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7 Signs Your Home Office Needs Redesigning

17 April 2023

While the COVID-19 pandemic saw an explosion in the number of employees working from home, it also meant that many people without a proper dedicated home office had to cobble together something resembling an office with limited time to do so.

If you've been working from home for a couple of years and you're starting to notice the following signs, here's how to fix them.

1. You're Uncomfortable at Your Desk

One of the most common symptoms of a poorly designed home office is being uncomfortable at your desk.

If you don't feel like your body is in the right position while you're working or your desk isn't the right height, consider purchasing an ergonomic chair or a height adjustable desk. That way, you can set your desk to a height that's comfortable for you and complements the positioning of the rest of your furniture.  

2. Your Productivity is Suffering

If you find yourself at work feeling exhausted, unmotivated, or fatigued during work, your home office setup could be to blame. One thing to consider is whether your home office gets enough natural light.

Having access to natural light during the day can help you to feel more awake and motivated, so if your desk and chair are facing away from the window, swap their position so they're facing it.

If you don't have a window in your home office, invest in a lamp that mimics the look of natural light.

3. You're Sitting for too Long

Office work can lead to poor health if you don't take the time to exercise when you're not at your desk. If you're feeling the effects of a sedentary lifestyle, consider opting for a standing desk.

That way, you're not sitting for excessive periods of time, and you can even buy a small treadmill to fit under your desk to get your steps in while you work.

4. You Feel Distracted During Work

Being distracted for some of the working day is natural. After all, it's unrealistic to expect our brains to concentrate without any lapses in focus.

But if you find yourself distracted to the extent that it's affecting your work, this could point to too many distractions in your workspace. Too many distractions mean your home office needs decluttering, so invest in storage spaces to put the objects that are causing clutter in your office.

If you have any unnecessary papers, switch to digital. Keep as many personal items out of the office as possible, to ensure the space stays dedicated to working.

5. You're Unable to Switch Off

If you blur the lines between your home office and the rest of your home, you can find it difficult to switch off mentally at the end of the work day.

To avoid this issue, make sure you make clear separations between your home office and the rest of your property. Remove personal items from your home office and remove professional items from the rest of the home.

If your home office is part of another room such as your bedroom, consider installing a divider in the room so there's a clear cut-off between your work life and your personal life.

6. You Have Aches and Pains

Do you struggle with a sore back or other aches and pains, even when you're not sitting at your desk? Aches and pains can be the result of a workspace that's not supporting your body adequately.

By making some simple tweaks to your desk and other office furniture, you can make a workspace that's more comfortable, and therefore, results in fewer aches. Sit as close to your desk as possible keeping your head and spine upright, and your hands rested on your workplace at a 90-degree angle.

If the 90-degree angle is proving difficult, you'd benefit from a height-adjustable desk so you can have your desk at the right level at all times.

7. You're Lacking Space

If you find there's mess under your desk or not enough space to manoeuvre your office chair, it's likely your home office is lacking in space.

Remove as many items as from the room and store them elsewhere to create more space, while opening windows or adding mirrors can create the illusion of having more space and make you feel less cramped.

How Long Should I Spend on My Home Office?

There's no set rule on how long you should spend working on your home office, but if you use it daily, it's best to keep disruption to a minimum.

Instead of changing your home office all in one go, it might be a better idea to swap out certain pieces of decor or furniture one at a time, to prevent your workspace from being disrupted.

If your home office needs an entire overhaul, the process could take a few weeks, but it's worth it for a more comfortable working space in the long term.