Given the current situation, remote work seems like it’s here to stay. According to Statistics Canada, almost a third of Canadians (32%) were working from home at the beginning of 2021, eight times more than in 2016 (4%). So, while we wait to rewear our professional outfits and head back to the office full- or part-time, it’s essential to create an environment at home that promotes both productivity and work-life balance.
Put the odds in your favour; follow these inspiring tips to set up or improve your office area!
1. Structure Your Workspace
Ideally, you would have a closed room for your workstation, featuring a storage system adapted to your equipment (printer, reference books, etc.). That isn’t possible? A quiet area in the living room or basement away from household activities will do the trick! If necessary, a divider or shelf unit can act as a visual border, helping you unplug from work at the end of the day.
With a little creativity, a vacant space with outlets under the stairs holds unexpected potential. A tray, a swivel chair adjustable in height, a lamp, a few shelves, and voilà! White and pastel blue will light this corner up nicely.
2. Storage Made To Measure
Tidying up equals boredom? Not necessarily! A wall unit with open and closed compartments keeps everyday items (current files, dictionaries, multimedia accessories, supplies) close at hand and adds a decorative touch that makes working from home enjoyable. Some sites even invite you to create your own design or customize existing wall unit combinations to suit your needs.
To free up your desk, complete your shelves and bookcases with your preferred storage items. Magazine racks, boxes or baskets (seagrass, felt, rattan, bamboo), mini-dressers (in birch plywood, in its natural state or painted), industrial-style metal lockers, plenty of options to keep your office area in order while adding texture and personality to your layout!
3. Adequate Lighting
Brightness is essential for a productive day. Thanks to the natural light, an office near a window will be sure to boost morale – as stated in The # 1 Office Perk? Natural Light, appearing in Harvard Business Review. Do you work at a computer? Putting up sheer diaphanous shades will limit the glare of the sun on your screen and minimize eye strain without darkening the room.
Little to no windows in your home office space? Compensate by adding extra artificial lighting (floor lamp, wall sconces, pot lights). Then, to properly illuminate your work area, choose a flexible and adjustable desk lamp and place it diagonally to avoid shadows on your documents. This combination will provide the perfect amount of light for the eyes.
4. The Right Ambience
Cozy or lively, what atmosphere suits you best for work? Whether you choose THE colour of 2022 – periwinkle, inspiring creativity – or any other trendy hues, the main thing is that it reflects who you are. In addition to separating the space visually, an accent wall that is invigorating yet fairly neutral can serve as a backdrop to a gallery of abstract paintings or photos.
Other ideas for creating a specific ambience? Dress up a wall with a bold wallpaper. Create a “colour zone” effect with moldings. If the mood is also about the music, organize a playlist that will help motivate you. Finally, while working from home, make sure you’re comfortable and stylish in an outfit from Laura or Melanie Lyne.
5. Your Personal Touch
Functional furniture and storage as well as carefully chosen accessories help you make your workspace your own so you can feel good there. Even if you prefer a particular style, allow yourself to spice it up to your liking.
Are you a fan of Scandinavian-inspired décor? Go for minimalist furniture mixing white and wood: a desk with a raised computer stand, a console and drawer unit on wheels. Add a free-spirited kinfolk touch: a Beni Ouarain Berber rug, retro floor lamp, green plants with exotic foliage. Finish off decorating with colourful trinkets or objects found in secondhand shops, making this space truly unique.
And you, what do you think of your home workspace? What décor style speaks to you? Let us know in the comments below!
Adapted from French by Erika Spedding