Healthy Home Office Environment
An organised and tidy home office is a great motivational place to work when you're working from home on your start up home business. You also need to ask yourself if it’s a healthy environment to spend your entrepreneurial days fighting business challenges and celebrating your successes.
Rosalind Brookman took some time out from her freelancing day (working in her own home office) to look at a few of the common issues facing home based businesses who really do want to ensure they create and maintain a healthy and happy home working environment.
It’s probably something you don’t give much thought to, mainly because you're looking down at your new business start up plans and not up at the ceiling, but the wrong lighting, and indeed the wrong lighting levels can really affect you. Headaches and eye strain come from working in unhelpful light, and fatigue will also kick in if you’re squinting through a glare on your computer screen.
If you are lucky enough to have a window in your home office then the light from that (apart from in the murky British winter weather!) will often be enough to let you work efficiently. When you find yourself peering through the gloom and trying to focus on what you’ve been writing on your notepad then it’s time to switch the artificial lights on.
Instead take a look at our member's rooms with views.
You want a bright, but not too bright, overhead light illuminating your work area in general, ensure you’re positioned so your shadow doesn’t fall across your desk. (You might want to consider using LED light bulbs - greener and cheaper in the long term!)
On top of this a good idea is to have an angled desk lamp focusing on the area you are actually working in.
Some home business entrepreneurs report to iHubbub's home business community that they like to find a quiet area either in their home office corner or somewhere else so they can brainstorm ideas on how to market their new online business start up. If this is you, you may want to sit in a dark corner only partly lit to send you into an almost slumbering mood to get your creative juices flowing.
Our final thoughts on lighting, do ensure that your keyboard is well lit. If you are constantly asking your eyes to look from a bright screen to a keyboard in darkness it will give you a headache, and strain your eyes as well.
If your desk is too small to adequately fit a lamp on, try an angled floor lamp close by instead.
Consider Your Furniture
How and where you sit in your home office is important to your wellbeing, so stand back and take a look at your existing set up.
Firstly, are you sitting comfortably? Your chair should be sturdy with a full back support. It should be raised high enough so that your feet are placed flat on the floor, your arms can rest horizontally on your desk and your eyes are level with the top of your computer screen.
Secondly, which way is your home office desk positioned? Staring at a blank wall is not going to induce feelings of creativity in anybody, so why do so many home workers insist on placing their desk facing one? Turn it round!
You'll benefit from the extra feeling of space as you work, and the more interesting view will be increase your motivation. Have a look at our Home Office Feng Shui Guide for more tips!
Introduce Some Greenery
Prince Charles speaks to them, so we think every home business owner should have a couple of house plants in their office to chat with for inspiration!
Let's hope this is not you ...
Seriously however, not only do plants provide warmth and colour to a room, they also bring substantial health benefits. A NASA study reported that plants placed on windowsills were able to remove 87 per cent of air toxins in 24 hours, and they can even reduce stress, fight colds and stop headaches. Clever little things!
Check out our Home Office Plants feature and see which ones would look best on your home office windowsill!
And then browse around our library to find out how you can set up your own home office when you work from home running your home based business. You may also want to check out some more articles on how to make over your home office - and don't miss out on our make over competition!