by Helen Powell of Design Hunter www.designhunter.co.uk
Our working lives have changed. While new technology now allows us to work anywhere and at anytime, leading to the rise of digital nomads working remotely from coffee shops or while travelling around the globe, for many of us it’s also become increasingly important to have a dedicated work space in our own homes. More of us now work from home some or all of the time, or regularly bring work home with us at the end of the day.
You may be lucky enough to have a dedicated room set up as a home office, or perhaps the room you use also has to double as a spare bedroom when you have guests to stay. If space is tight you might be limited to using a corner of a bedroom or living room.
Regardless of the amount of space you have available, taking time to create the right set up will both increase your productivity and make the time you spend working from home more enjoyable.
Here’s how to set up, organise and style a home office that will keep you feeling inspired.
Invest in a good office chair
Investing in an office chair that will encourage good posture and help maintain the health of your spine should be the starting point when considering any home office set up.
This stylish Lynley chair, which comes in a pleasing soft warm shade of taupe, will look good too.
Once you’ve found your perfect chair you might also want to consider investing in a footrest. Remember to also set your screen at the right height – the top of your screen should be roughly at eye level so that you avoid looking up or down, and if you spend long periods sitting don’t forget to take regular breaks to get up and walk around or stretch.
Consider different lighting needs
After working for many years in an office that had only a limited amount of natural daylight one of the things I most appreciate about working from home is that I now work in a space that is flooded with natural light.
Having suitable task lighting is still important though, especially in the winter months when daylight hours are shortened.
Opt for good overhead lighting like this clear glass pendant light and consider also adding a desk or floor lamp.
Keep your desktop clean, tidy and minimal.
Try to start each morning with a neat and tidy desk. Clutter and mess can be distracting – a well-ordered workspace will help you feel more positive and focused.
I love the clean sleek style of this Tanis desk from Ligne Roset. Featuring walnut veneer drawers with a corian or laminate writing surface on a black lacquered steel frame, it’s a reproduction of a 1954 design by Pierre Paulin
Stay on top of filing and paperwork with effective storage
I have glass shelving in my own office and I love how it keeps the room feeling open and light while also enabling me to access books and files easily.
This glass shelving unit from Gallotti and Radice gets my vote.
Include a space for down time
It’s important to have somewhere you can retreat to for a little down time occasionally. Sometimes stepping away from our computer screens allows us to think about a problem or task more clearly or plan more effectively. If space permits it’s a good idea to also include a comfortable chair for making notes or reading through paperwork.
Your office doesn’t have to be all about working. By taking the care to create an environment you enjoy spending time in you’ll end up with an office that can double as a space to retreat to when you want unwind with a good book, as well as providing a relaxing spot for reading through paperwork.
Incorporate effective cable management
It’s easy to end up with a pile of spaghetti under your desk, so consider shortening cables that are too long and use trunking to keep unsightly wires out of sight.
Or for a quick fix solution simply roll up cable lengths, secure them with a cable tie to prevent tangles, and pop them out of site in a storage basket tucked under your desk.
Create a dedicated stationery cupboard
Keep supplies of office sundries like notebooks, paper, pens, paper clips and envelopes neatly organised in a dedicated stationery cupboard. This Mida cabinet from B&B Italia would do the job handsomely.
Use pots and trays to compartmentalize things, keeping objects of a similar type together.
Establish regular working hours
The boundary between our work and personal life is becoming increasingly blurred. Establishing regular hours will not only encourage you to be more organised but will also allow you to achieve a healthy balance between work and leisure time, ensuring you to switch off regularly to allow some uninterrupted down time.
This white minimal clock from Karlsson will help you keep track of when its time to clock off.
Finally, don’t forget to add a few personal touches. Photographs, mood-boards, plants and perhaps even a scented candle will all help make your work-space a more inviting and inspiring part of your home.