#wfh - meaning “working from home” for anyone not living in the bubble of social media at the moment, is trending – and in a big way. Before the Australian Government’s coronavirus recommendations that anyone who can work from home, should work from home, the concept of #wfh has been gaining considerable traction.

While the idea of working from home might be foreign to some, there are plenty of benefits. Parents can spend more time with their kids, you’re not susceptible to office distractions, you won’t be battling the morning traffic, and let’s face it – who doesn’t love to spend the day working in pyjamas and uggs.

However, it’s vital that you set up a home workspace that allows for productivity, and meets the standards you’re accustomed to in your usual office building. With a little guidance, setting up an inspiring office space is pretty simple. Here are our top tips for creating the perfect workspace in your home. 

Buy an ergonomic chair

 
A minimalist white desk and office chair
A stylish brown leather chair with a chrome finish

There’s a good reason that a good quality office chair should be the first thing on your list. We cannot stress the importance of having a legitimate desk chair at home, especially when working long hours. When buying an office chair, go for the ergonomic option that has an 8 hour+ recommending sitting time, as well as AFRDI certification. Try retailers like Officeworks, Ikea or even online at Amazon.

Look for a chair with increased adjustability – height, tilt, seat slide, lumbar support and armrests can all be adjusted to ensure you have the correct posture while working. Your back, neck and shoulders will thank you later.

The ideal sitting position in an office chair is:

  • Feet flat on the floor
  • Thighs parallel to the floor
  • Hips slightly above your knees
  • Arms at a 90-degree angle to the desk
  • Your back maintains contact with the backrest of the chair

Ensure your screens are at the right height


A young man sitting at his desk with a monitor and laptop riser

Adjusting your screen height is another piece of advice that’s important for your posture. It’s all well and good to have a chair that puts your back in the right position, but if your monitors are causing you to look up, down or to the side, it’s won’t be good for your neck. If you work on a laptop, you can buy a laptop riser to make sure that it sits at the right height (please don't DIY this with books). We also recommend that you head out and purchase a mouse and keyboard. Although your laptop has a keyboard and trackpad, using these for hours at a time rounds your shoulders and results in poor posture.

If you’re working on monitors, your screen will be a little easier to adjust. You can simply raise and lower these as you need to. Your eye level should hit the top of your monitor if you look directly ahead. You don’t want to be spending your weekends at the physio!

Allow natural light into the room


A Metricon home office where the desk is up against the window looking out to some greenery

Some people thrive working under cover of darkness, however, we recommend that your home office be filled with as much natural light as possible. This won’t be a problem if you’re living in a new Metricon home, as we love light-filled spaces! An unobstructed window to the great outdoors can help you avoid eyestrain and is even known to boost your mood … you are at work after all.

If natural light isn't possible for your location, invest in a good desk lamp with a cool tone, LED bulb to keep your working space bright for long periods.

MORE: WINDOW DESIGN - YOUR CHOICE HAS A BIG IMPACT

Control your clutter


A desk tidy storing pens, coins, keys headphones and a calendar

It’s easy to lose track of paperwork, notes and ideas when you work in a cluttered environment. Fortunately, some great organisational tools will keep your desk and office neat and tidy. We recommend:

  • Pen cups to keep pens, pencils, highlighters, markers and fine liners off your desk space
  • An in-tray to keep loose documentation you need to follow up nearby
  • Document boxes, ring binders or expansion files for added storage space
  • Magazine folders to store notebooks, textbooks, display books and more
  • Plenty of labels – so you know where and what everything is
  • A filing cabinet, if space permits - especially if you're an accountant, lawyer or draftsperson

Don’t get caught up in the tech craze

 

A home office cluttered with too much technology
There is so much technology available on the market that promises to make working from home a breeze, but don’t feel the need to rush out and grab noise-cancelling headphones, a cutting-edge smartphone, an 128 TB hard drive, an Apple iPad, a Google Home device and a Bluetooth headset right away. That's too many gadgets, and it will drive the cost of creating your space way up. Think about what you really need to be successful at your job.


While printers have long been a staple of offices, having a home office might be an excellent opportunity to go green and move to a paperless business. 

