Design that works in your home office

Design that works in your home office

Design that works in your home office

Home offices are very much in vogue these days with more and more employees opting to work out of home. Now with the help of technology one can connect to any office the world over by picking up a phone or booting up a computer.

This enables employers to offer employees the flexibility of working from home. However, ‘working from home’ is not as simple as lounging on your sofa or in bed in your pajamas with your laptop.

On the contrary, one needs to be really disciplined and this discipline includes earmarking a specific work area. While a proper office room/den would be ideal, if you do not have this luxury in your home, you could allocate a part of your living or dining area as a work space and furnish it with a desk and chair. This is very important since one has to be in the right frame of mind to work productively. To be able to work whether you are working from home for an employer, or you are your own boss, or a freelancer, your work area must have clear well-defined boundaries. This involves providing space for computers and their peripherals such as printers. You will need a bookshelf and/or a filing cabinet too.

Office furniture

Office furniture should be arranged in a manner consistent with your needs. For example, if you use your printer daily, it should be easily accessible and connected to your computer. Another important aspect is arranging hardware in such a manner that you are able to access drives, trays and cords. Many people have dozens of tangled cords taking up leg room.

While a desk and chair are important, if you don’t expect to be working out of home for too long (for example, if you are just doing it till your newborn is a year old,) you may not want to invest too much for your office. In these instances, you have some options. One is to go for used furniture or rentals (available in large metros) and the other is to ‘create’ furniture.

How do we go about doing this? We all have cartons which take up valuable attic space. A large TV carton makes for a wonderful desk when stuffed with newspapers and covered with an old bedsheet!  Old microwave cartons do double duty as a printer table and planks placed across stacked bricks are great bookshelves.

A dining chair or garden chair with cushions placed on it can well act as an office chair. Just so long as the height is appropriate. It is important to bear in mind though that such arrangements have to be necessarily temporary. If you plan to be in this office for any length of time, you have to ensure the furniture is ergonomic or you will end up with back problems.

Stay organised

The secret to being successful at working from home is to ‘get things done.’ The best way to get things done is to de-clutter. If you step into your ‘office’ and a messy desk littered with papers, notes, and books greets you, you are going to avoid working and will instead procrastinate.

To avoid this occupational hazard, you will need an efficient filing system. With all computer systems having calendar options, there is no need for scraps of papers or post-it notes to serve as reminders of conference calls or project due dates. Just enter them on your computer calendar.

To keep everyday items available, but off the desk hang them up by using hooks for, say, scissors and headphones. An old cup which has lost a handle makes an ideal holder for pencils, pens or highlighters. Likewise, vases are not just for flowers. You can use them to store pens, and hey! if you want to brighten the room the vase could actually hold flowers too!

Whichever way you decorate your office, since you are likely to spend a good part of the day in this nook of the home, do ensure that it is pleasant and cheers you up.