With home offices in the spotlight, outfitting your work-from-home setup properly is more important than ever. Working from the dining table might do for a brief period, but is definitely going to cause health problems like backaches and eye strain in the long run. Here’s what you should consider when shopping for your home office setup.
LIGHT UP YOUR LIFE
While most of us think of task lamps as soulless, fluorescent white lights, the good news is that they don’t have to be. Task lighting can come in the form of table lamps, standing lamps, or overhead – as long as they fulfil their purpose of providing sufficient light for your work needs. When purchasing a task lamp, consider the following factors.
1. Sayl and Eames Molded Fibreglass Chairs, $1,369 each, from Xtra.
2. Muuto Beam Lamp, $395, from Grafunkt.
3. Muuto Leaf Table Lamp, $495, from Grafunkt.
Are you using this solely for work, or will it function as a reading lamp or ambient lamp as well? A multi-tasking lamp should have a dimmable function, so that you can adjust the level of lighting to your needs. It’s also important to consider the kind of work you do: those who do detail-oriented visual work, like illustration for example, may need a brighter light.
Again, this depends on the type of work you do. Focused lighting, the kind provided by swing arm lamps for instance, is great for working on a desk. However, if you work mostly on a screen, a lamp with diffused light is less harsh on the eyes.
Bright white LED lighting (4,600 – 6,500K) has been said to provide the same benefits as natural light, helping to improve your focus. However, the blue light present in this colour temperature range can impede your body’s natural circadian rhythm because your body is tricked into thinking it’s in the middle of the day. If you’re using the task lamp to work mostly in the evenings, consider getting a warmer colour instead (like warm white) so you can unwind more easily afterwards.
4. Colebrook Bosson Saunders Lolly Table Lamp, $420, from Xtra.
5. House Doctor Desk Table Lamp, $1,100, from Journey East.
6. Kelvin lamp by Antonio Citterio, price upon enquiry, from Space Furniture.
7. Edgar Orbis Table Lamp, $298, from Journey East.
These offer portability and are the most common option for task lamps. Choose one with a slim profile, so that it doesn’t take up too much space on your desk.
8. Orb Table Lamp, from $445, from Boconcept
9. Hay Fifty-Fifty Mini, $590, from Grafunkt.
10. Northern Birdy Table Lamp, $448, from Danish Design Co.
Standing lamps make a much bigger style statement since their height makes them visually dominating. These are better for more diffused lighting, or if you want to brighten a dark corner.
11. Muuto Post Floor Lamp, $1,190, from Grafunkt.
12. Time&Style Botan no Hana, price upon enquiry, from Grafunkt.
13. AI2O3 lamp, from $209, from Sol Luminaire.
While wall lamps are space-saving, their fixed nature means that you have to plan your space and activities well. These are great for bedside reading lamps, especially when nightstand room is limited.
14. Petite Potence wall lamp, $1,670, from Vitra.
SIT BACK AND RELAX
More than just a seating option, a good chair should support you comfortably at the right height and prevent problems such as slouching and shoulder aches. Here’s what to look out for when purchasing one.
Most office chairs will have height and arm adjustability, but the best ones also offer flexibility when it comes to angle and tension control. Your ideal office chair should sit at a height that doesn’t cause you to slouch to see your laptop screen, or raise your arms and shoulders too much when you type.
Having great lumbar support can prevent back strain. Some chairs come with adjustable lumbar support that lets you fit it to your lower back. Alternatively, you can purchase a separate back rest if your dream office chair doesn’t have an adjustable one.
CUSHIONING AND FAB RIC
When purchasing an office chair, consider the fabric that makes up the cushioning. It should be breathable enough so that your chair doesn’t become hot and uncomfortable after sitting in it too long, and can be cleaned easily.
Some other features to consider are the wheel base and swivel, which allow you to move freely around without strain, and whether the chair has armrests. These entirely depend on user preferences and habits, so it’s up to you!
15. Allstar office chair, $1,553, from Vitra.
16. Viccarbe Copa chair by Ramos&Bassols, price upon enquiry, from Space Furniture.
17. Gubi Beetle Meeting Chair, from $838, from Danish Design Co.
18. Herman Miller Mirra 2 office chair, $2,259, from Xtra.
19. Poliform Stanford chair by Jean Marie Massaud, price upon enquiry, from Space Furniture.
A GOOD CHAIR SHOULD SUPPORT YOU COMFORTABLY AT THE RIGHT HEIGHT AND PREVENT PROBLEMS SUCH AS SLOUCHING AND SHOULDER ACHES.
An office chair may be the most important feature of your study or home office, but other elements should come into play when considering which one to purchase. Firstly, take a look at your desk, since it’ll be used in conjunction with the chair. Is it at the right height? Will you have to move around a lot to reach things? Secondly, consider the configuration of your workspace. Will you be working on your own? If you’re using a shared space, a chair with a slimmer profile and a roller base might work better.
TEXT MELODY BAY