Working from home is something that many of us have had to get used to over the last few months. The ability to work comfortably from home has its upsides: You don’t have to get up too early, there’s no commute, and you get to see more of your family. But working from home also has its challenges. It’s hard to set boundaries between work and life, it can feel a bit isolated, and distractions are everywhere. Here are some tips and home office ideas to create the perfect workspace so you stay focused when you need to be, and you can switch off to avoid working more hours than you would in the office.
The key to success whether you work from home full-time, or only occasionally, is to make sure your space is as conducive to productivity as possible. That means having the right furniture for your home office. A comfortable chair and the right desk are a must. Good lighting is also essential, and the right decor and accessories are also necessary to ensure that the space is somewhere you enjoy spending time.
Good connection to Wifi is also a must as you need to be sure you can work efficiently and an unreliable Wifi is going to slow you down. Boosters are a great idea if your connection is poor and if you are planning a refurbishment you could consider having them wired in key locations to ensure that you have constant high-speed connection throughout the house.
Make sure the room is healthy
Proper ventilation and heating are essential. If there are issues like damp or mould now is an excellent time to have these fixed. You will be spending lots of time in your home office, so dry lining walls, improving ventilation or replacing windows and doors are all worthwhile investments.
Avoid working from your kitchen table. Instead try to find a space in your home that is specifically for work. There are a couple of reasons for this. Not only will your space be more organised, but you will also be less likely to slowly chip away at work all day long. Even if you are looking for small office ideas, by separating your workspace you will create a natural boundary, making it easier to be more disciplined.
Banish the clutter
There is nothing more stressful than clutter, so having an organised space is essential, especially where the space needs to multitask or yours is a small home office. For example, we’ve designed desk areas in open-plan spaces that blend in with the kitchen and can be closed off when not in use. By having a designated space like this means that you can store everything that you need in one place. Otherwise, you risk wasting time trying to remember where you left
something or arguing with family members over essential items not being where you left them. A place for everything and everything in its place is the key to a stress-free and calm working environment.
Plan your lighting carefully
When it comes to lighting your space, there are two things to keep in mind. Good task lighting is vital – you need to be able to see what you’re doing so a good table lamp is a priority. After that, it’s about ambience. It’s critical your working environment is pleasant to be in, so choose bulbs with warm colour temperature and put overhead lighting on a dimmer if possible so you can control the lighting levels. If you are looking for modern home office ideas, consider installing some bespoke joinery for storage or shelving. Incorporate some cabinet lighting and put this on a separate circuit to the rest of the lighting. This will give you options for controlling the ambience in the room.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Managing Director Optimise Design, B.Arch. RIAI RIBA
& Senator’s Expert Design Consultant