Whether your workplace is an open plan office, a private room, a spacious home office or a tiny nook, tweaking it at the beginning of 2012 may help you face the year with a new outlook and result in increased productivity, greater organisation and a more inspired and enjoyable workspace.
START WITH THE BASICS
There are three basics for every workspace; the desk, the chair and the lighting. Look to get the most suitable for the job, and the best you can afford, these three things will not only impact your work, but your comfort and your health.
> The Desk
A clear desk equals a clear head. If space allows, select a lovely large desk and have storage adjacent to the desk; a large clear space will ensure you feel organised and remain focused each time you sit down to work. Place your desk by the window if possible for ample natural sunlight, if you find you have a tendency to daydream whilst staring out the window then turn your desk around. This way you still benefit from the light, and can spin around and have a gaze when you have some free time. Bring some inspiration and life to your work space with one or two carefully selected pieces that you love perhaps a photo and a quirky pen holder.
Get the Look: Sienna Workstation from $985, Aero Desk from $750
> The Chair
If you are spending numerous hours in this chair it is worth spending money on something that supports good ergonomic posture - it will decrease aches and pains, and being comfortable allows you to get good chunks of work done without becoming distracted. Look for designs with a swivel base, arm rests, a recliner and a height adjustable mechanism for ultimate customisation. A design that co-ordinates with the sleek desk will ensure unity in the space, so look for something in a matching or complementary colour and a material that appeals to you; leather is a luxurious choice and is a lovely material for daily use.
Get the Look: Eureka Office Chair $1175
> The Lighting
Natural light is important in a workspace. If you have an abundance of light, you will need to control it via window treatments and if you have limited natural light then make sure you make the most of it by placing your desk nearby. You will need additional task lighting, for the evenings or specific activities. Look for lights that you can move and control, an adjustable arm, spinning lamp and a nice bright light are key things to look for.
STORAGE, STORAGE, STORAGE
You do not necessarily need a lot of it, you just need the right type, and the choice is not necessarily restricted to ugly filing cabinets. First consider what you need to store, and then consider the systems you use currently or would like to put in place. Do you keep everything in its place and need easy access to it? In that case your storage will need to be within easy reach of your desk, or do you tend to pile things up then sort through them and file once the job is done? If you are more this style you could get away with a storage unit on the other side of the room, but a couple of drawers by the desk could be useful to stash current work, to help keep your desk clear and tidy. A bookcase that integrates concealed storage behind doors, drawers and open shelving will tick all the boxes for most offices, concealed storage for the more mundane filing, drawers for stationery and open shelving for displaying books or magazines, or anything that inspires you.
For by the desk, the Jett storage drawers are handy for stationery and bits and pieces that you need quick access to. It tucks neatly inside the desks if space is tight, or can be placed next to the desk (it is a handy height for a printer too).
No room for a bookcase? Use floating shelves to create a small set of shelves in an unused wall nook, select attractive magazine files to store your papers, and display one or two personal items for character.
Get the Look: Bronte Wall Unit starting from $1488, Sistema Bookcase starting from $1325, Jett Drawer Unit $750, Astro Hanging Shelves from $150
IF YOU HAVE THE LUXURY OF SPACE
An armchair or reading chair is a wonderful luxury. Being able to sit in comfort whilst you read reports or even just a magazine, will refresh you and inspire you to continue working. A great option for those who are easily distracted; it allows you to move elsewhere for a change of scenery and refocus. A great idea for those who work at home also, if you have a tendency to move to the sofa when you want a comfy break, an armchair will provide a great place for some reading or thinking time without being tempted by the distractions of the TV.
Get the Look: Browse our Lounge Chairs
If you work from home, you have the luxury of being able to decorate your work space with whatever inspires you, whether it is a colourful print, photographs, a pile of books or pictures stuck on a pin board above the desk, or plants &f lowers. For a home office, striking the balance between homely and professional is often the key to staying organised and motivated. For those in corporate style offices, there is less opportunity to personalise the space, look for some funky desk accessories though that keep your workspace organised and inject some fun!
Creating an inspiring and functional study for a teenager is the easy part, having them sit down and open a book is the hard part! A great first step would be to involve them in the furniture selections, let them decide what inspires them and what their ideal work environment would ideally look like. The basics of a teens study are the same as any work environment; the main difference is that it is usually in a corner of their bedroom which can easily become cluttered with clothes and general teenager stuff!
GETTING THE BASICS RIGHT
> The Desk: Select the biggest that the room will take, often school studies will involve both computer use and written work so keep in mind that there will need to be adequate space for both. Select a clean style with a smooth surface and minimal look, (storage can be adjacent) then place their computer to one side, leaving space for written work on the other side of the desk. Most teens will sit down to their computer at some point each night so selecting a desk that discourages clutter will encourage them to maintain focus.
> The Chair: Students will not necessarily be in the chair for up to eight hours a day like working adults may be, but it is still important they have something appropriately supportive so they are comfortable while they work. They also do not necessarily need all the features of a swivel base, wheels or recliners, in fact, often making it harder for the chair to move is beneficial (it’s very easy to be distracted when you can swivel closer to a TV!). Something like the Roma dining chair is light in appearance, supportive and the perfect level of comfort for a few hours work each night.
> Lighting: Good lighting is hugely important in a teenagers study, most of their work will be completed in the evenings so a decent desk lamp is crucial. Look for a design with a clean, white light which can be moved and adjusted to control the light depending on the activity.
> Storage: Having a couple of drawers adjacent to the desk is a great solution for stationery and papers that will be used on a daily basis, it will also allow your teen to pack away their study notes and clear the desk to ensure they can switch off and get a good night’s rest. If the room allows for a bookcase, select one with a combination of concealed storage for text books and notes, and open storage to display personal items so the room can be converted between bedroom and study as needed.
> Inspiring your student: Hang some hooks, a pin board or some string on the wall above the desk for the student to personalise their space. They can hang pictures that inspire them and make the space their own. A pin board or cork tiles on the wall will encourage them to change the pictures as their needs or interests change.
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