Working From Home: Utilising multi-purpose spaces for long-term productivity

Initially, working-from-home was a “temporary” arrangement. However, over the past two years, it has become the “new normal” with 50% of South Africa’s workforce doing so full-time. With yet another Covid-19 wave looming, it is clear that flexible (hybrid) working conditions within the corporate arena could be with us for far longer.

It is time to turn makeshift home offices into permanent places of work where productivity, and physical and mental health and wellness are the main objectives.

Ideally, to obtain this home offices should be dedicated private spaces. Unfortunately, this isn’t something every home can offer.

A multi-functional, niche space with the following in place can work just a well:

  • a table and chair that heroes ergonomic design (aka designed for efficiency) and is set at the appropriate heights;
  • good natural light with additional light sources if required;
  • Excellent internet connection and all the tools and equipment needed for remote work.
  • neat storage solutions; and
  • a personal decorative touch i.e. plants etc.

Here are our top dual-purpose office areas in the home:

  1. The Kitchen Island Office

We love the kitchen island office because the kitchen is perhaps the most vibey space in the home. If you are someone that can work well in a coffee shop environment – this is for you! This area can also accommodate multiple individuals.

Make a kitchen island office work for you by doing the following:

  • ​​Invest in good quality supportive chairs.
  • Get the mood right with appropriate overhead lighting.
  • Clean the surface properly and use other counter space for meal preparation during “office hours”.
  • Get organised by making use of a desk organiser that can easily be moved from one space to the next.
  • Create a space nearby (a cabinet or drawer) where your equipment can be stowed away effortlessly while not in use.

  1. The Spare Bedroom Office

How often do guests sleep over? A spare bedroom is certainly a nice-to-have for those occasions but it will serve very well as an office… So why not have your cake and eat it too? Keep the bed and side tables, and add a space saving desk, floating shelves, clever organisers and/or dividers to turn this room into an office by day and guest bedroom by night.

  1. The Unused Corner Office

No kitchen island or space in any of the bedrooms? Look for an area in a passage or corner. Here you can make use of a hide-away or fold-up desk. Open up this space by adding floating shelves, plants and mirrors.

  1. The Outdoor Office

Take your business outside…

A covered patio can become the ideal weekday office. Who wouldn’t want to overlook the garden while having a Zoom meeting? Just make sure your internet connection is strong outside and that your “workstation” is out of direct sunlight, wind or rain throughout your work day.

Alternatively, if you have the space outside, a shed or pod office in the garden can be ideal. This is especially beneficial if your job requires regular visits from clients. Make sure your studio in the garden is lockable and safe and suitable to work in all seasons of the year.

TIP: Add a sleeper couch and mini-bathroom and your pod office can dual as guest accommodation too.

The role of the home is far greater than shelter alone. Level 5 Lockdown has perhaps instilled in all of us a desire to make the home a haven, a place of happiness and health. At Veld Architects, our team of expert architects design with this in mind. We favour multi-functional, highly practical and healthy homes that enable families to always live optimally.

Function first; form second.

Join the VELD Lifestyle.

Make your next home a VELD home.




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