How to redo the home office

If you haven’t done it already, we have some tips for you to get started

Not so long ago, work-from-home (WFH) was a perk that companies used as a carrot. COVID-19 changed all that, making home offices and remote working the norm. A McKinsey report, What’s next for remote work, stated that quarantines, lockdowns, and self-imposed isolation have “pushed tens of millions around the world to work from home, accelerating a workplace experiment that had struggled to gain traction before COVID-19 hit”. The report, which did an analysis of 2,000 tasks, 800 jobs, and nine countries, revealed that the potential for remote work is “highly concentrated among highly skilled, highly educated workers in a handful of industries, occupations, and geographies”.

That may be so, but the resurgence of the virus means that WFH isn’t going away any time soon. In such a scenario, many people will continue to work out of home, divvying up their time between office duties and family. Working at the dining table may have been fine for a while, but now it’s high time you dedicated a space to your home office. Creating an office set-up and ensuring that it’s a comfortable working environment ensures that you get your work done easily. So if you haven’t done it already, here’s how you can go about it:

Bespoke furniture. Ergonomics is extremely important if you’re planning to spend hours working. Sitting on a couch, laptop in hand, just won’t cut it. Go for a smart work desk and match it with a comfortable chair that is ergonomically sound. Investing in this can avert health problems in the future.

Smart lighting. The right lighting is a must for a home office as improper lighting can lead to health issues and consequently a drop in productivity. If you don’t have enough daylighting, harness a mix of task and accent lighting.

Simple storage. Less is always more on the work desk. So ensure you keep the desk surface clean and tidy at all times. Books, papers and files should be all put away. Even if you don’t want elaborate storage systems, opt for baskets, bins and boxes to keep your home office clean.

Make it multi-purpose. Most times a home office is not a dedicated space, and it doesn’t need to be. As long as you have a desk surface and ample storage, the setting can change with the time of the day. Homework area, craft nook, email counter, phone area — there’s a lot your work desk can be when you are not working.

Move it if you can. If you can, an island on wheels that can be moved around the family space is ideal. It makes the home office playful and fun, and helps make the space multi-layered and multi-purpose.

More than 50 shades of grey. Grey continues to rule the world of décor and it has also made huge inroads in the world of home office design. The many varied shades of grey allow you to use the neutral colour as a base and as an accent hue. Grey is ideal for small home offices as it doesn’t create any visual fragmentation.

Writing on the wall. Why would you ignore the walls in a space where you sit down to work and earn a living? Use wallpaper to create an impact in the home office — it could be a bright colour, pastel or a beautiful texture. Modern prints can add a contemporary vibe.

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