How many of you longed to work from home, but now that it’s a necessity, are suddenly finding you don’t have the right space or set-up? Or, even if you did work from home before, maybe you fancy updating your office area being you’re going to be spending a lot more time in it? If you’re fed up of balancing your laptop on the coffee table and hunching over your screen, now’s the time to carve out this work space and set up a dedicated spot from which to work.
Whether you’re converting your spare room into an office, making your living room into a dual-purpose area, or adding a piece of furniture to your bedroom that can be both desk and dressing table, there are a few things to think about…
Firstly, the desk area. How much room do you have – enough for a full-size luxurious desk, or hardly any, in which case a more compact model might be on the cards? Are you going to be working here for long periods? If not, maybe you might like a stand-up desk, which is said to reduce weight gain, blood sugar levels and back pain? Do you have a lot of paperwork to store, in which case you might need a desk that incorporates drawers? Ask yourself these key questions before you even begin to think about the style and design you might like.
Secondly, the chair… As much as you might want that cool Scandic-looking metal dining chair, if you’re going to be sitting at a screen for hours most days, then you may want to invest in something supportive and ergonomic. Luckily, the days of office chairs looking like something out of a corporate workplace are gone and most companies have raised the bar when it comes to the chair style stakes. Choose one that adjusts to the height you need it – too low and you can cause strain on your wrists, too high and you’ll put pressure on your neck and shoulders. Padded armrests, height and back tilt, and castors are all other features to look for.
Lighting is another factor. If your desk isn’t by a window or in a well-lit room, or you tend to do most of your working in the evening, then you’ll need a dedicated desk lamp to offer some light and help you avoid eye strain, without adding too much glare (something close to a 600-watt incandescent bulb is about right). You might also want to look at using a dimmer switch for your main light, so you can adjust the light throughout the day.
Then there’s storage. Consider what items you’re likely to store – will you need shelves for books, or drawers for files? Do you want a separate unit for storage, or would you prefer to have it as part of your desk?
Here’s a few extra tips for your initial set-up:
- Your screen should be around 20 inches (50cm) from your eyes – that’s about an arm’s length away.
- Your feet should be flat on the floor, and when sitting upright, your eyes should be roughly level with the top of your screen.
- If you don’t want the hassle of wires and cables, then opt for a Bluetooth mouse, keyboard and printer – or a smart desk, like the Bodie from Dunelm.
- Struggling for floor space? Think vertically and use wall-mounted desk and shelves instead. The more floor you can see, the more it creates the illusion of space.
Lastly, I’m going to leave you with my pick of five desks that are just that little bit different…