Over the last decade, the digital era has witnessed a significant shift in how and where we work. According to researchers, more than two-thirds of the world’s population now spend at least one day a week working from home. The traditional nine to five is rapidly declining as companies around the world acknowledge the benefits of remote work.
Technological capabilities mean that workforces are now able to function just as effectively from opposite sides of the world as they are from within the same room. File-sharing software, video conferencing and the many online communication tools have led to a decreased need for large office spaces.
This has also led to an increase in home offices. For this shift in flexibility to succeed, companies need their employees to function just as effectively in this alternative workspace as they would in the office. For many, this means turning somewhere within the home into a designated working space, but there is more to it than you may think. Here are some top tips for creating a bespoke home office that achieves the perfect balance between comfort and productivity.
Selecting the Space: Where Will Your Home Office Be?
If you’re serious about working from home, you need a designated area. With children, partners or any other people around, you need a space that’s shut off from distractions — unfortunately, your kitchen worktop won’t do the job. You might be able to use your laptop here for a short while, but over the long term, this is neither effective nor convenient.
A home office should be somewhere that can be closed off. Arguably, only a desk and chair are bigger requirements than a door. A door puts a stop to noise and potential interruptions and provides you with your own space to get your head down. If you can’t dedicate a room to a home office, try doubling up another room, like a guest room or conservatory, and use it as a workspace.
The Essentials: A Decent Desk-Chair Duo
The desk and chair are what make your space a home office. As you’ll be here for large portions of the day, you need to choose these two components with care.
Do not underestimate the effects of a good office chair. Comfort, productivity and health are all influenced by the kind of chair you have. Sitting down is not necessarily good for your body and can seriously impact your back and posture. Backache, scoliosis and arthritis are just a few of the potential health issues that you risk with a bad desk and chair arrangement.
To make sure your home office is comfortable, invest in an ergonomic office chair that is kind to your back and easily adjustable so you can change the height and tilt to find the best fit for you.
Let There Be Light: Keep Your Home Office Bright
A well-lit workspace is an obvious component of all working environments, but those who work from home will tell you that access to natural light is an absolute must. Whether you’re aware of it or not, natural light has a huge impact on mental and physical health.
When you’re locked away for long hours of a day, it‘s easy to feel isolated and lonely. This can have a negative influence on your mood. Regardless of the season, being connected to the outdoors keeps you feeling alert and alive. Make sure your home office has a window that allows sunlight and fresh air in while you’re working. Mirrors are particularly good at boosting natural light exposure by bouncing light around the room.
Neat and Tidy: Replicating Office Organisation
Even the most organised person can struggle to keep on top of their home office. A cluttered workspace makes for a cluttered mind and without being surrounded by colleagues, it’s easy to let organisation and presentation slip.
All it takes is a floating shelf or cabinet by the side of your desk to keep things tidy, while a paper tray can keep important paperwork in one place.
Accessorising Your Workspace: Using Plants and Colour
Working from home can impact your mental health, so it’s important to ensure that your mood levels aren’t impacted by spending long hours shut away. In addition to making the most of natural light, you should accessorise your space so that it is a place of positivity and productivity.
Inject colour into your home office with coloured prints and plants. Plants provide natural colour and air a room that might otherwise get stuffy.
Stephen Flower is Managing Director at Ashford Kitchens & Interiors, a quality provider of bespoke luxury kitchens, bedrooms and home offices in and around London, United Kingdom, since 1984.