The home-office healthcheck - Is your space promoting work-life balance?
With so many of us working remote, the art of creating a well-functioning home office has never been in higher demand. Working from home will inevitably affect our job satisfaction and the way we live. While it may offer a welcomed break to commuting and fewer interruptions during the day, working from home also has the tendency of blurring the lines between work and play. When the physical space stays unchanged day and night, a good workspace set-up can help maintain a healthy work-life balance.
How to create a productive and comfortable workspace at home
What does industrial design have in common with a good home office? Well, both aim to marry visual appeal with functionality. In a home environment your challenge is to balance work-related needs like ergonomics, eliminating distractions, smart storage solutions etc. with homely aesthetics.
In a dedicated office room this should not be all too daunting a task. When one is not available, putting together a clever set up for a multifunctional space is the next best thing to do. By clearly separating the workspace from other functions in the home you are conscientiously separating the focused, efficient work mode from the personal time and rest. Is there a guest room or a nook in the family room that could be turned into an office and back on a need-basis? There are plenty of transforming, space-saving products available to make the job easier; folding desks, multipurpose shelving, side tables doubling up as seats, ottomans with storage space… If space is limited, check out the Loop Desk. It can be folded up when not in use. With specifically designed loop-shaped brackets, this light yet exceptionally strong desk will transform even a small area into a functional workplace. If the idea of having to actively set up and take down your little office sounds too cumbersome, changing the room layout and simply hiding the desk behind other furniture, like a sofa, may be worth a try. Sometimes even a visual separation by choosing a different décor style for your workspace is enough to create an impression of a room within a room.
5 tips to perfect the home office
#1 Desk with a view
It all starts with a desk. Where is yours facing? Is there a lounge, a bed or maybe a fridge directly in the line of vision, tempting you to have little breaks ever so often? Turning to face outwards - either to a window or a wall - may help you maintain focus.
#2 Something to lean back on
A good chair is the cornerstone of home office ergonomics. An investment in your well-being, really. When choosing one, pay extra attention to the height as it needs to relate to the height of your desk. Ideally, either of them should be adjustable to make the combo match your personal measurements.
#3 Organisation is key
Be it a separate space or a desk in the corner of your bedroom, organisation will be key. Add storage boxes, shelves and hooks as needed to tame the visual clutter of gadgets, cables, paperpiles and such. The zen effect will be instant.
#4 See the light
Generous natural light will boost your mood and energy. When relying on mounts or recessed lights, think of ways to diffuse the lighting to avoid working directly under a glare or having a lightsource behind you create a glare on your monitor. Layer the ambient lights up with enough task lighting.
#5 Fake it ‘til you make it
So there’s an important online meeting looming and after all the efforts you’re still not feeling 100 % happy with your setup? There is absolutely nothing wrong with using backgrounds and blurs. Professional photographers have done it for years. Some video-conferencing services like Zoom allow users to upload their own backgrounds At least for the duration of a conference call anyone can be the owner of a (virtual) dream home office!