Office Furnishings: Tips for a Successful Study

Your productivity and your employees can suffer from a poorly furnished office. However, too cozy office furnishings can also trigger this – because then the motivation to work is missing. So how do you set up an office that is good to work in? We’ll show you.

Whether at home or at work, feeling comfortable in your office requires a few rules
Whether at home or at work, feeling comfortable in your office requires a few rules.
Photo: iStock / Getty Images Plus/shironosov

How Big Should an Office Be?

In a study, there should be ten square meters per workstation. So if two desks are in an office, the room should have about 20 square meters. Those who use a smaller room or a corner in another living area at home should pay even more attention to optimal office furnishings.

Open-plan offices may seem easier for companies, but they are often a productivity killer and don’t always pay off. Especially not if a lot of phone calls are made. Unless the open-plan office is perfectly planned from the outset and the office is set up so that each employee has a pleasant working area. Important in this context is flooring that inhibits footfall and walking noise, plants and upholstered furniture that reduce background noise, a clear, modern concept, and plenty of light.

If open-plan offices or co-working spaces are to be used, please set them up so that all employees feel comfortable, noises are absorbed by the office furnishings, and the environment encourages concentrated work
If open-plan offices or co-working spaces are to be used, please set them up so that all employees feel comfortable, noises are absorbed by the office furnishings, and the environment encourages concentrated work.
Photo: iStock / Getty Images Plus/monkeybusinessimages

What Furniture Belongs to the Office Equipment?

Classic office furniture are: Desk, office chair, storage space (i.e. shelf, container or cabinet) and lighting in the form of a ceiling lamp and a desk lamp. However, in order to completely furnish an office, you also need things with which you can beautifully decorate the space and small helpers that will make working in the office pleasant. What exactly you can pack into your office everything, of course, depends on whether you are going to set up your own study, or whether you are to set up in an office that has already been given the frame construction by your employer.

A desk large enough to fit your most important work tools, storage space for work materials, plenty of light, and a comfortable chair - that's all it takes to furnish an office. One important detail you should not underestimate is the screen's position.
A desk large enough to fit your most important work tools, storage space for work materials, plenty of light, and a comfortable chair – that’s all it takes to furnish an office. One important detail you should not underestimate is the screen’s position.
Photo: living4media / Narratives / Sanderson, Robert

Office Furnishings: Tips for the Perfect Workplace

The following tips show what else you should consider when furnishing your office.

Tip 1: Plan for sufficient windows

The office should have a window – preferably several. These provide good lighting conditions and fresh air that is good for thinking. Of course, the windows should be able to be opened. In addition, to avoid melting behind the panes in summer, protective films should be installed to keep out the heat and harmful UV radiation. The protective film, manufactured in Germany by Birkental, can be applied inside and outside the window. Complementary are curtains, roller blinds, awnings, or shutters. They also help to keep the temperature in the office bearable.

Tip 2: Use a daylight lamp

Daylight stimulates our bodies and helps us concentrate. To still work well in the fall and winter despite afternoon darkness, it’s a good idea to use daylight lamps when setting up your office. The Beurer company has developed a flicker-free lamp in a tablet format that works with LEDs and has a variable stand for placing on your desk. If you don’t want such a lamp on every desk, there are also light bulbs, such as those from the company Aeogled, which imitate daylight in all its nuances and help us stay focused when the light conditions outside are no longer sufficient.

Tip 3: Implement the right lighting concept

If you don’t want to have an imitation of daylight in the workplace, you should still think about lighting and create several light sources in the room. When designing the lighting concept, make sure that you place the lamps in the office so that the light is not reflected on the screen. Desk lamps should have a rotating head and a swiveling arm and should always be placed laterally behind the screen, illuminating the computer keyboard and everything you want to read in front of you well, but just do not dazzle.

Tip 4: Use color for productivity

In terms of color, you should opt for pastel shades, cream colors, or calm white tones on the walls when furnishing the office. A big no is given to pattern and photo wallpapers and glossy colors. A graphic design on the walls that flows over to the furniture can also have a positive effect on the atmosphere at the workplace. Speaking of furniture, white, brown, gray, and beige should also be the preferred colors for office furniture. You can set accents with colorful accessories.

Muted colors on the wall and furniture pieces in matching, unagitated shades provide a calm base for the study. Creativity comes to the workplace through colorful accessories
Muted colors on the wall and furniture pieces in matching, unagitated shades provide a calm base for the study. Creativity comes to the workplace through colorful accessories.
Photo: living4media / Mondadori Portfolio

Tip 5: Choose the right desk

Not all desks are created equal – not only are there many different models in all sorts of shapes and colors for every taste, but it also matters how tall you are and your health. Here comes the checklist:

  • What do you do at your desk?
    Do you need a lot of space because you move a lot of folders or files back and forth or need several screens, or is a storage space for the laptop enough for you? So: corner desk or mini desk?
  • Where does the desk go, and how much space is there?

Ideally, by the way, the desk should be at a 90-degree angle to the window. And, of course, near at least one power outlet.

How tall are you?
If you are 1.65 meters tall, the desk should be 68 centimeters high; if you are 1.80 meters tall, it should be 78 centimeters high. If you can rest both forearms on the desk at a 90-degree angle and have a distance to the screen of 50 to 80 centimeters, it has the proper depth for you and allows you to work comfortably.

