How to set up your home office
8 April 2020
As more of us make the shift to working from home to do our bit to #stopthespread and #flattenthecurve, we’ve found ourselves using our lounge rooms, dining tables and even kitchen islands as temporary work stations, however these aren’t equipped to be long term solutions (in case we’re looking at a much longer lockdown).
So, how do you set up a workspace at home, a place where we usually relax? Well, firstly you’ll need a solid work desk (sorry, the arm of your sofa doesn’t count!), the height of our computer screen should meet your eye level, you need a comfortable and adjustable chair and you have to ensure the space is free from distractions. But the most important element is lighting.
Lighting plays an important role in setting up a successful home office and working in a poorly lit space can lead to eye strain, stress and headaches which can impact your productivity and motivation. But don’t let that worry you, we’re here to help and make it less complicated!
While natural daylight is king, if your study doesn’t have windows or if your desk is positioned far from one, do not fear, desk lamps will rescue you! But before you get all excited and load your work desk with lamps, look out for glare. There are two types of glare, direct and reflected and both can be extremely harsh on delicate eyes. Common culprits of reflected glare come from computer monitors and glossy tabletops, while direct glare can be caused by lamps or overhead lights that are simply in the wrong position. To correct glare, we recommend a few simple tips.
- Choose task lighting like a desk lamp over ambient overhead lighting when working. A lamp will illuminate the documents you’re reading, your keyboard or your notebooks while preventing excessive light from reflecting off your computer screen.
- Choose a lamp with a shade or adjustable arm. Shades diffuse light preventing direct glare from hitting your eyes.
- When positioning your lamp, the bottom of the shade or the lamp head should be at the same height as your chin and it should be placed to the side slightly behind your computer screen.
Ok, so you’ve got a lamp and you’ve positioned it to reduce glare, now let’s talk about globes, colour temperature and brightness. As the day progresses, you’ll find that one colour temperature doesn’t suffice. A bright, cool light keeps you alert and supports your concentration during the day, however as you continue working into the evening, switching to a warmer light is advisable to minimise impact on your sleeping patterns.
So we highly recommend choosing desk lamps that are LEDs; can shift between cool white, warm white and daylight colour temperatures; and are dimmable – like our Terrence, Ikon or Nero. Alternatively, using a smart globe with a complete colour spectrum (RGB) will also help.
Lighting doesn’t have to be serious. Now that we have the most important elements of your office set up, it’s time to have some fun with layered lighting! To complete your home office and make it #instagramworthy, try these ideas:
- Add a floor lamp like our Emmerson, Louie, or Nevada to the corner of your room for extra ambient light and as a decorative feature.
- Add LIFX strip lighting behind your computer monitor. Placing light behind your screen not only illuminates the surrounding space of your computer but also reduces eyestrain during the evening. Plus, you can use the LIFX app to change the colour of your strip light to any one of 16 million colours! A great way to have some fun while you work!
- Add a Himalayan salt lamp to your workspace. It helps purify the air and, in our experience, helps us feel calm when work pressure builds up.
Remember, setting up a home office doesn’t need to be hard. Investing in an LED lamp or smart globe is the most affordable way to reduce eye strain, maximise your productivity and improve your mood. If you’d like one-on-one help setting up your home office, book a virtual Design Studio consultation with one of our expert lighting designers!