It really comes as no surprise that over the past few months we’ve had an influx of people inquiring about projects concerning their home office. Now, more than ever, people are getting creative with technology and re-thinking the layout of their homes to make them more conducive to #WFH. The thing we love about a home office is that they all end up being wildly different, as they have to be uniquely tailored to the client in question. Every career has different requirements and every person’s optimal work environment varies. If you then add personal aesthetics into the mix, you’ve got a wide array of finished, home-office spaces. If you find yourself working from home on a part-time or full-time basis and have had enough of your make-shift arrangement, here are a few things to consider when setting up shop in your own home…
1. Decide on a Location
Before diving into your home office project, it’s worthwhile to think long and hard about where in your home you want your office to be and how you want it to function. For some careers, it’s absolutely necessary to have a dedicated office that is quiet and separated from the rest of the home. For others, a dedicated office is unnecessary or might, in some cases, even slow productivity and creativity. In a case like this, a more multi-purpose, open-concept setup might be more appropriate. This could mean using a portion of your dining table as a work space during the day and having creative and functional storage to put it all to rest at night. The point is, it’s important to be honest with yourself and think about what your job requires and what you require to do your job well.
2. Choose Function Over Form
This is going to come as a shock coming from a group of people who live and breathe interior decor BUT when it comes to a home office or workspace, we truly believe that function really does have to come first and form second. That said, if you can find pieces that are extremely functional but also incredibly stylish, you’ve hit the jackpot! So what do we mean? There are, for example, countless desks that look great but in practicality are actually quite useless. If your home is a condo or a small home, clever and sleek storage is key to avoiding your home looking like a dishevelled filing room. The goal is to choose pieces that will maximize productivity when you’re on duty but then neatly store and conceal everything when the day comes to an end. This might mean sacrificing on style a bit, in which case we suggest going for simple and streamline pieces in neutral colours.
3. Invest in a Great Office Chair
Similar to our last point, it’s easy to fall into the trap of purchasing an “office” chair that looks fabulous but in reality will ruin your neck and/or back. Instead, take the time to invest in a proper office chair that will stand the test of time and keep you both comfortable and aligned. If you take the time to look, there are countless office chairs that are ergonomic but heir on the side of contemporary versus orthopaedic.
4. Let in the Light
Regardless of the nature of your work, there have been countless studies that have proven the benefits of natural light. Light improves our mood, keeps us awake and therefore can help with productivity. There’s a reason why everyone covets the corner office, after all! When setting up your space, pay attention to the windows and light in your home. Think about whether you’re most productive in the early morning or late afternoon and see how the light moves through your home throughout the day. If you don’t have the luxury of working in a space with natural light, then thoughtfully considered light fixtures are essential. You want it to be bright enough to see what you’re doing but at the same time, anything reminiscent of the buzz and glare of office lighting is completely out of the question. Not to mention, fluorescent lighting would completely defeat the purpose and luxury of working from home. Beyond everyday light fixtures, some find natural daylight lamps to be incredibly helpful, particularly in the winter months.
5. Surround Yourself with Whatever Gets You Going
Regardless of the nature of your job, be it incredibly creative, extremely competitive or what have you, it’s worthwhile to consider what motivates you, inspires you and keeps you both focused and driven. Whatever the answer is, we like to find ways to incorporate that element into the workspace or office. This might mean mounting a cork board onto a nearby wall to create a mood board that is ever-changing and evolving. Or, it could be something as simple as a few photos of your choosing, displayed in beautiful frames. This is the part where personality and individuality really comes into play and also where form conquers function so be creative and have fun with it!