Do you have disc or back problems?
Then you may need a height-adjustable desk or an ergonomic desk.
If you don’t need a height-adjustable desk but still want to pay attention to your working position, you can do so with a height-adjustable laptop stand or monitor mount. Both can be adjusted in a few simple steps so that you can also work standing at your normal desk.

How tall are you?
If you are 1.65 meters tall, the desk should be 68 centimeters high; if you are 1.80 meters tall, it should be 78 centimeters high. If you can rest both forearms on the desk at a 90-degree angle and have a distance to the screen of 50 to 80 centimeters, it has the right depth for you and allows you to work comfortably.

Do you have disc or back problems?
Then you may need a height-adjustable desk or an ergonomic desk.
If you don’t need a height-adjustable desk but still want to pay attention to your working position, you can do so with a height-adjustable laptop stand or monitor mount. Both can be adjusted in a few simple steps so that you can also work standing at your normal desk.

Tip 6: Use a good office chair

No, a kitchen or dining room chair is not an adequate substitute for a desk chair – at least not if you sit at your desk all day. You should not skimp on an office chair when setting up the office. Otherwise, it will be painful for your shoulders, neck, and back.

Even if the desk is still so small, or as in this case rather improvised, you should not do without a good office chair for the sake of your back
Even if the desk is still so small, or as in this case rather improvised, you should not do without a good office chair for the sake of your back.
Photo: living4media / Narratives / Smith, Rachael

The office chair should be adjusted so that when you sit at your desk, you can bend your legs at a 90-degree angle under the tabletop with the soles of your feet on the floor. In addition, the desk chair should also have a tilt function so that you can change your sitting position while working and take the strain off your back. However, there should be 80 centimeters of free space behind the desk for these chairs; otherwise, you won’t be able to use the tilt function.

Tip
Use a sitting ball
An alternative to the classic office chair is seat balls. They relieve and train the muscles and ensure an advantageous sitting position at the desk. Ideally, you should alternate between an office chair and a seat ball during working hours – this keeps your back fit and prevents you from getting tired.

Tip 7: As much storage space as necessary, but as little as possible

Working in a cluttered, overcrowded office is not good – yet, of course, we need space for our work materials. A quandary. The solution when setting up the office lies in organizing the storage space to create order. How much space do you need for the things you need to have handy at all times? To create order, you can place these work materials, books, or binders on your desk, in a rolling container underneath or above your workstation on a shelf.

For everything else, get up and move around. Your back and your head will thank you. You can create additional storage space by putting small parts in boxes or crates on the shelves or stacked in the cabinet. By the way, if you often work with paper, you should use cabinets or rolling cabinets for storage. Otherwise, the air in the room will quickly become dry and dusty. Further storage space might also be needed for a printer. Depending on the device’s size, you may need a separate corner, or the surface of a half-height cabinet may suffice.

Place shelves far enough away from the desk that you have to get up occasionally to get folders or files. Directly on the desk or the wall behind it, store what you need frequently and quickly or what you're working on
Place shelves far enough away from the desk that you have to get up occasionally to get folders or files. Directly on the desk or the wall behind it, store what you need frequently and quickly or what you’re working on.
Photo: iStock / Getty Images Plus/peterschreiber.media

Tip 8: Use plants to provide good air and dampen sound.

Plants should not be forgotten when furnishing your office. When choosing plants, you should – of course, in addition to the suitability of the location (i.e., rather shady location or light-requiring) – also pay attention to the air purification ability of the plant. For example, indoor ferns, dragon trees, ivy, flamingo flower, green lily, birch fig, calathea, and monocot are well suited – they all provide good office air and help dampen the noise level. Consequently, plants are important team members, especially in open-plan offices. Cacti also make good office plants – no one will have to water them during your vacation.

Plants in the workplace provide good air and stimulate our creativity. That's why no office should be without them
Plants in the workplace provide good air and stimulate our creativity. That’s why no office should be without them.
Photo: living4media / House of Pictures / Janmaat, Jeltje

Tip 9: Consider a harmonious overall concept

When furnishing the office, the supreme discipline is to design the workroom, including the things on the desk, so that everything presents a harmonious picture – this undoubtedly includes matching everyday and work items in color or style. So, for example, the trays and holders, the flower pots, the boxes on the shelves, all the accessories such as desk lamp, mouse pad, pen holder and cup, as well as the office chair to each other and, of course, to match the color of the rest of the office.

What you need every day in the office, you should color-coordinate. This way, you will achieve a harmonious basic mood when decorating the study
What you need every day in the office, you should color-coordinate. This way, you will achieve a harmonious basic mood when decorating the study.
What you need every day in the office, you should color-coordinate. This way, you will achieve a harmonious basic mood when decorating the study.
Photo: iStock / Getty Images Plus/SeventyFour

Tip 10: Go for individuality in the office

Set personal notes in the choice of color or objects that you place in addition – this includes, for example, photos of your loved ones, a memo board for your ideas and projects, or, if allowed, a humidifier, perhaps even with fragrance. Also, think about what you need individually to work, such as an arm-friendly ergonomic mouse for the computer.

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