By Tabassum Sayeka
In a post-COVID-19 world, more global employees are going to work from anywhere around the world than ever before. Gone are the days of rigid daily commuting and required on-site working. With the help of virtual communication and remote collaboration tools, the future of work is flexible and growing increasingly more so with every passing day. However, one fact about the state of modern work remains the same: it’s important to have a dedicated space where you are able to concentrate, work efficiently, and be creative without distractions.
Enjoying your workstation means that it is attractive, planned out well, and easy to maneuver about so that everything you need is at your fingertips. Designing and assembling your workstation doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. I have compiled some modern home office ideas to help you decide, and inspire the design of your work-from-home space decor.
Making the adjustment to working from anywhere if you’ve previously worked primarily in an office environment can be a big change. It takes motivation, strategy, and support from your manager and organization to succeed in working independently and creating your own schedule. The environment plays a major role in those who are able to easily make the transition to telecommuting. So, start by creating the “office” environment that stokes your productivity and creativity.
Depending on what you want your workstation to entail, you’ll want to find an area that will give you ample space to include all the elements you need to work; a desk, bookshelves, filing cabinet, computer, printer and other equipment. Map out the area you have to use so that you know what your size limits will be for office furniture and other equipment. If you have enough space, devote a complete room for an office; in case there is a paucity of space, simply use the corner space of your room or a window wall to create one. Turn an area of your living room, guest bedroom or hallway into a small office using simple home office storage and an attractive office desk. You can also use the strange ‘dead’ spaces we all have in our homes – next to the wardrobe, under the stairs, – are all potential temporary (or maybe permanent) office spaces. This spot next to this window is perfect, you just need it to be wide enough to squeeze in a desk! Add in a stool, desk lamp and a cozy carpet and you are good to go!
When you are designing a proper workstation, having multi-purpose furniture is a must. Today’s offices are not always the typical space you imagine from the days when people sat in an office building or cubicle. Office furniture companies know that many business and professionals often work out of their home, or in unusual spaces that may require innovative furniture set-ups to allow for the atypical office situation. If you are lacking in space, try using unconventional pieces of furniture that serve multiple purposes, such as a pod chair with a built-in desk or computer, or a desk that offers multiple areas of filing and storage components, even shelving or cubbies to hold printers or books.
Also known as feature walls, accent walls are a major part of traditional and home office design. They can break up an overly large room or make a small office feel more spacious. If your workspace is set up in a room that has other purposes, such as sleeping or watching television, an accent wall can give the impression of a dedicated space. These walls can be created using paint, wallpaper, or even decorative wall hangings.
For better focus, paint the wall behind your workstation with pastel colors, which are soothing to the eye. Harsh or dark colors affect your concentration adversely. In case you are not comfortable with the idea of painting, then go for an elegant wallpaper. Do ensure that you choose wall décor or colors that will give a rich look to your office space. Putting up chalkboard walls is as easy as applying a new coat of paint. If you’ve got yourself a blank wall just waiting to be repurposed into a multi-functioning backdrop for your next virtual meeting, try decking out a space in your home with chalkboard paint. Your chalkboard wall can double as a wall calendar, to-do list, or creative outlet.
Decorating your workstation should be a fun and creative venture, after all, this is where you will be spending a great deal of time. Don’t go with the boring, hum-drum look of a typical office space if you find it hard to get motivated looking at “drab” every day. Use color, personal items and other touches that speak to you on a daily basis and get you motivated to be productive. There are no rules or guidelines for what you should create in a workstation to keep you interested in your tasks at hand, and inspire your work performance. Apart from your regular stationery, you could add a mug, family photo, motivational poster, etc.
What is more indicative of the work from anywhere movement than a desk you can literally work at from any position? It’s no secret that standing desks keep you more alert while working, and this alternative to sitting all day is an easy way to keep your health on track. With a portable standing desk at your fingertips, the world is your office.
Plants, even of the indoor varieties, emit natural detoxifiers to help purify the air – so if you need to ‘clear your head,’ do it with nature! It doesn’t matter whether you’re working in a corner office or your kitchen table: the presence of plants leaves you feeling calm and centered. They become attractive accessories when placed in pots or planters that complement the surrounding decor. They also add dimension to workspaces of all sizes and eliminate airborne toxins such as the chemicals found in carpets, furniture polish, printer ink, and more.
Plants are natural humidifiers, so dry eyes, sore throats, and similar discomforts can be reduced. The effect is one that can boost mood, reduce stress, and make the workspace a more appealing place to be. Combine these advantages with the well-organized desk, and you have an area where productivity flourishes.
Well, not literally- you still want your office equipment to function! You just don’t want your workspace to look like some sort of tech jungle, with unsightly cords snaking across all surfaces. Once those cords accumulate dust bunnies, you really have an eyesore on your hands, not to mention a possible health hazard. Reduce clutter by positioning your equipment as close to power outlets as possible and running all cords through a desk grommet, which hides them underneath your desk.
If you need accessories like a scanner and printer, think about buying the wireless versions that don’t need to be tethered to your computer. You may opt for a wireless mouse and a laptop, which only needs a single cord to work (and even then, only when the battery is running low).
Whatever your needs, the chances are that you need a home office – whether that looks like a complete room, a nook or a pull-out shelf, that’s up to you. Get inspired by above design trends– for a functional, chic and totally refreshed home office.