Rowena is the Founder and Principal at the interior design firm Liquid Interiors and is an expert in healthy and eco-conscious interior design. She had the opportunity of working with innovative and successful clients in their corporate office spaces and their homes.
In this global society, working hours are becoming less standard. We often have to adjust to different time zones. Corporate office spaces are downsizing as well, opening up to having people work from home. Rather than staying late in the office, many people choose to achieve better work life balance by using their flexible work hours to spend time with their kids – either in the early evening and working at night or early morning.
To plan an effective home work space, it is important to understand the basics of productivity which is unanimous from corporate and home environments. Productivity requires a mix between focus and break times, just like in the office. If there are too many distractions, you will find it hard to concentrate. Selecting a focus space at home can be tricky. Here are some questions to ask yourself when you’re planning a focus space:
Selecting a location:
– How often will you work from home? – Does this space need to be permanent or can it be shared with another function – Will it be free from distractions? – What work equipment do you need? (Printer, landline, WIFI router) – Any storage requirements? – If you do video conferencing, what do you want your backdrop to look like?
Tips on ergonomics and movement
– Locate a standing and sitting area for different types of work and tasks
– Use an ergonomic workplace guide to assure surface screen, keyboard and chair heights are correct for your height – Use an under mount keyboard tray for your comfort in posture – this will also eliminate extra neck and shoulder tension – Select an adjustable chair and footstool if different members of the family will be using the same work space – Consider an exercise unit where you can unconsciously exercise while working such as the https://hovr.pro/ – Consider a chair that reclines 180 degrees so that your space can be doubled as a space for relaxation.
Concentration – lighting, views & air
– Make sure you have access to natural daylight and a view of outside – Have a mix between general indirect lighting and work lighting – Consider a general light that can change from cool to warm temperatures to increase concentration – Make sure your space can be uninterrupted – Complete silence can be disturbing. White noise or a good quality speaker system with low level music playing will actually increase productivity – For natural white noise, try a fish tank or water fountain for a soothing ambiance – Adding plants to your work space can also increase concentration and memory.
– Incorporate a large writing wall where you can step back and look at your ideas and inspiration on a macro level. It will act as a space for you to collect many ideas and make connection in ways that can’t translate on a sheet of paper or on a screen – Make sure your space is filled with colorful artwork and meaningful items to stimulate creativity and motivation – Add a focus item that will remind you of your purpose – whether it’s a quote, inspirational image, your kid’s photos etc… – Have a bookshelf of reading material by inspiring influencers.
Storage and equipment
– Aim for a paperless office – use your cloud network to store all information you need for your office – De-clutter and store only what is absolutely needed – Use the right type of screen mounts for your screens to make sure you are working at an appropriate height – Have closed cabinets to store all file folders – Shallow drawers for office supplies arrangements with dividers – Add specific storage to separate your waste and recycled items.
In conclusion, having an effective home office can help with life balance. You can be more productive at home and also spend time with your kids and partner. As everyone says, “I always come up with the best ideas in the shower”. Why not create a space where you can start working on those ideas once you step out of the shower?