Working from home has many advantages, but unless you get your home workspace right then you aren’t really going to be able to appreciate these. In the best case scenario, working from home means working somewhere where you’re surrounded by your creature comforts, where a mug of tea is just five minutes away, and where you can kick back and relax whenever you want.
But often this isn’t how it turns out, and instead we will find ourselves working in squalor, not getting started until well into the afternoon, and often just wishing that we had a proper office to go to.
And one of the most common issues that home offices have that we don’t know how to deal with is glare. Glare is what happens when light comes through your window and hits your computer screen, and on a sunny day this can not only be headache inducing, but also seriously affect the way you work. Let’s look at what you can do about it so that you can start to feel productive even when you work from the comfort of home.
So why is glare a problem at home and not in most offices? Well of course glare is something of an issue in offices from time to time, just it’s less prominent. The reason that it’s less prominent though, is that those offices are a) designed to be offices, not rooms, and b) much larger. Chances are then, that often the nearest window to you will be a little way away, and that your office will be lit from above by flat light instead. On top of this, the whole office will be designed in such a way that glare is minimised and these factors combined will help to ensure you’re never left squinting at your monitor.
In a home office this isn’t the case however, as chances are you’re going to be right next to a window and that there won’t be much space for you to retreat to. Windows might well be on two or more walls too, which makes it very hard to face in any direction where light won’t hit the screen.
Importance Of Flexibility in Office Furniture Design
And when light does hit the screen, it can obscure what you’re trying to read and force your pupil to adapt to let less light in. As the brightness keeps changing your eye will constantly be shifting between modes and ultimately you’ll end up with a cutting headache.
So what’s the solution? Well one of the first solutions is to invest in a computer screen that will minimise glare. Here some screens are definitely worse than others – the new Surface Pro 2 for instance claims to be one of the best screens for rejecting glare in the industry. Another solution is to turn up the brightness which can ensure that the glare is less noticeable. Changing the contrast on your screen (by using lighter writing and darker backgrounds for instance) can also help to make writing more legible even when there is some amount of glare obscuring it. Another solution that can help is of course to get a glare protector, the entire purpose of which being to reduce the amount of glare caused by light through the window.
Alternatively though, instead of focussing on your technology you could instead focus on the room itself. The easiest way obviously to reduce glare would normally be to just draw the curtains, but in doing so you would also unfortunately block out all light from outside thus making your room dark and not particularly pleasant to work in.
An alternative is to install blinds which you can adjust to different settings. This way you can angle the slats so that the light can only come in at certain angles, which in turn may be enough to prevent it from hitting your screen at the wrong angle. Tints on the glass can also make a big difference and either of these things will help you to work in a room that is light and spacious feeling but nevertheless does not trigger headaches. Which is really the least you can ask of a home office…
Susie Bradshaw, the author of this article, works with, New York City Blinds, trusted providers of affordable window treatments in NYC. She enjoys sketching and painting in her free time and loves showcasing her pieces at local fund raisers.