Known from times before Corona - the open-plan office. Copyright by anthuriuminfo.

Thriving in the home office

Anyone who works in a home office has certainly already experienced that it takes a lot of self-discipline to be able to work in a concentrated manner. Then there is the equipment and the question of how to avoid the big ergonomic mistakes? There are practical solutions for all of this. 

Indoor "jungle" - it's green between the folders

With the home office, a real plant boom has broken out. The need for them is growing and has good reasons. Indoor plants are all-rounders. They can filter pollutants, have a calming effect, help regulate humidity and create a less polluted indoor climate.

Manuela Lanzinger, expert at DIE UMWELTBERATUNG, explains: "Greenery reduces stress. The sight of plants has a relaxing effect. Scientists have shown that people cope better with difficult situations when they look at plants. The larger and more vital plants are, the better their effect is for a positive indoor climate."

Known from times before Corona - the open-plan office with a variety of plants. Copyright by anthuriuminfo.
Whether on the desk in the office or in the home office: plants make for good air.

The green office at home

In a figurative sense, the home office as a whole can become green through sustainable furnishings that protect the climate and the environment. Green office equipment is sustainable and an alternative to zero-eight office equipment, especially if the products, appliances and furniture bear a state Ecolabel. Then they are guaranteed to be manufactured in a low-pollutant and environmentally friendly way, consume fewer raw materials and have a long service life.

Simply play it safe!

The three big labels that play in the eco-league are: The Austrian Ecolabel (Hundertwasser), the German Ecolabel (Blue Angel), or the EU Ecolabel (Flower), all of which are transparent and trustworthy because they are governmental or supranational. They meet strict regulations regarding problematic chemicals. For products that come into direct contact with the skin, such as surfaces or cleaning agents, it is particularly important that they are not harmful to health. This applies to the home office as well as to the children's room. The most common indoor pollutants are so-called VOCs, plasticisers, flame retardants, preservatives, fragrances or formaldehyde. Many of these can be avoided. Ecolabelled products include office furniture, office chairs, office equipment, floor coverings, wall paints, varnishes, cleaning agents and green electricity.

Ecolabelled office equipment and what it can do

The awarded devices or models are user-friendly, i.e. the pollution of indoor air during printing is harmless, as inks and toners do not contain any substances hazardous to health and only a minimal amount of heavy metals. Sound power limits guarantee quiet operation and prevent noise pollution and the resulting loss of concentration. And they are durable thanks to spare parts, repair and recycling at the end of their service life, and energy-saving.

Ecolabel office equipment licensees: Canon, Konica Minolta, Ricoh and Xerox

Ecolabel paper - Every sheet has two sides

Even in the home office, many processes are now digitalised, so there is usually little need to print out. But if you do have to print out private or professional documents in your home office, there are two golden rules that can help: Use recycled paper and print on both sides. This reduces environmental pollution and saves costs. Making paper requires a lot of water, wood, chemicals and energy. This is especially true of zero-eight paper. Recycled paper with an Ecolabel, on the other hand, is a closed-loop hit. The fibres of the collected waste paper are used. New trees do not have to be felled for it. This is one of the biggest advantages when it comes to environmentally friendly paper.

Ecolabelled office furniture is from Austria

One of them is the office furniture manufacturer hali in Eferding. At hali, the melamine-coated office furniture is certified with the Austrian Ecolabel. This means that the furniture is subject to very strict requirements with regard to emissions. Pollutant-free indoor air values through pollutant-free furniture. Since 2005, the Upper Austrian company has managed to save 51% CO2 emissions per piece of sustainable furniture produced. For this, hali was also awarded the Austrian Climate Protection Prize in 2016! By 2025, hali wants to become climate-neutral with production at the Eferding site! These are good prospects.

