WorldExecutivesDigest.com | Home Office Design Tips for Working at Home During the Quarantine | As an increasing number of shops and offices close due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more professionals and entrepreneurs have to work from home. Designers and interior fit-out professionals alike are observing an increase in clients needing home office designs.
Working from home is not an unusual occurrence, as some digital nomads and traveling professionals have been converting spaces inside their homes into workspaces way before the shutdown. However, the quarantine period is forcing many office employees to do the same, as well. Traditional employees who were used to traveling and working in a corporate scenario may find the shift taxing and stressful.
You may find yourself in the same situation right now, having to do more conferences online, or trying to work while your family is just a few feet away. Many potential distractions can impede productivity. How do you redesign a space in your home to make it more conducive to working, or in the case of video conferences, make you more presentable to your colleagues?
Experienced interior design contractors share their tips and insights on how to liven up your home space and turn it into a conducive area for office work in this post.
Find a window
Place your workspace near a window. There are many advantages to working directly next to or near an opening. For one, studies have shown that being able to see nature, whether it is trees, flowers, or even just the sky, can boost morale and productivity levels.
A single window makes a huge difference in changing the way the space looks or feels. It opens up the space, making the area look bigger than it seems. Plus, the space appears more relaxing and conducive to working.
Not only does natural light work wonders on your psyche, but choosing an area with good natural lighting is also a practical choice to make. With working at home, you end up using more resources, such as electricity. By making use of the ambient light coming through the window, you reduce the amount of power you use, equating to energy savings.
Setting up shop near a window may not always be possible. Perhaps the view is not conducive to working, the space is being used for other purposes, or in a worst-case scenario, you may not even have a window. What can you do in such situations?
Bring nature indoors instead by buying potted plants and placing them near your workspace. They work just as well in enhancing mood, health, and productivity levels as a window overlooking a garden.
Choose plants that suit your space. Windows are ideal for plants that like a lot of direct sunlight. Alternatively, if you don’t have a window or access to natural light, you may want to look for a plant that does not need light to thrive or survive.
Do you have a green thumb? Some plants are very delicate and require a lot of care. If you are not good with plants, look for hardy, low maintenance types so you won’t need to worry about them withering while you focus on work.
Encourage more movement
Working in an office involves a lot of movement, regardless of how you travel and your responsibilities at work. Even desk employees often walk around to different sections of the office to do presentations, attend meetings, collaborate with colleagues, talk to clients, and so much more.
In a work-from-home setup, the workspace tends to be smaller. Everything you need, including your laptop, printer, teleconferencing devices, and other office supplies, is just within an arm’s reach. Albeit convenient, the lack of movement can be detrimental to your health.
With a home office setup, inactivity is your greatest enemy. Limited motion can cause you to gain weight and develop other medical issues. But thankfully, there are several options available, depending on the amount of space you have.
If you have a larger home or apartment, you can have several casual work areas. For instance, your office nook may hold most of your essential work equipment and tools. You can have a tablet in the kitchen which you can use to check emails and make voice-only calls while you sip a cup of coffee.
An even simpler method is to get a standing desk. Researchers say the effort of standing for at least three hours a day has the same effect on the body as running ten marathons in a year. Standing also reduces back pain, which is a welcome relief if you have a bad back.
Opt for sturdy furniture
It may be weeks, months, or even a year before you set foot in an office again. Companies are now also rethinking the work environment. As such, your future work setup may require less of your physical presence even when businesses open.
Because of the quarantine, home offices are turning out to be no longer just temporary spaces. Working from home will most likely be your setup for the foreseeable future. With that in mind, it is worth thinking about investing in comfy but hardy furnishings.
Work equipment and furniture cover a broad spectrum of items. In the past, small business owners may have additional seats for accommodating clients. These days, getting more storage is vital.
Even storage can mean many things, depending on your responsibilities. It could be shelves for books and files. Storage can also refer to additional hardware on your computer or buying cloud storage.
Make a list of your everyday tasks and think of getting equipment that would make your work easier. This may mean getting a larger LCD screen for looking at file details, or for multi-tasking, or a comfy office chair cushion for longer periods of sitting down. It could be as small as a better pair of headphones or a camera for your video meetings.
Whatever the case may be, remember to invest in quality. Your work environment will stay this way for a while. As such, it may be worth investing in reliable and functional equipment.
The quarantine may place restrictions on movement, but you can also see it as a blessing in disguise. A work-from-home setup allows you to get creative and design your workspace. Use these tips as a guide on what you can do with your new working area.
For more suggestions on designing your home workspace, contact a reputable interior designer or fit-out company today.
Rachel Hennessey manages the Pools and Landscaping Division of Hennessey LLC. She also works on Tender and Pre-Qualification and brings in new business to the company’s Construction, Interiors and Civils Division.