As a designer, I was beginning to see the dedicated home office space decline a little as technology allowed our clients to use their tablets or laptops anywhere in the house when they needed to do some occasional or extra work at home.  Often, if they had a study, it was not set up to handle all of their work needs.  But this was before Covid 19 when working completely remotely became a necessity, and no longer were we just using our spaces for part-time office work.

The uses of chat apps like Zoom have become very popular and common, and have proved to be very useful to connect for business as well as personal needs.  They work for virtual meetings, continuing education, and have been quickly adopted by and for all.  At first, with this access to our homes, it was interesting to see how different people live with families, pets, and even their clutter.  But now that working at home may stay around and be more of a permanent transition, we have to step up the game.  Designers can help make that backdrop look more professional and meaningful to your business.  Yes, you can buy backdrops, but they will be seen on other sites and don’t show and sell you individually.  As in your home, you want your environment to reflect you personally.

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Photo is by Lillian August by Hickory White.  Items are available for special order through Design House.

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Photo is by Lillian August by Hickory White.  Items are available for special order through Design House.

So where do you put that home office?  Both the problem and the fun of creating your home office is space.  It may be limiting, small or awkward, but that also makes for more creative solutions.  Is it in a nook behind a column, a cluttered unnecessary closet, a terrace, under the stairs or on a stair landing, in the dining room or kitchen?  Think about how you work best – in the middle of things, or tucked away.  Maybe it is a console table behind your sofa, with some stools tucked under the table, a corner of your bedroom or beside your bed doubling as a nightstand.  Or perhaps you would like a sit/stand adjustable desk.

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Of course you need a desk and a task chair.  Make sure the chair fits you and is comfortable.  It doesn’t look good on Zoom to have a huge chair minimizing you.  Do you need drawers and what size, and storage?  Do you need to provide storage for a printer? After accommodating the basic needs, think about accessorizing, and do make it yours.  Personalize your space.  This can be in the colors you use, the art that you love and which serves as your backdrop for your calls, and things that are functional for you.  For me, keeping flowers or a plant are uplifting.  Choose what energizes you and makes you like to be there.  And master the technology cord “acne”.  Do some cord management.

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Photo is by Hickory White.  Items are available for special order through Design House.

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A really important part of the home office is the lighting.  You are probably are used to working with a lot of light in your workplace, and a cooler lighting in terms of color temperature, probably no less than 3000 kelvin.  Whether the lighting is warm or cool, it affects the appearance of the room and how you work and feel.  In your home, the lighting is probably warmer, more like 2700K, so maybe you swap out a 100 watt incandescent bulb with a 3,000K LED one.  You may need some task lighting also, because in your home you may only have decorative lighting.  But pay attention to this because it affects your mood, productivity, and circadian rhythm.  This is so important that there is currently a circadian table lamp in production that provides daytime light as well as programmable modes for sunrise, sunset, day and night.

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Now that we are well into this more isolated way of living and working, studies show that 51% of those surveyed admit to experiencing burnout while working from home, although the comfy lounge wear and avoiding the traffic is a big plus!  Some say rather than working from home, they are living at work.  The work-life balance can be difficult, and the work and non-work lines are blurring.  Perhaps it is the lack of structure and set hours that we need to address, and to add some self-care activities.  But, I’m betting we come out of this learning a lot about how we work and prefer to work and live in the future.

At Design House, we are here to help you find just the right solution for the way you live and choose to work, to make your home office space functional, and still be an asset to your existing environment.

Coming Soon to Design House

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