Are you one of the 45% of Bay Area residents working remotely from home? When the COVID-19 pandemic forced most of us out of traditional office buildings in March 2020, we never expected at-home work to last this long! But if you’re still working remotely full time, you may want to design a home office that helps you work effectively.
Here are the steps to design a home office in your Bay Area house:
Step 1: Find the best location for a home office.
Many house floor plans designate a bedroom or spare room as a home office, but this may not actually be the ideal location for your work station. We recommend choosing a spot in your home with:
- Few distractions — Consider the variables that end up distracting you most from your work. Some people get sidetracked by seeing dirty dishes that need to be cleaned; others are disturbed by dogs barking in the backyard. Choose a room (or section of a room) that is distraction-free.
- Noise-deadening features — Many remote workers are required to participate in video conference calls to stay connected with colleagues and clients, and echoing rooms can cause communication issues during these calls. You can offset these challenges by choosing a room with noise-deadening features, such as carpeting, a rug, upholstered furniture, window curtains, and wall art.
- A neutral background — If you join video conference calls, you also need to choose a space that offers a neutral background so you can avoid drawing viewers’ attention away from work conversations. For example, you may want to set up your work station so your back faces a clean sitting area or a lightly decorated wall.
Once you choose a good spot to set up your home office, it’s time to fill it with the furniture and tools you need.
Step 2: Invest in furniture that meets your body’s needs.
Most of us know what it feels like to get sore shoulders or a back cramp from sitting in an uncomfortable chair all day. But these aches and pains aren’t just annoying; they can have a real, negative impact on your work. We recommend investing in your body’s health and your quality of work by choosing home office furniture that meets your needs.
Physical therapy experts recommend you find:
- A desk with its surface at elbow level when you’re seated — If you already have a desk you love, find an office chair that can adjust to the height where your elbows are positioned at the desk’s surface level. This positioning allows you to have appropriate posture while seated.
- A desk or stand that allows you to stand for part of the work day — Switching between sitting and standing positions throughout the day helps “reduce the amount of strain and pressure you put on certain body parts for any length of time."
- A computer monitor stand that lets you position your screen — The ideal positioning for your computer monitor is about 15-30 inches away from your face, with the top of your screen at eye level. This set-up helps reduce eye strain and supports a healthy posture.
- An ergonomic desk chair — According to the University of Pittsburgh, your seat should be deep enough that you can sit comfortably and evenly distribute your weight, but not so deep that the edge catches behind your knees. When seated, you should be able to set your feet flat on the ground and feel a lumbar support in the chair’s back which fits to your lower back shape.
Investing in these important home office staples now can prevent all kinds of headaches (both literal and figurative) during your work day!
Step 3: Create a spot for “brain breaks.”
Did you know you can become more productive at work by taking a short break every 75-90 minutes? MIT lecturer Robert Pozen explains, “That’s the period of time where you can concentrate and get a lot of work done … When people do a task and then take a break for 15 minutes they help their brain consolidate information and retain it better.”
You can refresh your brain by setting up a section of your home office, like a book nook or snack space, that’s designated just for breaks. You may want to outfit this spot with:
- A recliner — We’re huge fans of adjustable recliners that can adapt to your mood or space needs. For example, the Fjords Modern Axel Recliner can be used as a regular chair or let you lean back with a fully extended footrest.
- A comfortable sofa — Our favorite type of workspace sofa is multifunctional, giving you a cozy spot to read, meditate, or even stretch out for a quick cat nap. Check out our Easton Sofa, Ryan Sofa, and Chandler Sofa for inspiration.
- A custom sectional — If you have a larger home office space, you may prefer a sectional to create a more relaxing, warm environment. Consider whether an L-shaped sectional (like our Angela Sectional), a chaise sectional (like our Carson Sectional), or a bumper chaise sectional (like our London Sectional) would work best in your home office.
When you find a Sofa Creations sofa or sectional you love, our designers can work with you to customize the dimensions to fit your office perfectly.
About Sofa Creations — California’s Custom-Made Furniture Company
We’ve been California’s most trusted family-run custom furniture company since 2010. We love working with clients like you to design the perfect custom-made sofa, sectional, or sleeper sofa for your home. Please contact us to learn more about our customization process, or visit us in San Francisco or San Rafael to see some of our favorite styles in person.