so that you can adjust the height.
- A comfortable office chair – preferably an ergonomic chair.
- Appropriate lighting – both natural and artificial.
It can be a considerable expense for businesses and individual employees to invest in high-quality office furniture. At OMNI, we offer a flexible subscription solution that provides you with beautiful ergonomic office chairs, desks, and the most basic requirements you need to start building your ideal home office. Read more about how it works here.
If you are limited with regard to how much space you can allocate to a workstation, a smaller desk is often the right solution. We have made it a point to offer a fully adjustable and foldable desk, so you can save precious floor space, especially when not in use. This also allows you to “pack away your office” at the end of a working day.
If you have plenty of space, an electrically-powered adjustable elevation desk is one of the best investments you can make. It makes it easier for you to switch between various sitting or standing positions. This alleviates tensions in your joints and muscles. Ultimately, your body will thank you. Often such desks are not the most attractive things you may want to invite into your home, but we have created some very functional desks that look beautiful as well and have natural materials, such as oak and linoleum.
Besides the desk, we encourage you to invest in a comfortable and adjustable office chair.
Adequate lighting – natural and artificial
Natural lighting: be aware of the position and angle of sunlight
In order to get the best lighting for your home office, you should choose a room that offers plenty of natural light throughout the day.
Natural light is comfortable to work in and is less strenuous on the eyes. This is especially important if you sit in front of a screen for long extended periods of time throughout the day.
You should avoid placing your screen in the direct path of sunlight, as it can create irritating light reflections on your screen.
To create the optimal natural lighting, you should make considerations as to how the light enters your home office and what your work schedule is like:
- Sunlight from the south will be more plentiful during the winter – but less so in the summer.
- Windows facing the east or west are subject to the seasons, but will give you more light during the morning and afternoon.
- Northern-facing windows do not provide direct light, but rather a more diffused and smooth light, which will be moderate throughout the day.
You can rarely choose the orientation of your windows, but if you have the option to choose between several rooms or lighting angles, a window facing north or west will often give you the best natural light for work.
Lighting distribution: general lighting or task lighting?
It helps to have different light sources in your home office, as the lighting distribution can have a significant effect on your ability to concentrate.
When performing desk work, your eyes naturally wander to the most illuminated areas. Thus, it is important to light up the immediate area around your workstation. Here, the desk lamp that can make an important difference, especially when you spend long hours at your desk. Depending on how you work, it may be necessary to choose a lamp that can be adjusted both in height and angle. This is especially true if you need to do more than sit in front of your monitor and keyboard.
Moreover, it is also important to have evenly distributed lighting to smooth out any distracting external light sources from around your desk. General lighting – light that illuminates the entire room – is, for that reason, essential.
General lighting and task lighting should complement each other. In that way, you get ample lighting for all situations. You can read more about artificial lighting in the workplace from The Danish Working Environment Authority.
When you have found your ideal lighting distribution, it is a good idea to choose bulbs that provide adequate brightness. The Danish Consumer Council has created a short guide to choosing a bulb that provides the correct amount of brightness.