With Twitter and Facebook announcing that staff can continue to work from home for life, it is clear that the new norm for many office workers will be working from home, even post-pandemic. But while working from home has huge advantages, not least the lack of the dreaded commute, it also has its disadvantages, like all day snacking and the difficulty of switching off.
In creating the right home office, whether a light-filled room in a family home, or a mere poky corner in a small apartment, getting it right will be key to your sanity and productivity.
First on the list is a desk. While working at the kitchen table is fine in short spurts, it is not sustainable in the long run. Packing up work and setting up the table multiple times a day is a sure recipe for spilling coffee on your Macbook, or an invoice getting mislaid, not to mention general distraction, especially if more than one person is working from home. Searches online for desks have rocketed during the pandemic. Many styles currently are minimalist and often can be folded away easily if WFH is temporary or you are very constrained for space. Alternatively they can be your permanent WFH desk. With a stylish desk and comfortable chair set up, what else does one need to create an atmosphere of both productivity and also calm?
A corkboard, mesh wire board or even blackboard is a must have to scribble notes, reminders and inspirational ideas. There are a million and one out there, from artistic and cute to plain and practical, but a simple corkboard does just fine. I painted the frame of mine yellow which made all the difference. I’m not sure however if it is being used for work purposes or as a dreamy mood board these days. A pen and a nice notebook is a must too. One could go down a rabbit hole shopping online for cute stationary but it’s just a distraction from work for most. Even a simple jam jar with a ribbon tied around will make a perfect holder for pens and pencils so get creative during lockdown.
Choose an area with natural light for your desk . . . even facing the window where that is possible. Find the free corner in your home which has the most natural daylight (and the least noise and interference): that is where your desk should go. Also necessary is a desk light for cloudier days and evening work. Whether a small light to fit on the desk or a tall free standing lamp beside the desk, make sure it is not harsh on the eyes but pleasant to work with. The black IKEA Ranarp lamp has a nice vintage look to it and will suit most rooms but there are many to choose from and IKEA continues to deliver throughout lockdown.
With the practicalities taken care of it’s time to dress the workspace. Unless you are lucky enough to have a view of the sea or the mountains from your work station, you will need to bring the outdoors in to create calm. A nice plant will add some colour and oxygen to your space. Cacti are all the rage and an easy houseplant but a greener plant like a Yucca is surprisingly just as easy to keep alive. Adding a colourful splash with a bright ceramic pot will cheer you up on overcast days.
And finally a little art will help finish off the work space. An affordable poster from Rosenstock&Rosenstock will do just that. The stunning black and white photographs by U.S master photographer Ron Rosenstock with uplifting text by Irish writer and haiku master Gabriel Rosenstock will lift your spirits and make you smile for a short ‘mindful moment’ : a little inspirational break from your working day.
Available to order @ www.rosenstockandrosenstock.com