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Nine home office improvements to make WFH a breeze


Working from home is trending in a big way. Even before the global pandemic, employers were using flexible work arrangements to appeal to a broader talent pool, and the concept was gaining traction around the corporate world. Now, #WFH has become a reality for the majority of office workers.

Working from home offers plenty of benefits. Without having to commute, workers are reclaiming hours lost in their day as well as hundreds of dollars spent on travel, coffees and work clothes. Parents can have a presence at home with their kids throughout the day, and many employees say they are more productive without the everyday office distractions.

But if productivity is a concern for you, you will set yourself up for tremendous success with a home office setup that 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.

1. Buy an ergonomic chair

A good quality office chair should be the first thing on your list. Go for the ergonomic option that has an 8 hour+ recommended sitting time, as well as AFRDI certification. Retailers like Officeworks, IKEA or Amazon are a smart place to start or have a Google for more bespoke options. Look for a desk 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. 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, with your back maintaining contact with the backrest of the chair.

2. Ensure your screens are at the right height

Regardless of how good your chair is, adjusting your screen height is also vital for good posture. If you work on a laptop, you can buy a laptop stand to make sure it sits at the right elevation.

Excessive use of your laptop's keyboard and mouse track could round your shoulders and give you poor posture, so you may also want to purchase an individual mouse and keyboard. If you're working on monitors, you can reach behind and raise and lower your screens as you need to. Your eye level should hit the top of your monitor if you look directly ahead.

3. Allow natural light into the room

Some people thrive working under cover of darkness, but an open window to the great outdoors can help you avoid eyestrain and is even known to boost your mood.

Choose a desk space 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! Of course, 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.

4. Control your clutter

It's easy to feel flustered or disorganised when you work in a cluttered environment. Fortunately, there are plenty of great organisational tools that will keep your desk and office tidy.

Buy some cups to keep your pens, highlighters and markers off your desk. Depending on how much paperwork you work with, consider an in-tray, document boxes or filing cabinets to keep the piles at bay. Be sure to use plenty of labels for easy navigation.

5. Don't go overboard on technology

With so much smart technology on the market, promising to make working from home a breeze, it can be tempting to spend a fortune on the ultimate setup. But technology can also be a distraction, so think about what you really need to be successful at your job. Priority number one should be a strong internet connection. #wfh can come to a screaming halt if your wi-fi keeps dropping out during important calls.

Lowest on the rank should be a printer, as now could be the perfect opportunity to go green and become a paperless business. If you take calls frequently, wireless bluetooth earphones like Apple AirPods could be the ideal addition for you.

6. Get the right desk in the right space

Making the correct choice of desk 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 – try to face out a window or some artwork so that you have something to gaze out at. Once you've measured up where your desk will go, it's essential to choose the right structure for your space.

Hutch desks and 3-drawer desks are great for those who need more storage space. You can also get L-shaped desks for corners, and don't forget standing desks, which you can raise and lower so you can work on your feet when you feel like it.

7. Think about the environment

We mentioned the idea of going paperless before, 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 — LED power saver bulbs are best — and power down your computer when you're done for the day.

In addition to your rubbish bin, allocate a separate compartment for paper waste, and buy recycled products where 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.

8. Give yourself a comfy space

While you'll be getting the bulk of your work done from your desk, it's nice to have a second spot in your office area for a change of scenery. Adding a comfy chair or ottoman will create a space to brainstorm ideas, read through documents or take 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.

9. Solutions for small spaces

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 home 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.

Nooks are such a versatile space – some people have theirs set up for applying their makeup, live-streaming, vlogging or doing 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. With more and more Australians working from home, improvements to your home office could be a valuable investment.

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.