When sitting at your desk, a solid wall should be behind you and you should be facing into the openness of the room. My desk is in the Relationship Corner of our home office, and one picture shows monarch butterflies fluttering around pink milkweed blossoms, and the other picture is a Balinese painting of white cranes.
I just read a short article on the growing popularity of home offices
The last sentence in the article really stuck with me: “Given a choice, more than half the people working from home said they prefer a remote workspace.” I reckon that means that the change that COVID-19 has forced upon office workers is (at least) partially here to stay. So here’s my advice for setting up an office room in your home.
- The door is the mouth of the room and you want to be able to see it when you are spending significant time in the room. Be able to see the office entry door easily from the desk. If the desk must be placed so that your back is to the door, use a convex mirror or silver glass ball. Locate the mirror or ball so when you are doing deskwork you can easily see behind you.
- Have a solid wall behind you when you are sitting at your desk. The wall represents strength, solidity, and backing. A window behind your back symbolizes an abyss—no support. Extra support is gained by hanging a picture of a mountain on the wall behind your back. There should not be a body of water in the foreground and the mountain in the background. Such a picture doesn’t convey as much strength as a simple mountain picture.
- What about office and desk clutter? Life is just too busy to keep an office picture-perfect at all times. It boils down to individual visual temperament. Some people function well with a light dusting of clutter, and other people are bothered by it. The desk I type at would be considered rather cluttered by some people, my partner included. But I can find everything I’m looking for in moments, and nothing gets lost. Albert Einstein said, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”
- The office can be any gentle color that makes you feel good. Yellow is excellent, as well as sage green. I’ll reiterate the importance of removing bits of old stuck tape anywhere in the office. If there are pin holes in the walls—spackle them. The holes may be small, but they still represent energy leaking away.
- Your desk chair should be comfortable and provide support for your back and elbows. The lumbar region of your spine should have a correct lordosis—curving forward toward your stomach. It should feel natural to be upright; slouching should feel wrong. I recommend Treat Your Own Back by Robin McKenzie. The exercises are well illustrated and will help you stand tall.
- No matter how comfortable your desk chair is, it’s killing you if you use it too frequently. Sitting more than six hours a day makes people forty percent more likely to die within fifteen years, as compared to people who sit less than three. That’s even with exercise as part of a person’s routine, according to a study on sedentary time reported in Diabetologia (2012). If you can, do some of your office work while standing.