March 30, 2020

How to Set Up the Perfect Home Office

In the midst of the new coronavirus pandemic many of us all around the world are in self-isolation and lockdown but continuing to work from home. Working for home can be quite a challenge, especially if you do it for the first time so I decided to share with you these simple and easy steps that will help you set up an inspiring and productive workspace within your home.

1. Find your space &  Zone it out  

Ideally an exclusively designated home office room is best for maximum focus and productivity but if you do not have the chance to dedicate an entire room for this purpose, you can still create your comfortable workspace within any other room using some creativity. Find that unused corner, nook or space that you feel most comfortable at and that is most sound insulated from the rest of the house if you are big family ( in can be in attic or basement, in a niche near a fireplace, under the stairwell, guest bedroom or even in your bedroom) and zone it out – use a rug or even a curtain to visually separate the space from the rest of the room and remove anything close by that can distract you or remind you of other things that can be done.The more your home office space looks and feels as dedicated work area, the easier for you will be to concentrate and switch on working mode, thus being maximum efficient in a working day from home and being able to separate work time from personal time and fully enjoy breaks and and the work-free zones in the house 

2. De-clutter & Organize

Keeping it clean and organised will not only help you focus but also develop that self discipline which is essential when working from home. As mentioned before, get rid of everything around you that is not associated with work and can distract you, so you can start with a clean state and slowly adding things that you need and that inspire you. Using matching storage boxes and magazines files is one of the easiest and budget friendly way to may the space organised and stylish, and if you love DIY you can personalise them by wrapping them in your favourite fabric.

3. Inspire & Motivate 

Staring at the living room TV or a blank wall will not do much for your productivity.  If your home office space is located within a small niche in the living or dining room, the best solution in this case is to place the desk against the wall and facing it and thus avoid any peripheral distractions. An artwork hung on the wall in front your desk will boost your creativity and motivation while making the space comfortable and stylish. You can go with a bold large statement piece or cluster different sized frames or any combo that inspires you. Having a moodboard, planner or a stylish memo board near your desk, will help you keep on track with your plans and motivate you.

4. Seating is essential

An ergonomic and comfortable seating is essential for your home office space if you are working full day from home or sitting for a long periods of time. Ensure that your chair is at the correct height for you, your legs/knees are at a right angle with your feet firmly on the floor and the top of your screen is at your eye level. Prevent back strain by choosing an adjustable height and back angle chair with easy manoeuvrability and a swivel base – this seating comfort and adaptability will keep you fresh and stimulated. A comfortable office chair can be in a stylish and elegant design and including refined finishes such as brass and velvet.

If you do not have the chance to get a special chair for your home working area you can still make your seating position more comfortable by placing extra cushioning on the one you have, styling it up with some throws and stack books under your monitor to adjust the screen height.

4.Desk & Storage that match your need

If you have an entire room dedicated to a home office then placing the desk away from the walls heightens the status of the desk emphasises the working purpose of the room as in this Stylish Home Office project by Spaces by Kristin. In this case a desk with integrated storage is optimum and you can even set up a relax zone in the corner with a deep comfy armchair or a chaise lounge where you can calm your mind, do some easy work or read a book , such as in this Online Interior Design project for an elegant Home Office by Spaces by Kristin.

If you love bespoke integrated solutions and a lot of storage while not having the best size or dimensions of the room, then this exclusively designed Home Office by Spaces by Kristin in Riyadh, is a perfect example of elegant and functional solution.

If your workspace is located within another room of the house and the space is limited, then look for smaller desk and offset by using height and walls for shelving solutions, you can check for some inspiration in this Online Interior Design for Bachelor Pad Styling in Canada by Spaces by Kristin how is designed creative and functional workspace within the living room using all budget friendly Ikea pieces styled to bring personality and correspond with the rest of the room.

5.Soothe your Senses

Colors are believed to have positive psychological effects as studies show that certain shades help stimulate your brain, while other hues are said to have calming effects and can lower stress levels. A workspace is all about productivity so you want to chose colours that will keep you concentrated and also have a calming effect. Whether is painting your entire home office room walls , accentuating on the small dedicated workstation within a common room  or even pop of colors implemented in the cushions, accessories or art , the use of color can boost your productivity and spark creativity. 

