La Belle Maison is an interior design firm with offices in Vienna, Dubai and Delhi. The concept of La Belle Maison is to bring global design to you, wherever you are. With interior designers and architects based all around the globe, the innovative design ideas and concepts are endless. This week we’re talking about designing your very own home office as it’s a space at home that needs to be well designed in order to promote efficiency in a non-traditional work environment. Whether you are trying to fit in a small desk or a fully loaded workstation at home, it’s important for it to be aesthetically pleasing and ergonomic. If you these three right then you’re on your way to having an office at home that’s not only a place where you’re productive but also a place that you don’t mind being in because after all, your home office may become one of the most used spaces in your home.
In this article we’ll be speaking about the aesthetics of a home office, how to make your home office fit right in at home, and the ergonomics of the furniture you use in the space.
Denis Orsat, Co-Founder of La Belle Maison and Head Designer has been spending a lot of his time working from home due to the pandemic, so he sat down and put together his top tips on making the dedicated workspace in your home one that will encourage you to burn the midnight oil.
#1 DEALINEATE THE SPACE
It is important to visually sperate your home office from your relaxing space. Even if you don’t have a specific room for your home office, dedicate a little corner of your bedroom or living room and try to delineate it, for instance in painting the wall behind the desk in a color. Alternatively, a decorative screen can help conceal your work area and will add some more features to your living area.
#2 CHOOSE THE RIGHT COLOR PALETTE
Go for blues and greens, the colors most found in nature. These colors have been proven to decrease stress levels, creating a calming work environment. Avoid bright or high contrast colors which can be a strain for the eyes. So my tip, pick one gorgeous hue and paint all the wall surfaces with it.
#3 THE IMPORTANCE OF GREENERY
When you are taking your eyes off your screen, it is important to look at something relaxing. Adding some greenery will help you to keep your calm and stay productive! Also, greenery in the office is thought to increase productivity and creativeness by 6% and it’s also known to boost morale. Whether it’s a small desk plant if you don’t have too much space or a bigger pot plant in the corner, it’s a must when it comes to home offices.
#4 LAYER THE LIGHTS
It is crucial to provide enough light sources to reduce eye strain, Desktop lighting in addition to overhead ambient lighting will create the proper light levels needed to have a comfortable work environment.
Moreover, it is important to have appropriate lighting for each task: reading print documents versus looking at the screen. It will also help prevent eye strain. The lightbulbs should have a warm color to provide a cozy atmosphere for reflection and productivity. Candles are always nice!
#5 THINK OF BACKGROUNDS FOR YOUR CONFERENCE CALLS
For your conference calls (with Zoom, Google hangouts or other) it is always good to think of good background that will appear behind you during your calls. Think of a calming and interesting wallpaper to be placed behind your desk. It can even cover closet doors to transform your storage into a stage for your conference calls!
La Belle Maison is an authorized dealer of Tecnografica wallcoverings. Tecnografica Italian Wallcoverings offers wallpaper and decorative panels furnishing elements. Pieces of furniture with high artistic and decorative coefficient, that mix together design and technology; a constant trademark of the company.
In order to stay focused, you should regularly unclutter your desk. Old files, coffee cups should be removed before you start working. Organize an appropriate storage system, have enough office supply and manage your cables well!
Now that we’ve spoken about the tips on how to make a well-designed home office, let’s talk about the world of ergonomic furniture. We’re going to look more closely at what makes furniture ergonomic and the harm office furniture does to our body if it’s not adaptable to our individual bodies. And because we’re redesigning our home office, we have the freedom to choose our own ergonomic furniture that fits us just right.
Dr. Kraft, Orthopedic Doctor and Author sat down with us and gave us some insight into why ergonomic furniture is so important for your dedicated workspace. He’s given us some tips and we’re all listening as our health is our top priority. Seeing as we spend 8+ hours in the office every day sitting down (most of the time), we thought it would be beneficial to all of us to shed some light on how to make your day sitting down working a healthy one.
So without further ado, let’s get well informed by Dr. Alexander Kraft on the effects that ill-designed office furniture has on the body.
“Due to changes in the world of work, jobs that still require physical activities in the workplace on a day-to-day basis are steadily decreasing. There is a massive increase in computer activity these days that requires sitting for 8 hours per day or even longer. The risk of getting diseases caused by sedentary activities in the workplace is still not treated with the same importance as the risk to suffer from other work-related diseases or injuries, we’re spending more hours at our desk now, more than ever, so diseases are arising from being desk-bound for hours.
However, there are ways in which we can ensure that we don’t get sedentary related diseases while being at work. Particularly for seated activities, the main focus is on the right workplace. For example, an adjustable work chair that can be adjusted to the proportions of the body height, along with an adjustable and tiltable work surface is already a good start. When it comes to the positioning of the screen, this is crucial. One should make sure that the position of your computer screen, the keyboard, and the field of vision are aligned in one axis along with the center of the body, while arms and shoulders remain relaxed. The forearms should be supported by the elbows, which in turn will support the wrists too. For this reason, the keyboard cannot be at the same level as the tabletop. Alternatively, height-adjustable standing desks with movable and adjustable stools, for spinal support also are a good option when having to work hours on end.
Balance balls or rocking stools with a sloping seat and knee support have a strengthening effect of the back muscles and can be used as a training device, so to speak. Although those devices are only recommended when sitting for a short amount of time, let’s say a max of 60 minutes. So they are ideally used to take a break from the regular seated position. However, overuse of these balance balls and rocking stools could possibly lead to overstretching of the spine, so this should not be the all day, every day seated position, but definitely a good deviation of position for an hour here and there throughout the workday.
Summarizing the above points, we can see that it’s most essential for the individual to be able to adjust their workplace seating arrangement to suit them, as we all have different body types and heights. The most important measures are height-adjustable tables, work surfaces where the inclination can be adjusted, height-adjustable chairs, and an adjustable seat with lumbar support that also has a headrest.
Now let’s have a look at what a not-so-good workstation could look like and the implications on the user’s health. A table which is too high with a chair which is too low. This does not lead to a relaxed posture as the shoulders will be raised and the forearms must be actively bent in the elbow as tensioning of the forearm muscles leads to tension in the neck muscles and that ultimately results in headaches. This also means that the screen will not be at eye-level, so the focus will either be too low or too high, again, this leads to more headaches and when looking at the screen at a slant, this also causes one-sided headaches. This is just the immediate effects, in the long run, this false posture can lead to severe back problems.”
With your very own home office we have the power to pick and choose furniture that suits our specific needs, so now that you’ve read what Dr. Kraft has to say, keep these points in mind when you’re out looking at what furniture is best to buy for your office! After all, a happy body is a happy mind.
We’re picked out som ergonomic seating options. Height adjustment and tilt mechanism for relaxed sitting. Ergonomics and comfort combined to form a functional and aesthetically pleasing design.
La Belle Maison is currently renovating an apartment in Vienna, Austria. The construction is underway and we’ve incorporated a fully functional home office in a dedicated space to suit the needs of the homeowners.
A fully functional beautiful office with furniture to match that will increase productivity and keep your body in the right position, that’s what we’re going for. Now more than ever we’re seeing a rise in home office renovations as people are having to adjust their work-life to suit the new normal.
Get in touch with us at La Belle Maison. We have offices in Vienna, Dubai and Delhi.