Other licensees of Ecolabel office furniture:

A home office suggestion from hali. Copyright by

Second-hand office furniture is a circular economy in action

Those who prefer to opt for second-hand inventory can find this at commercial second-hand office furniture suppliers, such as the carla depot of Caritas Vienna. The offer includes office cabinets, desks (manually or electrically height-adjustable), office swivel chairs, conference tables and chairs, desk lamps, lounge furniture and much more. The purchase is available to all interested parties at the depot.

Caritas offers a variety of second-hand but high-quality office equipment. Copyright by caritas-wien.

Mrs. Eder/Caritas and Mr. Bramberger/GL Coordination of Donations in Kind

Staying in motion even in the home office

Mr Detlef Detjen, Managing Director of Aktion Gesunder Rücken (AGR e.V.) explains the importance of movement. Copyright by AGR e.V.

Mr Detlef Detjen, GF of Aktion Gesunder Rücken (AGR e.V.) on this:

What should you pay attention to in the home office from the very first hour?

I would say the promotion of movement. Movement is the be-all and end-all, no matter what the conditions in the home office are, the more I move, the less the consequences will be. Even the best ergonomic environment is of no use if someone is stuck to a chair for eight hours. What applies in the office also applies in the home office, I have to interrupt the sitting marathon.

What does the AGR suggest in this regard?

Very simple, make a point of getting up to make a phone call, if I have a long phone call, I take the headphones and go outside, outdoors. Or I put the notebook on the sideboard and work standing up. The home office offers me the chance to integrate movement seducers into my daily work routine. There are many movement seducers!

Where do you feel the wrong behaviour most quickly when working?

Some of them are tension in the shoulder and neck area. If, for example, I work at a notebook in a forced posture because I have to look down, that doesn't immediately lead to serious back problems, but to tension.

If I do sport, isn't that enough compensation?

What is very, very often misinterpreted is that people say, ok, I just sit for eight nine hours, but that doesn't matter at all. When I'm at home, I go jogging or play football. They are in a big misconception. Sure, there's nothing wrong with exercising after work, it just doesn't compensate for the lack of movement during work. Our bodies need constant interruption and movement during these periods of sitting, and the damage done by sitting for eight hours is so great that they don't make up for it by going for another run afterwards.

Can you recommend anything else?

We in AGR e.V. have recently certified a cushion that I can put on the chair. With a rigid chair, it gives me more dynamics. You can find all the information on our website at

You can download the "10 tips for a healthy home office" and all office products that have the AGR seal of approval.

Perhaps as a general recommendation, I behave as if I were going to the office. That means I take breaks like breakfast break, lunch break just like that, half an hour break, because otherwise it's easy to just work through.

Eating and drinking at home

Healthy food promotes the ability to perform and concentrate and helps to stay healthy. Those who have always expected more healthy, light and fair meals from the food on offer at work can now determine the menu themselves in the home office. To ensure that balanced meals are also possible, the refrigerator and the stockpile must provide appropriate food. What should the meal plan for the week look like? What is needed for it? Use a shopping list on paper or electronically, because well-planned shopping helps to avoid food waste.

A good drink of water every hour

Drinking plenty keeps hunger pangs at bay. Often you feel hungry, but you are thirsty. Tap water delivered fresh and free to the home causes no waste and and does not need to be transported by road. A nice drinking vessel further enhances the pleasure.

Product finder for office shopping - with 5,000 environmentally friendly product recommendations. Two thirds of the recommended articles bear a state Ecolabel. An initiative of the Ministry of Climate Protection in cooperation with the Austrian paper and office supplies trade.

Guidebooks "Home Office":

Food shopping - tips for all. The Ministry of Climate Action provides valuable information on how to avoid food waste.

Ergonomics and exercise - Keep your back fit with variety! AGR e.V. offers suggestions, tips and exercises for working in the home office as well as back-friendly products with the AGR seal of approval.

Indoor air is an important factor for our well-being and health, as we spend up to ninety percent of the time inside buildings.
What should be considered for healthy indoor air? Please take a deep breath!

Indoor plant posters from DIE UMWELTBERATUNG Green plants not only give rooms an individual touch, but also a better climate.
Download free of charge.