Light off-white colors such as Simple White, Shorline & Classic Gray are not only calming and help your concentration, but also create a bright and serene fresh feeling and are a perfect background to add personal touch with accessories to stand out.  You can never go wrong with an off-white home office color for a elegant ambience that can be easily personalised as often as you like providing a brand new space each time.

Soothing, earthy colors like greens and blues provide a feeling of calm if you are looking to reduce stress. Perfect for accents the dreamy shades of  Ovall Room Blue and  St.John Blue are inspiring and motivating, while the deep blue of the hue is simultaneously relaxing and tranquil. For bolder and moody vibes Blue Note and Gentleman´s Gray are perfect deep and rich shades.

When picking up color as a wall paint or simple accent in the decorations the most important is this color to inspire you and be a color that you personally are happy to be around for long periods of time. 

Scent is another powerful tool to boost your productivity in your home office is tied directly to the part of the brain that is linked to memory and emotion. Diffused in oil diffusers, essential oils such as lemon, rosemary, lavender, jasmine and peppermint focus, concentrate and calm your mind. Studies show that essential oils not only improve job performance but they also have health benefits with their anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties thus giving another reason to implement aromatherapy in your work from home routine during these difficult times. 

If you are used to work in a busy office surrounded by people and now have to work from home during the pandemic, you may find the quietness of your home quite strange or if you are quarantine with a big family – too distracting. Having comfort for all your senses is important for you concentration and productivity so having a nice playlist with soothing music that you like will not only help you with the distractions but also boost that creativity and inspiration

6.Go Green

Surrounding ourselves with nature helps productivity and relieves stress and in these times when we are are closed in our homes with many of us in countries with full lockdown where going in nature is not allowed, is important to bring nature as close as possible. Having some green plants in your home office area whether big and lush ones or small desk friends will give a natural and fresh feeling, calm the mind and help you with your oxygen levels. You can mix different styles and sizes and the one rule is to place them where there is sufficient natural light for their needs. If you have a garden, a fresh bouquet  or simple green leaves in a vase will immediately add joy and color in your home office area. 

7.Light your space

Lighting is important for your work comfort as working in a dimly lit area is not only unpleasant but can lead to eye strain and headaches, which can make any task seem harder than it needs to be. Is best to position your office near natural light by setting up a workstation or desk-nook by a window or glass-panelled door but without the direct sun glare on your screen. Use task lighting and strategically placed floor lamps to illuminate your work where needed. A great option for a space where ceiling or integrated lighting can not be provided is to combine desk lamps with a tall floor lamp with several lightbulbs that can be directed in the direction that you need illumination.

And here are some tips to help you stay focused and build a self discipline especially if you are working from home for the first time during the coronavirus pandemic

  • Create a schedule with clearly defined working hours
  • Set up goals and track your progress 
  • Maintain your normal working habits – if for example you allow yourself to check your phone/social media only during certain time in your normal office, maintain this habit also while you work from home
  • Take scheduled breaks 
  • Keep a casual work attire – working with your PJ´s may be comfortable for the first couple of days but this temptation will have only negative effects on your productivity and state of mind especially during self-isolation. You do not need to dress up as formal as you would do for your normal office but the simple act of changing clothes serves as a signal that it’s time to wake up and get things done.

One of the biggest advantages of working from home is that now you can really personalise your workspace and style it the way you love and truly inspires you without having to comply with the corporate design in a standard office.  If you love modern midcentury furniture and you are from USA, even though the shops are closed at the moment you can still shop online from Westelm and Wayfair  where they have many great design with affordable pricing, and if you are from the Middle East I can recommend you online shopping from The One, Indigo Living &  The Bowery Company.

I hope that these tips help you and inspire you for a happy and motivated working from home.  I would love to answer your questions in the comments section and if you need some exclusive design for your new amazing workspace Spaces by Kristin is offering special 20% Discount on Home Office Online Interior Design Services during the pandemic.

 Stay home, stay safe and stay inspired ,

K

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