Working from home has a slew of awesome perks—you get to start your day when you want, wear whatever you want, and take breaks whenever you want. You can blare music when you want to, or toil away for hours in silence without listening to your co-worker’s chatter. But it’s important to carve out a comfortable, attractive, hospitable space so that you can get your work done, and this is especially true for people with disabilities. Follow these tips and learn how to create an accessible home office that will inspire your creativity, keep distractions at bay, and get those productivity juices flowing.
Choose your furniture wisely
Your home office should reflect your personality and inspire you to get down to business. Choosing the right type of furniture is one of the biggest components of creating an office that’s both accessible and inspiring. Of course, you should have furniture that you can easily navigate around—such as a wheelchair-accessible desk, an adjustable chair, and low bookshelves that leave enough room for you to turn your wheelchair around in—but style is just as important as function. Whether you like flashy artwork, simple, chic décor, or modern metal furniture, don’t sacrifice form for function. Your work space should be an extension of your personality, in addition to fitting all your functional needs.
Paint your office with inspiration
Paint your walls with dreamy, cozy, neutral tones—or go crazy with a bright, bold accent wall. The point here is that you paint the walls a color that you love; color can greatly affect your mood, so it’s important to be surrounded by whatever makes you happy. Whether you’re a fan of deep, dark green, aqua blue, or crisp gray, giving your office a fresh coat of paint can work wonders on your mood and make you feel happier and more productive throughout the day. Contract an interior painting company to tackle the walls for you if you don’t have a family member or friend that has a knack for painting.
Select the right type of lighting
Sure, maybe it’s not as sexy as cool décor or furniture, but lighting is incredibly important. Lighting accessibility can help improve your work performance, so make sure that your lighting a) supports your vision and b) is easily accessible. Bring in natural light whenever possible (not only is natural light a great natural mood enhancer, but it’ll make your space feel bigger), paint your switches with bold, stylish colors so that you can see them more easily, and install switches that are low enough to be reached from a wheelchair. Lighting should be a top priority when you’re working to create an accessible home office.
The last thing you want in your home office are towering stacks of papers scattered everywhere. If your space feels messy and chaotic, chances are you’ll feel messy and chaotic, too. Remove any clutter (do this daily!), and make sure that you have a proper organizational system in place—this will undoubtedly make you feel more calm, serene, and productive. (Pro-tip: Use storage containers that have no doors, so you can easily access them when you need to.) Nobody works well in a messy office, so make every effort to keep your space neat, organized, and sparkling clean.
Add in some greenery
Last but not least, a cheery pop of greenery in the form of a houseplant or two can really make your space shine. A lovely plant will help purify the air around you, and keep you feeling calm and happy while you work. (Another pro-tip: If you’re not the best at caring for plants, succulents are easy to care for—plus, they’re super cute.)