Home offices have never been a bigger necessity than this last year or so, as the Covid-19 pandemic forced us to improvise and turn our living rooms, kitchens and even closets into functional working space. Whether it was always your desire to have a home office, or the coronavirus made the decision for you, setting up a proper home office is something that you shouldn’t delay and something you should put some serious thought into, especially if you want to do it in a way that protects the environment. Here are some guidelines to make this easier on you.
Bring in Some Plants
This is the first thing you can do to make your office greener, figuratively and literally. Not only do plants benefit your overall health, but they can also make the space seem more cheerful and pleasant to stay in. After all, many of us spend far too much time in our offices, and not enough time outdoors, and this way you can tip the scale just a little bit to your advantage, especially if you’re allergic to dust or suffer from asthma.
Although some floor plants and orchids might look great, if you’ve never cared for a plant, perhaps you can start with a cactus or two, or some succulents. Just don’t forget to water them and keep them near your window. Plus, if you renovate your garden wisely, you could have a green view, too, which could add to the general green feel of your home office.
Plan for Reduced Energy Consumption
Wasting energy is something you should avoid, and it’s something that can be done without too much effort. Don’t forget, you’re working from home now, meaning that you don’t have to sit in a cubicle and you can make the best of your windows by allowing as much natural light into your office as possible. Add a few mirrors to make the space even brighter and you’ll be reaping the benefits of natural light in no time.
Furthermore, laptops are a much better choice than desktop computers, as they spend less energy and they are pretty handy when the weather is nice and you decide to work in your garden or on your balcony for a change. Plus, they’re a great tool for earning some extra money. Also, opt for the energy-efficient LED bulbs, switch off your lights whenever possible and, when leaving your office, turn off and unplug all of your devices.
Invest in a Quality Rug
At first it may seem to you that a rug is nothing more than a decorative element. And even though that’s probably a reason enough to get one, rugs are far more than that. They are that much-needed additional layer of insulation between your feet and the cold tiles or hardwood floor. Also, they can reduce noise, seeing as walking on rugs is soft and pretty much noiseless, unlike walking on hard-surface flooring.
After all, a home office means that some of your family members might walk in from time to time and, with a rug in place, their footsteps won’t interrupt you as much. The choice of the rug is also important. Go for rugs made of natural materials, like the premium Miss Amara rugs made of jute, wool or hemp. Finally, pick a colour that suits you. Neutral-coloured rugs will make the space calmer and quieter, while bright-coloured ones can encourage your creativeness and alertness.
Recycle When Possible
Before buying furniture for your home office, first search through your home and your garage to see if there are any pieces you can use or repurpose. For instance, upholstering chairs or sofas is a wiser option than simply throwing them away and buying new ones. That way you can add a personal touch to your home office and save some money in the process.
Perhaps a used printer can work just as well as a new one and an old lamp rotting in your best friend’s basement might simply need an energy-efficient light bulb to work. Don’t use plastic bags and paper cups for your food and drink. You’re just a few steps away from your kitchen, so your regular cups and plates are there for you to grab.
Furthermore, reduce your waste by recycling whatever you can. Paper and bottles are merely a beginning, since you can also donate any of the devices or furniture pieces that and won’t or can’t use any more. Finally, don’t forget to only buy eco-friendly office supplies, like recycled printing paper, bamboo pens or even bio-plastic scissors made from corn.
If you were worried about your home office not being green enough, you can stop worrying now. With these useful tips, your home office will become more functional, beautiful and environment-friendly in no time.
About the author: Mike Johnston is an avid blogging enthusiast and experienced writer and editor. He’s a regular contributor to numerous online publications where he writes about real estate, construction, home improvement, and interior design.