05.01.2021

8 tips for the home office

A carefully designed lighting promotes concentration

Many professionals are again working from home. But not all have really adapted to having their office in their private home yet. Ergonomics and an ideal lighting facilitate work.

1. Fixed workplace
A study separates work and private live. What if there is no extra room for an office? A fixed work place is a good alternative. It can be separated from the rest of a room by a portable partition wall, a screen or a shelf.

2. Sit comfortably, see properly
An upgrade of the work corner can quickly pay off in the home office. An ergonomically sensible equipment consist of an height adjustable desk chair and an appropriate desk. This prevents bad posture and back pain.

3. Monitor at right angles with windows
Significant brightness contrasts and reflections are to be avoided on the monitor. Therefore it is best to position desk and monitor at right angles with the window. Thus there will be enough natural light on the work place without blinding.

4. Lux and lumen
The right lighting is always part of good ergonomics. A carefully designed use of light always takes natural daylight, direct and indirect lighting into consideration. Excessive contrasts between work place and surrounding leads to eye fatigue. A balanced ambient lighting helps. And complementary lighting at the work place can come from LED desk lamps.

Practical support in lighting design can be found in the European standard DIN EN 12464-1 for lighting of indoor work places. According to this each work place shall at least be illuminated with 500 Lux; in the direct surrounding 300 Lux are appropriate. In other words: A desk lamp should at least offer 1.000 Lumen. For the illumination of the direct environment an LED lamp with about  600 Lumen is just right.

5. Flexible desk lamp
Desk lamps direct their light straight to the table top. Ideally, the arm is flexible. Then the lamp´s head can be adjusted as necessary, for example for reading fine print.

6. Right-handed or left-handed?
In order to prevent annoying shadows light should fall onto the desk from the left for right-handed writers, from the right for left-handed writers. Always position lamps in order to avoid flares on monitors and shiny surfaces.

7. Lively in the morning, relaxing in the evening

And how about the right color of light for the home office? It depends on the time of the day: Following the example of nature, the right light for mornings and early afternoons is neutral white at not less than 3.500 Kelvin. Its higher proportions of blue wake up and support concentration. In the evening a muted, warm light (maximum 2.700 Kelvin) is appropriate in order not to disturb the sleep-wake-rhythm. This also includes switching the monitor to night mode.

8. Smart office
Lighting nowadays is steerable and smart: Brightness and color of light can be adjusted according to demand. Lighting scenes – be it for morning or evening lighting – can be selected via App and mobile phone.

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