With the state of the world as it is, many of us are now trying to manage a new normal of "work from home". Whether you've got a designated room or are working out of the guest bedroom- there are a lot of adjustments to be made in order to transition your space for ultimate productivity! With our years of experience in designing commercial offices, we've learned a thing or two about how to make a productive workspace. We've compiled our top tips to design the perfect home office design that will make "work from home" just as productive as being in the office.
Since you're less likely to be taking your hourly stroll around the office, it's important to find ways to stay active and retain good posture. We recommend getting a convertible sit/stand desk to allow yourself a comfortable movement while working! One of our favorites is the Vitra Tyde station. It's not only a sleek, modern option, but it's also extremely customizable and is optimized to work for you. With features such as technical beams, various screens, and CPU holders- you're sure to be set up for success with this station.
Sound and Light Control
Make your home office work for you! Try installing sound and light control in your home office that you can change via your phone or AI devices (such as Amazon's Alexa or Google Home). In our home office designs, we typically layer solar shading with blackout draperies for maximum flexibility. The solar shades provide privacy and reduce glare on your computer screen, while blackout curtains can provide a great backdrop for video calls and watching presentations. The curtains and other soft finishes and furnishing we select also help to abate sound transmission when your spouse is working in the next room, or your kids are being homeschooled! Not only will this make your life easier, but it helps to protect the life of your furniture, finishes, and artwork. Check out our blog all about making your home healthier for even more tips!
Professional Background for Video Conferencing
As fun as those "virtual backgrounds" are, it's so important to have a professional background set up for all the video conferencing. We recommend installing curtains and wallcoverings and positioning your workspace in front of the artwork, a bookcase, or another focal point. We don't want it to be distracting, but it should be complementary to your style and decor. Make sure this area gets good, indirect natural light so everyone can see you during your big presentations! Lighting that lights your face, not the top of your head is key, along with the proper sound equipment. Leave the person photos in another room! Even though you are working from home, it's important to stay professional.
Computer Monitor Setups
Most of our clients work in the financial sector, and while regulations used to prevent us from installing full systems at home, now we are able to install full Bloomberg terminals in our clients' home offices! For one of our clients, we set up his monitors into a custom-designed cabinet in his dining room that can be closed when not in use. By day he's controlling Wall Street. By night (when there's not a pandemic) the doors close and the room hosts formal dinner parties. It's important to work with a designer that is able to make sure your home office design has the required outlets and set up for your job function.
As mentioned above, it's important to take care of your back and posture when adjusting to a new work style. Invest in an ergonomic chair to keep your body in tip-top shape! One of our favorite options to use in home offices is the Human Scale Summa chair. It's sustainably crafted and beautifully designed to hide the typical less attractive features of a standard ergonomic chair. It's also completely customizable with multiple finishes! Trust us, your back will thank you.
With many of us working from home, our work attire has adjusted to being more of a "comfortable chic". When unexpected Zoom meetings arise, it's incredibly helpful to have a fresh-pressed top and jacket nearby so you're looking your best. One of our favorite products to integrate into our home office designs is a steam closet! We love the Samsung AirDresser- which completely steams and sanitizes your clothes in less than 30 minutes. Save time and money at the dry cleaners, and have a perfectly pressed outfit ready to go in an instant.
If you're like me, you've probably got a few furry co-workers now joining you in the office. As cute as they are, sometimes Fluffy can be a bit distracting. We recommend including a special space for them in the office. Whether it is a special cat tree, dog bed, or moving in their favorite chair, it makes a difference in keeping them comfortable and quiet. Try bringing in their favorite quiet toys, and keeping a jar of treats nearby for when they were especially good. For your own furnishings, utilize performance fabrics and non-toxic materials for both your sanity and their safety. You can see my thoughts on pet-friendly interior design here in the Wall Street Journal!
We hope this was helpful for getting your office set up for success! If you're ready to optimize your home for the "new normal", contact us to get the design process started.