For years #WorkingFromHome was something only remote staff, freelancers and consultants did. However, since Lockdown, working from home is a growing trend. So much so that the home office could perhaps have a permanent spot on residential blueprints post-Covid-19.
#WFH is not a new phenomenon. Prior to the pandemic, millions of people across Europe, the UK and the USA were already doing this full- or part-time. As a result, as far back as 2015, scientists started referring to this trend as the “future of work”. This is because it is a far greener approach as it leads to less cars on the roads and smaller office space requirements. Furthermore, collaborative software and other technological advancements make it easy for managers to remain in control.
Working from home is also good for staff morale. Employees spend less time in their cars and more time with their family. Less brick and mortar and more trees and pets tend to destress and calm as well. Various studies have shown that these conditions aid productivity.
Productivity is a state of mind but also a science
Productivity while working from home is a “state of mind”. A conscious decision to switch between work and relax mode. For many this balance remains a daily struggle, but there is also a level of science to creating a productive workspace. Sure, there will always be physical and mental distractions but some key considerations with regards to space and layout are crucial to creating a happy and healthy workspace at home.
1. Pick the perfect spot
As with many things in life, the location is very important. With productivity in mind the best spot for a home office would be a quieter area in the house. A place that offers privacy from the general footfall and distractions of the household. Many experts advise picking a dedicated workspace as this allows one to differentiate between home and work life more easily. We agree whole-heartedly. However, the occasional or weekly pop-up office in the garden or on the patio could also boost productivity and mental health.
2. Consider the ergonomics of the space
The ergonomics of the home office is essentially the science behind the arrangement and layout of furniture and equipment in order to enhance both function and comfort. Make sure your office addresses the following things:
- A computer, desk and comfortable chair, set at the appropriate heights to limit fatigue and strain.
- A nearby window to allow for fresh air circulation and natural light.
- Appropriate artificial lighting.
- A tranquil view or a wall painted in greens or blues as these colours have been proven to influence productivity positively.
- Clutter – declutter and make use of neat storage solutions.
- Make use of air purifying indoor plants.
- Choose natural, eco-friendly office decor and furniture.
Tip: Add a water feature outside your office window as the sound of water can have a calming effect.
Ultimately, you need to love spending time in the space you create! That’s why it is important that your home office resembles who you are and is personalized according to your individual needs and wants.
3. Be flexible with your home office
Using a spare bedroom as an office makes sense. It is private, there’s a good size window, ample storage space – everything you need from a home office. The problem however, creeps in when family or friends need to spend the night. Designing the ideal home office therefore requires some flexibility. The creative use of space with regards to a sleeper couch or daybed could do the trick. A wall separation between the sleeping area and the office takes this idea to the next level.
At Veld Architects, we make it our business to stay up to date on the Architectural trends and advancements pertaining to designing healthy homes. Healthy homes encompass an abundance of criteria like sustainable building practices and natural landscape preservation etc.
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Talk to us about your home office revamp or residential property design.