CREATE YOUR HOME OFFICE
DURING LOCKDOWN & AFTER
Having a home office might seem somewhat a luxury and not on top of your priority list. In the past [we revert to as pre-COVID-19] you would not think twice about using your spare space for your guests, a walk-in wardrobe or a dumping ground.
However, in the company of coronavirus that has uninvitingly entered our lives, we have found ourselves in uncharted territory that no one holds a map to. Without a blink of an eye, offices have been forced to move their entire workforce into homes. For some this is a new and unfamiliar way of working that may seem somewhat overwhelming.
Whether you are reviving your current office room, defining the area with new meaning or looking for a place where you can hatch your new workspace; the idea behind this is the same: to get the job done under your new found routines.
At home, you have the freedom to take a more balanced approach to moving away from the standardised ‘fits-all’ office set up and creating a space that is unique to you and your ideal way of working. The main goal is to move towards a more courageous, imaginative interior that ticks your individual sense of creativity, productivity and comfort.
FROM OUR EXPERIENCE, HOME OFFICES FALL INTO 3 MAIN CATEGORIES, DEPENDING ON THE SPACE AVAILABLE TO YOU:
I HAVE A SPARE ROOM:
If you have a spare room or dedicated office room, no matter what the size is, congratulations! This is an ideal situation to zone out, avoid any distractions and even create a perfect hiding place from your children [we know you love them deep down] whilst being homeschooled during the coronavirus lockdown.
Whether you have been using your home office for work already or been using it as a dumping ground, further down in the blog we have shared some tips how to dust off your office interior to its former glory and modernise it if necessary.
I DON’T HAVE A SPARE ROOM , ONLY A DESK AREA:
I HAVE NEITHER OF THE ABOVE:
As Miranda says: “where there is a will, there is always a way” You might be in a one or two-bedroom apartment where having a desk in the bedroom goes without choice. For those small spaces, the ‘cupboard office’ is ideal, where you can shut the door at the and of the day; literally.
For some, even this is not an option and utilising the bedroom furniture might be the only resource. To keep the work separate, we’d recommend putting systems in place, where you clear your desk space at the end of your day.
Whether you have a small nook or a full-blown home working space, we say ‘experiment’. Don’t be afraid to have fun with the process of finding the working position that works for you. What will work for you, might not work for someone else.
WHAT MAKES A GOOD OFFICE DESIGN?
Be mindful of your good and bad habits, work with them in creating a visually balanced space you feel you can create work results in.
It is about the end feeling, always. As the demands that work brings varies widely, so do the requirements of the working environment. At home, you are in a unique position to really individualise and remove yourself from ‘one-fits-all’ fit-out. You can rewrite your own rules.
’WHETHER IT’S A HOME OR A CHAIR, IT’S ALWAYS THE SAME PHILOSOPHY: TO THINK WHAT THE END USER WILL GAIN’
Well designed home workspaces have a perfect mix of functionality and aesthetics. Comfortable furniture that you are willing to sit in for long periods without straining your eyes or your spine; ideally arranged in feng shui to promote the right energy flow. Plenty of natural light and lighting when the sun goes down goes a long way. Topped with live plants, the right colours to enhance your wellbeing; and of course good organisation systems to keep your space organised.
WHAT COLOURS TO INCREASE YOUR PRODUCTIVITY?
Don’t underestimate the power of colour and its effects on your mood and behaviour. Equally, you have got to think about its intensity [saturation] as well. When it comes to painting the home office, we would always opt for subtle tones.
Our favourites are: the mind stimulator BLUE that improves your focus. With Teal/ Light Blue you could potentially turn your workspace into a productivity machine. You cannot go wrong with GREY that gives off a neutral mood and a sense of melancholy. By subtle we don’t mean white or pale colours. With Yellow, the emotion stimulant makes it an ideal colour for creative industries and will set your creativity flowing. With GREEN, though associated with money and abundance, is in fact all about balance, calmness, and reassurance – great for those in the financial industry. It’s said that ORANGE will increase the oxygen supply to your brain and work as a perfect remedy for those low-energy afternoons if that is what you suffer from.
Though intense hues of blues and greens are great for energy, we’d stay clear of those in the office environment on large surfaces.
