Is this even a thing? Creating a liveable yet productive work space at home seems to be the current trend for many homeowners and renters. Today, creating a home office, den, or a flexible workstation seems to be on high demand by everyone, since working from home is extremely common.
Let’s dial in on Five Key Home Office Design Tips from the pros!
SPACE. Your physical space can create a great deal of friction when trying to work from home. Does your home workspace have all the makings of an excellent work zone? Remember, “Location, location, location”… Do you have a nice nook, an open space or a spare room that could work as a workplace? How much space do you really need? Do your work projects require digital or physical space to spread out books, catalogues, samples? Do you need storage? Do you collaborate or virtually meet with other team members or clients from your workspace? The location of your work zone is important if you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions.
SOUND is very important when working from home, especially if you participate in lots of virtual meetings or calls with your officemates or clients. Headsets are important, and so is the concept of creating a low noise space for minimal interruptions. Does your workspace have a door or even a screen you can slide across? Think about where in your home your workstation is set up and ways to reduce sound. Try to tuck into a quiet zone if at all possible. And if concentration is really important to you, and you live in a busy household, finding a quiet space to work is essential.
AIR QUALITY is usually overlooked when thinking about where to put a home workstation. Let’s think about concentration again—where certain scents can really disrupt you—nasty bathroom odours wafting into your work zone or burning toast that sets the smoke alarm off, wreaking total havoc and making refocusing challenging at best! So let’s look at placement of your workspace for optimal results. Fact: Did you know that casinos pump pure oxygen into their facilities to ensure their guests are wide awake while trying to win at the tables and slots? There is one sure fire reason for keeping air quality clean and fresh; it keeps you alert. Indoor plants are a great way to assist in lowering carbon dioxide and helping to reduce some toxins in your space.
LIGHTING. If colour and light work in tandem in physical spaces, then it is absolutely essential to harmonize these two key elements to create an effective working environment. In your home office, you may want to think about lighting specific task areas to begin with, then move onto assessing your lighting needs further.
Natural light is effective in making a space feel light and bright; this, in combination with modern LED options, means we can create many spaces that feel jus that—light and bright! I personally like to be see what’s happening outside; sometimes a quick watch on weather or a natural time-keeping method. If you have the option to simulate daylight synthetically with LED ‘daylight’ lighting, this will help to keep you alert similar to a traditional office environment, yet in the comfort of your own home. Blue light exposure on screens and devices can negatively affect your circadian rhythm, and lighting can help to offset this. Experts say if you have long workdays or nights, try to get outside into the natural light or just walk outdoors whenever possible; it helps to rebalance your circadian rhythm, which in turn can support sleep effectiveness, enhance your immune system, and improve your overall productivity.
COLOUR. Colour in your workspace is personal, and one size does not fit all! Each workspace is a little different, as are each client’s needs. Yet there are some colours that can be very effective to light up a dark space, and studies show some shades of yellow or colours with yellow undertones can stimulate brain activity, cognitive function and keep you alert for longer periods of time. However, there are some scenarios where warm colours are not effective in a workspace, especially in a high stress role. Be sure to steer clear of red as experts say these colours will make you more anxious. It will do the same to your audience if used as a Zoom call background. Too much red can just be too much! It’s all in the tonal value when working with intense colours. Blues and shades of green can be calming colours, yet lighting and intensity is everything. White and grey while nice in certain spaces, can make you look pale and sickly, and too much grey can be depressing. Colour balance is the key with these neutral colours. These are extreme live/work colour scenarios, but everyone has unique requirements for the functionality of their space! For optimal results, you should feel physically and emotionally comfortable and ‘presentation ready’ for virtual meetings in your new work zone, thus allowing you to be on your A Game!
There are many things to consider when creating an effective work/live space at home, and it can at times be overwhelming.
Take it step by step to try to resolve this challenge, or call in a professional to speed up your productive workspace creating process.
Until next time… Janine@janinemay.ca