When working from home, it is not just the family who has to make adjustments, even your house has to go through changes to accommodate you and your work. Here is a guide to creating an enticing working space from scratch – in a way that doesn’t disturb the home equilibrium too much.
Before you start rearranging
Here are a couple of questions you need to answer before you prepare for a home office:
What type of work will you do in the office?
What type of electrical equipment will you need?
How much storage space will you require?
How many hours per day will you spend in this area?
The answers to these questions will give you a blueprint of your home office. You will know how big a space you need and what needs to be included in the office area.
Find the spot
While it would be great to have a different room for your office, if that is not possible, a workstation can easily coexist with other areas of your home. A corner in your living room, the family den or the dining hall, the space under the stairs or the stair landing next to your terrace… Do a recce of your house.
The idea here is to find a nook that can fit in your office setup. Also factor in your working style; for instance, do you need complete seclusion from household noises or are you okay supervising your maid and other home chores during work hours? Choose an area that caters to the kind of environment you need, to ensure maximum productivity.
Plan a layout that fits in the furniture, equipment, and paraphernalia your job requires in the available space. Another important point to remember while finalising the design is to keep the office area separate from the rest of the room. To enhance your productivity, the workspace and the home space must have demarcation just like your personal and professional life.
Furniture pieces such as traditional wooden cabinets and bookcases can also double up as space dividers. If you have the budget, a glass boundary wall can be built around, creating a demarcation from the rest of the space.
And if your space is not conducive for such arrangements, try more of simple ways to set the two areas apart. Let you office chair face the wall or the window instead of the room.
Tip: Keep your work-related stuff within the home-office space, do not let these enter your home space. This will help your mind segregate the two areas and you can switch from home to work mode easily.
Prepare an accessories list
Make a checklist of all the equipment and office accessories you need. Do you need a desktop or a laptop is enough? Do you need a phone line? Do you need a printer as well? If the space available for your desk is not enough to include all the gadgets, you will need to think about how to adjust them. Also, refer to the list and see if the electric plug point on the wall next to your workstation is enough, if not make space for a multi plug.
No office can function without the internet, so figure out if your home Wi-Fi is fast enough for your work. You might want to plan a spot for your router nearby. Too many wires can make the space messy. While planning your layout, consider a smart way to hide the cables.
Manage the storage space
My first rule of organising any room is to have a full proof plan to address the storage space. While you always have the choice to go for the standard choice of a built-in desk with cabinets, try to be a little creative. This is where you can bring in the aesthetic value to the area. You can go for open shelves or even use a modern filing system with wall-hung folders.
A wall-hanging rack with different shaped pockets can keep most of your stationery off the desk.
Set the furniture
Space, functionality, and comfort come first when it comes to furniture. A desk is the focal point of an office. So, first pick a table that fits in the space and has enough place for the necessary items such as your computer and stationery. In addition to fitting in the available space, your desk has to be of perfect height for you. An easy way to check; when you sit on the chair your hand must rest comfortably on the desk with elbow at 90º.
A built-in desk is the best choice if you are sharing your workspace with another room. Zero in on a wall and install the desk; you can customise the cabinets as per your need for storage space. This arrangement creates a well-defined work area in the room.
The amount of time you spend in your workstation decides your choice of chairs. If you spend long hours at a stretch, you need an ergonomically designed chair to avoid any health issues, such as back problem. Your chair should help you sit in the right posture and for this, the chair should give a proper adjustable seat height, lumbar support, reclining back and armrest.