In an ultra-creative region like the Bay Area, tons of people work as freelancers or entrepreneurs instead of joining a corporate team. Owning your own business can be liberating and exciting, but one challenge is separating your work and home life enough that you can work productively without losing time for self care. Here are our tips for setting up a home office which can help you create the perfect balance:
Make sure your office complements a healthy lifestyle.
One advantage to having a home office is you get to control every piece of furniture you put in it! So make sure your furniture promotes physical health. Instead of buying a traditional, bulky desk, opt for one that can turn into a standing desk. Standing desks keep your blood flowing, which increases your creativity and problem solving skills, and also helps prevent weight gain.
At some point, your legs will get tired, so you’ll also want to choose a beneficial seating option. Try swapping out a normal straight-backed desk chair for a large yoga ball! Sitting on a ball encourages your body to wiggle throughout the day, so you aren’t sedentary. It also helps you sit up straighter, which strengthens your core and back muscles. Even if you can’t get on board with a yoga ball, at least consider a more ergonomic chair.
Embrace natural energizers.
It’s always a good idea to bring life back to the basics, and nature offers plenty of refreshing tools for your office. For example, natural light from the sun is one of the best means of waking up. Sunlight sends messages to your brain that it’s time to wake up and be active, and is also less harsh on your eyes than most lightbulbs. (Obviously we’re talking about indirect sunlight—you should never position your desk or window shades so your eyes in the direct line of the sun’s rays.) Make sure you angle your furniture based on the way sunlight enters the room so you can maximize its effects.
There are also lots of indoor potted plants you can incorporate in your office to help freshen the air. Spider plants have been found to not only improve your indoor air quality, but also to boost your mood at work. They’re also very easy to maintain. Lemon balm plants are another great option—they are also low maintenance, and they have a very fragrant, citrus-y scent which has been shown to improve mood.
And if you’re one of those people who likes to light candles or use air fresheners in every room, there are more natural methods you can use to keep your office smelling great. Many scented candles and air freshener brands include toxins and chemicals you shouldn’t be inhaling. Instead, try using reed diffusers with essential oils. This is a more environmentally friendly option, and many essential oils have therapeutic benefits such as help with concentration and de-stressing.
Create a separate ‘break space.’
Everyone needs to take breaks throughout the day—and not just for lunch! According to, we should be taking breaks every 75-90 minutes to help avoid burnout and exhaustion. Plus, these breaks allow our minds to soak in and retain new information instead of trying to cram in too much at once. But a break isn’t very helpful if you take it in the same place where you’ve been working all day, because your mind associates your desk and workspace as a place to be productive and active.
Designate a corner, or even half of your office, to be your break space. Choose anwhere you can prop up to read a book or lay down for a quick cat nap. Include a coffee table to hold some of your favorite guilty pleasure magazines and protein-filled snacks. Maybe even set up a little coffee station so you can prepare an afternoon pick-me-up!
The best part of this separate relaxation station is that it can serve the dual purpose of providing a space for you to meet with clients and collaborators. A sitting area is more casual and inviting than expecting someone to sit on the other side of your desk, and you won’t have to feel pressure to keep checking your computer screen every time a new email comes in.
Make your office all about you.
One of the greatest parts about having a home office is that it’s all yours! You don’t have to design it to meet anyone else’s standards—it’s all about what makes you work most effectively. So choose wall colors and art that makes you feel motivated. Pick storage options that help you hide the things which stress you out, like bright magazine files to hold your invoices or glossy cabinets to store your printer. And set up some bluetooth speakers to play your favorite background music while you work.
Need some help visualizing your office design or picking somefor your break space? one of our three locations in San Francisco, Redwood City, or San Rafael to try out our sofas and chairs in person with our helpful, no pressure team.