Home office layouts that look amazing and are good for your body too

25 September, 2020
Home office layouts - Scott Frances

Working from home is becoming a longer-term proposition so home office layouts are increasingly a consideration for families and professionals. Getting it right will help make you feel good, be more productive and avoid injury.  

Earlier in 2020 when COVID-19 began, most people thought they might be working from home for a few weeks. Or maybe even a few months. But as the pandemic continues, it’s increasingly important to set up properly at home and adapt to new ways of living and working. 

So our interior stylist Lauren Keenan has put together her top tips for functional home office layouts. And we’ve got expert advice from Ethos Health Physiotherapist Chris Morton to help you avoid common working from home injuries. 

It’s all in this episode of our award-winning home, lifestyle and interior design podcast At Home with Lauren Keenan. Stream the show here now or listen in your favourite podcast app like Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

ELIMINATING BARRIERS TO PRODUCTIVITY

Firstly, there are physical and mental barriers to productivity. And Lauren says accepting that you are working from home for the foreseeable future will help you adapt. 

“There’s the temptation to do other things like cleaning or watching TV, when you should be working. Homeschooling could be distracting, particularly if you live in Victoria and you’ve been affected by recent lockdowns. Or you might just like being in the office and separating work and home,” Lauren said.

“Physical barriers can be challenging as well. Like sharing your workspace with a spouse, children or flatmates. Or you may not have a designated work area, especially hard in apartments and small homes.

“We need to remember not to be too hard on ourselves. It’s different for everybody. Determine what works for you and your family and accept that things are different, and that’s OK.”

TIPS FOR HOME OFFICE LAYOUTS

At the start of the pandemic, there was a huge rush on home office furniture. But supplies have replenished and there are plenty of stylish and functional options for your home office layouts.

“When you know what you are using the space for, you can create a comprehensive list of what you need in your study. This includes technology and hardware, storage, the type of seating and the size of the workspace. 

“If budget allows, custom cabinetry is a great option for your home office layouts. Having something made specifically for your space means it’s going to function exactly as you need. This is particularly important if you are running a small business from home.

“Although a study is essentially a workspace, I like to make sure the design is in keeping with the look and feel of the rest of your home. And include soft furnishings like a comfortable occasional chair, cushions, throws and artwork, if space allows. It will help to make it an enjoyable place to work. 

Think about including plants which are great for purifying the air and greenlife also makes you feel good. Read more about why plants are great at home in our post ‘Styling with plants will bring your home to life’.

HOW TO SET UP SAFELY WHEN WORKING FROM HOME

We spoke to Chris Morton from Ethos Health and he recommends some key items for safe working at home. 

These include a fully adjustable chair, a monitor that is separate from your laptop and at an adequate height so your neck isn’t bending down, a separate mouse and keyboard and a headset or headphones if you are on the phone a lot.

Chris says your wrists and elbows need to be at the same height and parallel to the floor. And the best way to achieve this is with a chair that is fully adjustable for height and tilt. 

“Almost everyone who is working from home has previous experience working from home but it’s previously been an ad-hoc nature. Catching up on emails after hours, meeting a deadline on the weekend or a few hours at home when the kids are sick. These are short-term scenarios,” Chris said.” 

“A lot of people are going to be working from home until the end of the year, at least. So if you’re spending a significant amount of time at home, it makes sense to set up as well as you can to make sure you’re comfortable, happy and productive. If you’re working in an environment that is not conducive to your comfort, you’re less likely to be productive. 

“You don’t need to go completely overboard and refit your entire house. You can find ingenious solutions using common items around the house and manage to set up a safe, comfortable work station that works for you.”

If you don’t have the right equipment, Chris recommends asking your employer. He says health and safety is a shared responsibility between the employer and employee. Find out more or contact Chris at ethoshealth.com.au.

LAUREN’S LOVELY LIST

Here are the links for Lauren’s Lovely List recommendations in this episode of the podcast:

  • Be more creative in your next renovation with wallpaper and check out Melbourne’s Natty and Polly for some incredible designs; 
  • Follow Lauren Freestone on Instagram for some incredible contemporary Indigenous art.
MORE ABOUT OUR PODCAST AT HOME WITH LAUREN KEENAN

This episode of the podcast is supported by leading Sydney real estate agent Ercan Ersan, who you can trust to connect you with the property that’s right for your lifestyle. 

Our award-winning interior design podcast, hosted by Sydney interior stylist Lauren Keenan, is now in its fifth year. Lauren and Producer Scott are helping you to adapt to new ways of doing things during the pandemic. And we want to keep helping you create a home you love.  

Upcoming guests include cookbook author and writer Olivia Andrews from Marley Spoon and Grace McBride from Spend with Them.   

Get in touch if you have a topic you want us to talk about on At Home with Lauren Keenan. Rate and review the show on Apple Podcasts. And subscribe in your favourite podcast app like Spotify or iHeartRadio so you never miss an episode. 

And if you need help creating your perfect home, email lauren@laurenkeenan.com.au. It could be for building a new home, renovating your existing property or updating your favourite room. Find out more about the services offered at Lauren Keenan Home and check out Lauren’s portfolio of work for inspiration. And thanks for listening!

Featured image by photographer Scott Frances


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