Somehow it didn’t dawn on me until this weekend to share some “best practices” in home office design. Duh, right? Here’s the deal, friends: When I set up ID8 Architecture two years ago, I created it with the thought that architecture can happen from anywhere, and that remote teams and flexible schedules are how we should be planning from day one. SO – this whole COVID-19 situation that has lots of folks working from home, and perhaps for the first time – honestly hasn’t changed THAT much of how our team works. I thought perhaps I’d give you a few tips on making the most of your home office space (in my professional recommended order of importance) and show you my own home office as an example!

 

1. Find a “home base”.

You need to create an area that is dedicated to working, and get it whipped into shape to help facilitate your productivity. It could be a corner of the basement, a guest bedroom, or a dedicated home office, but I’d strongly recommend you have the ability to close a door to avoid interruptions and distractions. If it has a window for a little daylight – even better. Keep it tidy so you aren’t distracted by mess.

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2. Get a great office/task chair.

I realize that not everyone has the budget for this, but get the best office task chair you can afford. Most employers spend between $400-$1000 on your chairs at the office, and the quality makes a big difference. Mine is a Steelcase Gesture chair from our friends at Interstate Office Products in Sioux Falls, SD, and it was Worth. Every. Penny. Yes – this is more important than your desk surface. In fact, for years I used an old door on some sawhorses for a desk, but darn it – I paid good money for this chair, its awesome ergonomic features and 25-year warranty. Worth. It.

3. Buy a monitor arm and external screen (better yet – do two if you can afford it and have the space).

Whatever you do: get your screens up, folks. You want your computer screen(s) at eye-level, and that typically means either set up on a raised platform, or a monitor-arm mounted to your desk. Our staff spaces at the office are all set up with docking stations and dual-monitor arms so that we aren’t hunched over a laptop screen with our shoulders rolled forward and our heads looking down. Trust me – you’ll spend less on chiropractic care by investing in the tools that give you the proper posture.

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Make sure your computer screen(s) at eye-level.

4. A standing-height desk base.

Y'all - seriously. These things are now only about $300 for the full-on electric base, so the research about how "sitting is the new smoking" NEEDS to matter to us. If you are physically able - you should be working toward standing for at least half of your workday. Yep. I said it. At. Least. Half. If you don't have space or resources for a full-on standing/height adjustable desk, get yourself a wood crate, or build a box to set on top of your seated workspace. Varidesk and several other companies also make desktop-mounted after-market models that are super affordable.

Ultimately, with these 4 big priorities for your office, we're telling you to put your physical health (posture and body alignment) and your ability to be productive and focused in a dedicated space at the top of the priority list. Organizations systems, filing, calendars, whiteboards - all of those things are secondary if we're being honest. So now it's your turn. Take a look at your current work-from-home space. What might be some easy switches to make in order to check a few more of the big four off this list for your home office?

Bonus tips!

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Cable management becomes pretty important when you have tiny office helpers who think cords are fun.

Note: I have not followed my own advice on this just yet, but it's high on my priority list to fix it this weekend.

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Storage is a huge part of my home office-whether filing or binders or books.

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