Balancing Home and Work – at Home
It’s becoming common for people to work from home, and at home. Consultants, gig-workers and those on flexi-time spend a lot of their time in home offices, while many so-called ‘regular’ workers tend to bring work home rather than spending longer hours at their jobs.
Here we look at some things to think about when designing your work space at home.
The first tip is to let the office space blend in with the rest of your home. Good design means being able to create a functional space that doesn’t conflict with the rest of the house. Use roughly the same colour palette and materials that are prevalent in other rooms.
Another consideration is lighting. Good, natural light is best (but not always possible). However you design your lighting, make it optimum for reading and to keep reflection and glare off screens to minimise eye-strain.
As most of these pictures show, try to break the office up into different areas. You don’t want to feel cramped into a space that will get you heading for the door at every opportunity. Rather allow for comfortable chairs and sofas where you can take a relaxed break without the distractions that may be present in other parts of the house.
Speaking of distractions; try to keep the area around your work space simple and clutter-free. If you have files and papers to store, keep them neatly in cupboards and drawers. Not only does this make for a less stressful environment, it also ensures that nosey guests aren’t surprised by your ‘messy genius’ approach to work.
Having said all that, make your office as warm and comfortable as you can. Minimalist art and interesting books do add to the feel of the space without making it difficult to be productive.
If it’s your office and will mostly be used by you, then design it accordingly. Do you work better on wide, broad desks with lots of space, or integrated work surfaces like this?
Other things to consider include, of course, the office chair. While you’re aiming for visual harmony, this is one item of furniture where ergonomic comfort trumps aesthetics. Make sure your chair promotes good posture and mobility. Height and inclination levers and wheels all help to make the office experience a much more pleasurable one that would otherwise be the case.
If you expect guests, then be sure to have comfortable seating for them too. It’s probably not the most professional approach to run off to the dining room to steal a chair for a potential client. Some would advocate for slightly less comfort than your own to discourage guests from overstaying their welcome – but that’s a personal decision!
You should also think about the general workplace design – making sure that computers, printers and other office equipment are accessible but not in the way. Thinking about power and cabling is a big element in this process.
Finally, be sure to use your office. We’re not saying you should over-do your work, especially at the expense of your family. But very often a well-designed office offers a quiet place away from the haste of the outside world. Perhaps turn off the computer, grab one of those books you’ve been meaning to read, and retire to one of your comfortable seats for an hour or too of indulgent relaxation.
Aimed at the modern executive who wants an extraordinary office space to reflect their success and vision, Wanda Michelle Interiors create bespoke office interiors that are sleek, modern and functional, at the same level of innovation as seen in their residential projects.