Office @ home

The storage space running around the table-top is what makes Emko’s My Writing Desk, designed by Inesa Malafej, so special. It reduces the clutter by providing a place to put books, documents and other office material

The home office is regarded as the workplace of the future. However, to avert any negative impact on your motivation and well-being, it needs to be furnished in a professional and comfortable fashion.

It’s just turned 8 am, and the morning news programme is on the radio. Dad is dropping his son at school on the way to work. Mam switches off the radio, picks up her mug of coffee and goes into her office in the adjoining room. She works from home and maintains contact with her company via the internet. Like 4.7 million others in Germany, she’s a teleworker. According to a recent study carried out by the German Institute of Economic Research, a third of all employees would prefer to work from a home office.

But regardless of whether you’re teleworking, self-employed or freelance, you’ll soon find that the kitchen table is inadequate for your purposes. Even those who only work at home occasionally will quickly realise they need a home office worthy of the name. What’s more, people who spend lengthy periods of their leisure time at their computer are also well advised to ensure that their ancillary equipment is of suitable quality.

Stylish and ergonomically correct
In cases where the office is immediately adjacent to the kitchen, furnishing it in an attractive yet practical way is more important than ever. Home offices like these need to blend in perfectly with the other rooms, provide optimum working conditions and preferably offer a degree of flexibility. After all, pleasant surroundings definitely impact the work being done – making people more creative and effective. Particularly important are investments to ensure the well-being of the eyes and back. When choosing an office chair, attention must be paid to both quality and ergonomic factors.

There’s a simple formula to apply when trying out the chair: when you’re in the ideal sitting position, there are right angles at your elbows, hips, knees and ankles. A good chair is adaptive, allows dynamic movement thanks to a synchronised mechanism, and is height-adjustable. The backrest should support the lower back and extend right up to the shoulder blades.

Make sure the working area lighting is good
Just as much attention should be paid to the lighting. Bright, glare-free and reflection-free ceiling floodlights are the optimum choice for work lighting – combined with desk lamps that can pivot and swivel in accordance with requirements. Working next to a window not only gives you daylight, it may also provide an inspiring view. In this case, sunshades are an additional recommendation.

To protect the eyes, a computer screen should be between 50 and 60 centimetres from the user’s face. Placing the screen at a right angle to the window eliminates any glare and reflections. Using cable organisers and having an adequate number of power sockets helps avoid tangled cables and tripping hazards.

Tuck your desk away from disturbing influences
An ideal working environment is bright, friendly and comfortable. A home office is regarded as the way to go in achieving a better balance between family, leisure time and career. But there is also a danger of simply merging everything into one, bringing the possibility of frequent distractions and the risk of self-exploitation. If you’re lucky, you’ll have a separate room you can use as an office (and is deductible for tax purposes). Here, you can simply close the door on noisy children, dirty plates and enticing snacks.

The not-so-lucky should try to screen off their working area, and room dividers are the best means of doing this. Cabinets or bookcases that are accessible from both sides are a great method of separating different areas of a room. When your home office is part of the living room or bedroom, you can opt for a space-saving desk solution that can be easily hidden away.

An article by Tanja Müller

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