You will want a strong internet connection though. #wfh can come to a screaming halt if your wi-fi keeps dropping out. There's nothing worse than being on an important call when your MacBook or Dell drops out.

If you take calls frequently, a headset is a perfect plugin for your mobile phone so that you can efficiently work handsfree while chatting. Logitech and Jabra both make high-quality options for home office space. It’s better for your posture too – no more leaning your head to your shoulder to pin your phone in place. Who needs VoIP when we have mobile devices.

MORE: SMART HOME TECHNOLOGY TRENDS IN 2020

Get the right desk in the right space 


A wooden desk in a well lit Metricon display home.

There are lots of options when it comes to choosing a desk. Making the correct choice all comes down to how much room you have and how much storage you need. Firstly, you need to consider the space where you’ll be working – we recommend that your desk faces out a window so that you have something to gaze out at when you’re lost in thought. If that’s not an option, hang some artwork or pictures of loved ones, so you’re not staring at a blank wall!

Once you’ve measured up where your desk will go, it’s essential to choose the right desk for your space. There are plenty of options: 

  • 3 drawer desks are a standard option for home offices – they have three drawers on the left or the right for extra storage, with the bottom drawer designed to store suspension files
  • Hutch desks are great for spaces that need extra room in smaller areas as they have drawers on the side and storage above your head
  • L-shaped desks are designed for anyone who wants their office in a corner, making use of the space that is on both sides
  • Standing desks allow you to work on your feet throughout the day, with both hydraulic and electric versions, so they’re easy to raise and lower
  • Gaming desks are not just for play – they often have handy features like a headset holder, drink bottle holder and lots of cable management options

Think about the environment 


A Metricon home office with some plants on the desk and shelves

We mentioned the idea of going paperless above, but there are other ways you can create an environmentally friendly workspace that will also help to keep your power bills down. Some easy wins are ensuring that you turn the lights off when you leave the room and power down your computer when you’re done for the day.

Installing LED power saver lights is a great option too – but if you work in a well-lit room, you might not even need to switch the lights on at all. Having a recycling bin as well as a rubbish bin is an excellent way to be environmentally conscious and make sure your waste goes to the right place. Opt for recycled products when you can – when it comes to office supplies a lot of the time you can’t tell the difference! Finally, if you have a green thumb, get yourself a desk plant! They look great, make you feel more relaxed and help to purify the air in your room.

MORE: EIGHT OF THE BEST LOW-MAINTENANCE INDOOR PLANTS

Give yourself a comfy space


A nice mineral-themed office with a comfy chair to the side

While you’ll be getting the bulk of your work done from your desk, it’s nice to have a second spot in your work environment for a change of scenery. While this is often overlooked, adding a comfy chair or ottoman creates an area to relax and brainstorm ideas, read through documents and paperwork or even take Skype calls. If you were in a large office, you’d have breakout zones and meeting rooms, so why shouldn’t you have the same office furniture options at home if space permits? Just don’t get too comfy reading those reports… just because no one can see you sleeping at work doesn’t mean you should.

Solutions for small spaces


A study nook tucked in around a corner

Not everyone has the luxury of having an extra room in their home to utilise as a study. That’s why we’re a little bit obsessed with implementing study nooks into our designs at the moment. An office doesn’t need to be shut off behind a closed door or take up an entire room – it can be in the corner of your living room, tucked under the stairs or built into the side of a hallway. We like to cleverly design our nooks into what would be wasted space in a different home… not to throw shade at our competitors…

Nooks are such a versatile space – some people even have theirs set up for doing their makeup, live-streaming and vlogging or completing arts and crafts. We could sing their praises all day, but instead, why don’t you get inspired by our image gallery for more home office ideas and shots of built-in computer desks.
 
If you follow along with our guidelines for creating the perfect home office, you’ll be sure to see productivity and comfort increase in your home. Working from home is a great concept, and we think that we’ll see more and more Australian’s move towards this way of working into the future. 

If you’re looking for more interior design or style inspiration, visit one of our award-winning display homes, or check out our style gallery, where you can save and organise all your favourite Metricon home designs