We spend a lot of time and energy designing our homes to be a happy, healthy environment, but we often give little to thought to our second home: the office. But it’s our workplaces that can actually cause serious issues if not properly thought out. From the glare of the computer screens to uncomfortable office chairs, your office could be making you sick in more ways than you realize.
But this doesn’t have to be the case—there are simple tweaks that can make your office a much healthier and happier space. Recently, online interior design service Laurel & Wolf helped Rachel Zoe’s office transform itself from a drab, dull space into a clean haven perfect for brainstorming and collaborating. Domino spoke to designer James Tabb about how to use decor to create a working space that’s both healthy and chic. Here’s the inside scoop.
Increase natural light
For Natasha Uspensky, a holistic health counselor and wellness expert, natural light is key for a healthy space. “The more access to daylight you have during the day, the more energy you’ll have, the better your mood, and the more restful your sleep that night,” she says.
To stimulate that light, Tabb made sure to add in some sunny desk lamps and position desks near windows. “Adding in a warm desk lamp can really change the mood of your workspace, and is such a quick and easy change,” she says. Offices and meeting spaces on the interior of the building also have transparent walls to let in some natural light.
Don’t forget to stand.
“One of the biggest detriments to our health in a typical work environment is sitting all day,” says Uspensky. “Getting up to stretch and walk around every 90 minutes helps, but in my experience, very few people actually make the time to do that. A standing desk is an amazing solution.”
“Spending more of your work day on your feet increases energy and productivity, boosts metabolism, and lessens the risk of chronic disease. The ideal desks are adjustable so that with the push of a button, you can switch from standing to sitting to vary your position throughout the day. “ A higher table you can use aside from your desk works as well.
Organize, organize, organize.
You’ve heard the phrase before, and it’s most definitely true—a clear space is necessary for a clear mind. But it’s understandable that with all your responsibilities, you may have way too many things crowding your desk… which is where organizers come in.
Add in some greenery.
“It seems like a no-brainer, but so many offices I step into don’t have any plants or natural materials, which can be kind of depressing when everything feels manufactured and artificial,” says Tabb.
Uspensky adds, “Studies show that having green plants in your space decreases stress and anxiety, boosts concentration, lowers blood pressure, and increases job satisfaction. Anything from fresh flowers to a leafy green plant will do the trick, and many plants (like Boston Ferns, Peace Lilies, and English Ivy) have the added benefit of being super potent air purifiers, which decreases headaches, fatigue, and allergies that can result from toxicity and mold in the air.” To counteract this, Tabb added a bunch of plants around the office, including a potted fiddle leaf fig ($299) from CB2.
Let your personality shine through.
We’ve already established that organizing a space can have a huge impact on health, but did you know that little trinkets can also totally improve your mood? The more likely you are to enjoy a space, the better it is for your health—and Tabb agrees.
“The office lacked a bit of life and fun. I am always excited to make a space feel more comfortable and inviting for the people using it,” he says. In order to infuse a little more personality into the space, he used some bright pieces, including a metallic cowhide rug ($579.99) for the reception and some soft, marbled pillows ($53.16) on the couch.