Social distancing and working from the home is now the new normal. Whether your job demands long working hours or a couple of hours during the day at your work desk, creating a comfortable working space in the house is vital to focus and work efficiently.
1. Select a space
Begin by looking at the home space layout with a fresh perspective, and identify an under-utilised area, says Juhi Malhotra, founder and creative director of JR The Design Deuce. This can be a corner, mid landings, staircases, nooks in corridors, guest bedroom, attic, basement or a garage.
“Alcoves are another commonly underused space. They are sometimes too small for a wardrobe but can fit in a TV stand, chest of drawers or even a desk,” says Malhotra. “Switch around the furniture in terms of layout and orientation to create a beautiful, slightly isolated pocketed zone, ideally with lots of natural light.”
2. Zone the area
When your work involves a lot of client interactions, Malhotra suggests creating a semi-open partition. “Divide the rooms physically with book racks, moveable partitions or wooden pallets that can be stacked on top of the other. When a separate desk is not available, turn the existing console into a desk. A dressing table desk in the master suite could also easily double as a desk with a free-standing long mirror on the side. Else, divide the existing dining table in the work and eat zone.”
For an unobtrusive home office look, a glass desk is a great option that will seemingly disappear when not in use. “You could paint your desk or use coloured or marble effect contact paper to give your desk a distinctive look that complements your existing décor.”
3. Set up a kitchen office
This is the perfect solution for stay-at-home mums and anyone else with a small home, says Anu Kewalram, creative director of Anu Kewalram Interiors.
“You can order a desk in the same finish as the kitchen cabinetry and incorporate it into the design of the kitchen. The upper cabinets above the desk can be used for storing office stationery and other files and papers. Highlight the space with some artwork on the wall above the desk or a pinboard. Complete the look with a comfortable upholstered chair or stool.”
4. Take up a wall
You can designate a wall to your home office, says Kewalram. “Fit floating shelves for storage and create an uninterrupted line in the room. This space will still be a living room, but one wall will be neatly earmarked as a workspace.”
A fold-down table next to a window in the bedroom or any other wall can function as a desk when you are working in the room, adds Kewalram. “Folding it away after office hours creates the space back into the room that you need to move around for the rest of the times.”
5. Create the right ambience
Working from home can get stressful and along with a lot of distractions. Hala Haddad, head of concept and design at Pan Emirates says, “Home might start make you feel stuffy. Therefore, you can get air diffusers that clear out the air and fill it with a calming essence. Adding tabletop light and some scented candles on the desk will keep the mood calm. Avoid distractions by clearing the clutter; all kinds of storage boxes will come to rescue in this time. And get wall hangings to inspire you when you are working.”
6. Outfit your desk
According to design experts at IKEA, you can also work where you lounge, with more efficiency. A laptop stand can be adjusted for a right-height desk and it can double as a side table. You can direct the floor lamp where you need to read. IKEA also has hanging organisers where you can store papers USBs, chargers, pens and practical items. Storage like pegboards and picture ledges keep the area clean and clear. Setting up the home office in an area that receives plenty of natural light boosts the morale.
Natural lighting actually improves our productivity and quality of life. If you don’t have natural light, make sure your home workspace is well-lit, says experts at IKEA. Small lamps will help reduce eye strain and make your workspace brighter.