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Create a home office you'll actually want to work in

Working from home can be very comforting, but does it run the risk of getting too comfortable for work? Yes it does. Many of us have our permanent offices at home, making it all the more essential to create a space that actually makes you want to work and increases your productivity. Here are some tips that will help you create that perfect office space at home:

1. Function first, beauty second

We know how tempting those beautiful DIY ideas on pinterest can get, but think about practicality before you set out doing up your home office. Upholstered chairs might look great but are too cozy for work and won't support your back during those long hours of desk work. Getting a cute vintage table is great for decor but won't accommodate all your work documents and files. You want to look at something bigger, with more drawers for storage. Even wall paint colors can be a disturbance if they're too bright, although they might look great in photographs. So strike the right balance between functionality and aesthetics.

2. Cut the clutter

A cluttered workspace decreases productivity and increases stress levels. Keep your work area neat and organized, with enough storage space to store all your papers, files, stationery and anything else that could potentially cause clutter if left out. A well-organized work space helps you think with a clear head and increases productivity.

3. Sunlight

Having enough ventilation automatically puts you in a positive frame of mind, thereby increasing productivity at your work place. Make sure your home office has ample windows to allow sunlight in during the day.

4. Good lighting

Apart from natural sunlight, you also need good lighting during the evenings in your work space. Use a spotlight from just below eye level to keep you from getting blinded by it. For larger work spaces, you could also use strip lighting under the shelves. At any point, your office space should receive ample light to help you work better.

5. Ergonomics is important

The top of your computer screen should be at or slightly below eye level. This is because, as you scroll down the screen, your eyelids would naturally close a little and get moist, hence reducing eye fatigue. Your keyboard should be placed such that your forearms are parallel to the floor. Your feet must rest on something when you sit on the chair, be it the floor or a foot rest. And of course, invest on a good chair that is both comfortable and ergonomically designed to not give you that back or neck pain.

6. Bring in the greenery

Although too many distractions in the decor are not recommended in an office space, potted plants are an exception. This makes your work space inviting and warm, and also makes it look attractive.

7. Power nap zone

If you're the kind who gets energized by a power nap or a quick coffee or magazine break, having a comfortable lounge chair or floor cushion within the confines of your office space will give you that added motivation. However, do not get tempted to make this your permanent work place.

Getting into the work zone at home requires just a little bit of thought and planning, and you can be rest assured of a personalized yet effective workspace.

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Newsletter - Feb 17