WORKFLOW WITH INDOOR PLANTS
Being comfortable in your home office space is hugely important to your health, happiness, and productivity. As well as keeping your desk and area uncluttered and tidy, adding plants to your desk adds to your sense of wellbeing. And as revealed in the study by Dr Roger S. Ulrich and Helen Russell [and many more studies], plants also significantly lower workplace stress, digital eye strain and enhances your productivity by as much as 12%. You wouldn’t want to miss on that, would you?
HOW TO SPICE UP THE OFFICE DECÓR?
A good looking and comfortable chair is everything. Not only your back will thank you in the long run, you will be excited about the prospect of sitting still while achieving the goals you set out to do when you sat down.
Before you go shopping we recommend you consider your sitting habits and your weak spots first. As well as armrests, back cushions can offer some additional level of support and shield your kidneys from the draft. Also, an upholstered finish will add a level of comfort.
Mid-century inspired DALE upholstered version with convex back, armrest and metallic feet. Uniquely formed contemporary mint green MANTIS from Homes Studio. If spinning is an option vintage baby blue leather SWIVEL by Perriand & Le Corbusier could be for you. Elegant and glamorous, statement business chair CRAWFORD in walnut and polished brass at Mezzo collection.
Just because the chair comes with a ‘dining tag’ on it, we cannot resist the sculptural forms of Kelly Wearstler ROXBURY with tight upholstery back seat and cushion; that gives you the edgy decor. For a classical chick vibe, we would go for Art Deco style PINA by Hommés studio with the ultra-soft high quality velvet. For those fortunate who can shred their sitting time to 4hrs or less could afford to take on a more experimental approach to the way of sitting with PRESTO 1966 piece by Jean Louis Berthet.
At mM studio we do not subscribe to product defining categories and where these belong. We take a more pragmatic approach instead. Whether you’d like to call something a table or a desk if it serves its functionality and its purpose aesthetically, we will place it in the room anyway. We would stay away from cold, reflective materials such as visually harsh glass. You wouldn’t want to add to glares you are already being exposed from hours in front of your screen and artificial lighting; especially if you are a migraine sufferer. Instead, we would opt for more soothing and grounding wood or a stone composite that is warm to touch and lean on.
Staying away from shape and squarish edges will lower your anxiety and stress levels. Mixing up with sculptural, state of art curves and round edges gives your decór playful and soothing character. Check out these finds you will see what we mean: MESA by Katrina Vonnegut & Brian Kraft, the EDITION WIDDICOMB walnut table by T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings, elmwood MATTINA by Danielly Siggerud
Ever been blinded by the cold white, non-complimentary ‘fit-all’ light shining above your head? Do you not have the option to dim the light to suit your eyesight and sensitivity threshold? Well at home the power is in your hands.
A good functional lamp is an opportunity to personalise your work area. AERIAL 1981 retractable lamp with its own remote control fits the bill and so does 1991 lamps creations, both by Ron Arad and up for grabs from Laffanour gallery in downtown Paris.
WHAT DESIGN MISTAKES TO AVOID?
HOW DO YOU SWITCH OFF?
Under the normal circumstances, outside #stayhome & #lockdown measures, you would be free-er to roam around the office, step outside to rest your eyesight and recharge your mind.
Instead of grabbing another coffee-fix, a short meditation does wonders to refocus your mind. A speed-skipping session is great to pump fresh oxygen into your brain. Even for those most rested, afternoon ten minute naps might be unavoidable. The benefits in reducing stress and increase performance have been known for thousands of years and practiced all over the world. We would nap in this vintage BOULOUM chaise by Olivier Mourgue anytime.
The working life as we know it has probably changed for good. The prospect of working from home [#wfh] while being close to your loved ones and avoiding spending precious hours of your day on unnecessary travelling doesn’t sound so bleak does it?
There is also the added benefit that you will be increasing the value of your property by having well arranged home office provision. This, we believe will be a priced asset to your property value, just like outdoor spaces have been up until now.
We will be covering ‘interior colours’ and ‘feng shui/ indoor plants’ subjects in more depth in our upcoming articles. We suggest you signing up to a ‘’never miss a bus’ in the footer below.
We are all navigating this new world together and we wish you a happy home-working experience.