Cues for YOUR Work from Home Space to Make It More Productive!
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Work from home need not be a daily battle with sound, lack of light and distractions; expending some thought to small issues may ensure a pleasurable and productive work from home.
The global pandemic has brought in a lot of changes in terms of the ‘new normal’. In a scenario where ‘No one is safe until everyone is safe’ organizations across the world are opting for work from home keeping in view the safety of their team. And who knows? It might become a new normal in post-Corona age as a cost-cutting and stress-free work environment. This may become a reality soon, as once proved workable, the company will try to cut office real estate and infrastructure cost while the person working will find it more convenient as he/she saves long hours of tiring commuting and related cost and with freedom of working at his/her own time and giving more time to family.
But in countries where space is a major constraint and joint families a popular norm this work option becomes a tad challenging. But it’s a question of being caught between the devil and the deep blue sea! We either brave the risk of picking up the COVID-19 and working from office; or we try managing to work from the safe and secure environs of our home amidst a cacophony of sounds and disturbances!
What is critical in this situation is zeroing-in on the most comfortable home office design to ensure easing and making productive our work from home experience.
The first step is giving a deep thought to the objective of your home office. If you intend working in it on a daily basis, then it’s important to create a different feel from the rest of your rooms to enable you to concentrate; while if you wish to work from home on a random or part-time basis then the décor needs to be integrated with the décor of the other parts of the house.
Irrespective of whether your work from home is a dedicated room, a re-purposed garden room, or a small study space… Gharpedia brings for you some out-of-the-box and yet doable ideas to make your work from home experience comfortable and productive…
Select A Place That Complements Your Style of Working
The primary step in this journey is choosing a perfect location for your work from home. For this, do ensure that it is in sync with – the needs of your family/those whom you live with; your style of working; and the type of work you do.
Say for example your work requires privacy and silence then suggested options for your work from home space include a re-purposed space in a garden or garage or attic.
If you intend combining running your business from home and monitoring your children then a workspace adjacent to the drawing room or kitchen or even sitting in the dining room would be a good idea.
A cupboard work station provides the perfect solution! Alternatively, a well-planned corner of a living space or bedroom would also do simply fine. In case of a small house, you might even prefer to use your own bed as an office extension and making the laptop really resting on your lap. This might become a compulsion also, as there is all probability that you and your spouse or parents or even siblings would also be working from home simultaneously.
Important Parameters to Remember
To arrive at what you exactly need in your work area check out the following parameters –
- Desktop space required
- Storage required
- Any need for printing
- Is peace and quiet a priority? Do you need to be cocooned from disruption within the home?
- Time spent on the phone; and is other equipment used while talking on the phone?
- Reach to reference books or samples
- Need for your work table clutter to be left untouched by other people in the house
- Conducive ways to place your files – in a shelf; in a desk drawer; or on your wall
01. Be Digitally Smart
Tabs, smart phones, portable internet routers, laptops, printers, scanners and desktops and of course latest meeting app’s and software are assuming gigantic proportions in today’s hi-tech work from home times. So, ensure that they are well-connected and running full throttle by taking the following measures –
- Say your work desk is positioned bang in the midst of the room then opt for flexible plastic trunking to connect cables to a powerpoint.
- Place your home office gadgets in close proximity and invest in a power pack for charging them.
02. Power Plugs Needed
Remember to budget power points factoring in – computers/laptops; printer; television, music system; lighting et al; alongside a mini refrigerator and a coffee machine.
03. Invest in The Best Desk and Office Chair You Can Afford in Your Budget
While zeroing-in on the best desk for your home office keep in mind – the available floor space; the mandates for the desktop space i.e. it should be able to accommodate your laptop, coffee mug, specs, phone; and also space to take notes or browse through physical files; and proximity or connectivity to plug sockets.
When it comes to a chair comfort is a priority as you’re going to be spending a good amount of your waking hours ensconced in it! A swivel is advisable as it allows you to adjust it to the suitable height. Ergonomics should also be given due weightage. Hence, choose an ergonomically-designed yet comfortable seat for your work station. And if you are looking for one, we have a wonderful collection for your inspiration of office chair at best home design section of Gharpedia.
04. Storage Space in your Work Space
Clutter is as distracting at home as it is at work so ensure that your work space is as tidy as possible, with all important documents and gadgets easily accessible. Opt for functional and sophisticated storage accessories like shelves, fitted cupboards and units, collapsible drawers et al to ensure that ‘there’s a place for everything and everything is in its place.
05. Track Your Tasks
Place noticeboards, whiteboards and wall-planners to monitor your deadlines, to-do lists, goals and achievements.
06. Let There Be Light!
The thrust should be on natural lighting so position your work desk close to the window. A mix of desk lamps, lampshades and pendant lightings are perfect. To know about how to optimize natural daylight in you work space, we have an informative blog for you: 14 Effective Ways to Optimize Natural Daylight
07. Ideas for Your Home Office Window
Give deep thought to how to dress up the windows of your home office. Some ideas include –
- Shutters to control the amount of light
- Light coloured blinds to block the glare
- A blackout curtain if the workspace doubles up as a bedroom
08. Don’t Miss the Floor!
Opt for laminate flooring or engineered wood flooring while designing your home office. You can add in a rug or a runner for some comfort and colour.
Innovative Home Office Space Options
01. Garden Office
For those living in independent units an innovative work from home space would be building a small structure in the garden; post taking necessary permissions of course! It needs to be – soundproof; single storey; with a maximum eaves height of 2.5 m and overall height of 3 m; and with a flat roof.
Some other points to keep in mind for your garden office include –
- It needs to be designed for round the year use
- Opt for heating options like under-floor heating or radiators
- Consult an electrician on points like – where to run insulated cabling through your garden; where to install power points and lighting et al.
- Ensure that your desk, reading chair and workstation have adequate plug sockets to service all the gadgets that you need to work with
- Opt for task lighting for the work areas; and a series of spotlights in the roof to ensure a well-lit space.
02. Home Office Extension
Another option worth exploring is extending your existing structure to include your home office. This would ensure proximity to electrical and heat supply.
Cues for home office extension include –
- Minimising distraction by placing the home office extension as far away as possible from loud spaces like the living room; or alternatively opting for sound proofing it.
- Installing blinds to regulate shade, natural lighting and temperature.
- Investing in under-floor heating to keep warm.
03. Convert your Garage into a Home Office Space
If your unutilized garage is gathering dust then convert it into a home office. Just remember to ensure good lighting, cross ventilation and heating during the winters.
04. Outlandish Options for Home Office
Be innovative and do a thorough recce of your house; trust us you’ll find umpteen options for a new home office like – landings, hallways, spaces under staircases, attics et al.
The new normal has brought in work for home for lots of us; education too is being streamed online so it’s a bit of a squeeze with the entire family cooped up in the house. But what we need to remember here is that although we are relegated to congested spaces yet more importantly these are safe and enable us to stay connected with our dear ones!
So, go ahead and book your electrician and carpenter (and perhaps your mason too) and design your workspace!
And before you take a leave, and if you want more tips to design your home office, here you go:
Huta Raval – An English Literature and Journalism Topper, Huta Raval has graduated from the L D Arts College, Ahmedabad. Post serving for 23 years in the NBFC and Public Library Sectors her desire for ‘writing the unwritten’ brought her to the creative field of content writing. Her clientele comprises of NGOs, Blogging Platforms, Newspapers, Academic Institutions, et al.