Wendy Rennie, colour and concept manager at Haymes Paint, says putting your health and wellbeing first is what matters most.
“Many of us were hoping to feel enthusiastic with the start of a new year, and the easiest way to get you in the mood [for work] is with colour and furniture that works for you,” she says. “Nothing beats a refresh.
If you don’t yet have a separate study, make sure you find a place within your home that you can differentiate as your work zone. Try to avoid using kitchen benchtops and dining room tables as your go-to. Start the day in a revamped workspace that is specifically designed to get you in the mood.
Colour is the easiest way to refresh a tired space and plug into happiness, and adding a splash of colour to your home office will make all the difference to your mindset.
“Introducing a new colour is the quickest way to set a new mental and visual boundary for the year,” says Rennie, adding that: “Green is one of the most productive colours you can introduce in the working from home space.”
“And if you can’t paint walls, introduce a shade of green through furniture or painting a desk; think about panelling and screen dividers as another way to introduce a pop of colour. It needs to be a space you can check in and out of,” Rennie says.
While colour therapy is great for our psychological boost, quality office furniture is also essential.
According to North Melbourne Osteopathy’s Dr Robert McMahon, when it comes to setting up an ideal home office, the key is to invest in a decent ergonomic chair and an adjustable desk to maintain optimal posture and minimise your injuries at home.
“People can get away with working in a poor posture in their early 20s, but when it comes to your later 20s, 30s and 40s, that’s when we start to see chronic injuries like arthritic change in necks, shoulders and repetitive strain injuries like carpal tunnel,” he says.
Having a desk near a window with plenty of natural light will ignite the endorphins, as will introducing plant life, but the strongest message from health professionals is not to get in a mental rut that sees you forgetting to exercise.
“It’s really important you get up from your desk and exercise regularly to prevent injuries,” Dr McMahon says.
“You can have the best of office furniture in your WFH set up, but unless you get up and move around or find yourself working long hours without movement, you’ll experience muscular-skeletal pain and develop repetitive strain injuries which become worse as you get older.”