Make working from home work for your home
Rolling out of bed and getting right to work is a growing trend these days. No commute, no office attire, no water cooler chat. But with the comfort of being able to work from home, and possibly in your pyjamas, comes the challenge of incorporating – and separating – your work life and your home life.
Having a dedicated room to work in isn’t a luxury a lot of us are lucky to have. So how does one leave their home office without actually leaving the room they’re working in? It’s not as easy as sliding your laptop under your couch or replicating a traditional office at home; it’s finding the right balance for your environment so your space is pleasing to the eye, personalized to your taste and still inspires productivity.
While your bed or kitchen table may seem cozy or convenient, a good desk is essential to creating an effective office space. Desks come in all sorts of styles, colours and materials, allowing you to find the perfect fit for your home. A traditional desk may not look right if your office doubles as your living room so don’t settle for a piece of furniture that doesn’t suit your decor.
Converting a vanity or credenza into a functional work space can complement your existing decor without calling attention to the actual use of the additional furniture. A well-organized hutch can add personality to your bedroom-turned-office while giving you ample room to keep your pens, paper and supplies sorted.
Something simple like a floating desk won’t take up much room and can easily blend into its surroundings. If you don’t want to see your desk when your work day is done, consider an armoire – plenty of storage plus the convenience of being able to close the doors once you clock out.
Decorate your office area as you would a mantle, bookcase or shelf. Include artwork in simple frames that is pleasing to the eye and inspiring to your workflow. Add a framed family photo or two to make it feel homey.
Use greenery and florals to enhance your existing space as well as your work; plants can improve your productivity by upping your air quality and creating a more pleasing environment.
Keep the accessories simple yet attractive – you’ll have some obvious office necessities but incorporate soothing colours and comforting textures to bring about calm and avoid the look of a sterile office space.
Storage will be key when it comes to keeping your workspace clutter-free and contained at the end of your work day. Don’t limit your options to wire racks and filing cabinets from office supply stores; consider investing in wooden boxes, wicker baskets or colourful containers to hide your files and sync with your style.
Office accessories can be found in all sorts of fun colours and materials. From copper containers to bamboo shelves and desk organizers in plastics, metals and various patterns, there’s no shortage of ways to style your files and supplies.
Frame your calendar or upholster a cork board. Use decorative clipboards or incorporate a chalkboard. Pick out a vase for your pens or repurpose a jewellery box for your supplies.
While being at home gives you the freedom to move about as you please, you’ll likely spend a lot of time sitting in front of your computer. Don’t limit yourself to the standard black fabric desk chair that everyone else in your organization is uncomfortable in. Investing in a well-designed, for both form and function, desk chair can not only provide a comfy place to park yourself while you work but it can also add an extra piece of furniture to your space after you’ve logged enough hours in your day.
An accent chair can be cozy while seamlessly transition to extra seating when the work day is done. Or search for an ergonomically-designed seat in your preferred style – from mid-century modern to art deco, upholstered to plastic, antique to updated. With how much time you’ll spend sitting in it or seeing it, it’s an important piece of furniture that should not only be comfortable but also aesthetically pleasing in your home.
Keep the colour palate consistent. If your living room boasts bold colours or antique accents, allow your style to flow into your workspace. While it can be tempting to separate the two, your office might seem obtrusive when you’re not using it if the decor is too different. Embrace the space by incorporating your own style into both your work and living space.
Decorate your office as you would any other room in your home – for function first but with form in mind. The ability to work from home means you’re not working in a traditional office space – and so your home office doesn’t have to look traditional either.