Interior design firm Studio 19’s Mia Widlake is a past master at nailing down the details. As working remotely has become imperative for the present, and is likely to become more commonplace well into the future, even post COVID-19 as the world shifts, we asked her for some useful tips to set yourself up in your own home office.
Having a chair and desk of the right height seems like an obvious tip, but without them you’ll end your productive day with sore shoulders, and back and hips thrown out by sitting hunched uncomfortably. A table with a height of 720-750mm and a chair that is height adjustable will work a treat. If you work on a desktop raise your screen by 10-15cm so that you’re looking straight ahead and not putting strain on your neck.
When looking for a spot around the house to set your desk up consider the light. Facing a window can cause eye strain and a headache come the end of the day, so try to find a spot that allows some side light – also far better than back light for team conference calls.
Size doesn’t matter
Your workspace does not have to be big – some of the best spots to work in are the smallest. You could set your office up inside a cupboard – just remove the doors, use one of them as a desktop and you’ve got yourself an office nook. Decorate with a desk lamp and some art and it’s now a chic recessed retreat.
Sound, or lack thereof, is a big one while working from home. It can either be deathly silent or way too noisy to be productive – neither is ideal. Have music or podcasts streaming if you’re all alone to break the silence, and to counter noise (until Studio 19 rolls out its perfectly insulated Homework pods), opt for noise-cancelling headphones.
Just like your wardrobe or home, your workspace should reflect your likes and tastes. A favourite vase with foraged greenery or a small piece of art or cherished photograph will go a long way to make it feel more personal. If you’re a working mom or find yourself more productive in the early mornings or late nights have a candle or desk lamp with a warm white bulb for a comforting glow.