Are you finding it difficult to concentrate in the dark and stuffy corners of your home or realise you can hear everything your neighbours say during the working day?
Some 80% of employees claim to prefer a hybrid working model, choosing to alternate between the office and home. But it can be difficult to focus on your work when the space you are working in isn’t optimal for your productivity. But there are ways you can rearrange your room to give you the best chance of success.
Expert premium wood furniture makers, Off the Grain, have some recommendations for optimising your home working space.
Concentrating when your home working space is surrounded by noise can be challenging. Whether this is your partner cooking downstairs, your neighbours slamming doors, or the water pipes groaning, you will want to reduce distractions to help you focus better.
One way of achieving this, and in a stylish way too, is by investing in premium wood wall panels. These not only add a chic and streamlined design to your room, taking your walls away from drab white to calming neutrals, but they can also help you soundproof against the racket happening around your home.
Dominic Walsh, founder of Off the Grain, says: “Soundproofing is a crucial part of building a workspace in your home that many tend to forget. Whether taking a Zoom call or simply needing to focus, blocking out distractions is necessary for a good workflow.
“Many people think of soundproofing as thick black sponge tiles or egg boxes, but it can be both functional and fashionable. You shouldn’t have to compromise style for comfort in your home, even when working, and so finding a soundproofing solution for you must fit into the design of your room.”
Carpet is also a smart idea to reduce the noise in your home. It can help dampen any echoes and add a touch of elegance and warmth to any home working space.
Once you have sorted the noise issue, the next important step is ensuring your desk is in the right place. You don’t want it shoved into a corner where you can only see the wall a few inches from your face.
Dominic says: “When finding a place for your desk, ensuring you have an appealing view is crucial. You don’t want to spend all day staring down at your screen. Having something nice to look at when you lift your head helps remind you to take regular breaks away from your screen.
“Whether it is a decorated wall, a countryside view, or even your reflection in the mirror – making sure there is enough space in front of you can prevent your working area from becoming claustrophobic.”
Opt for placing the desk facing towards the middle of the room. While you might think being able to see as much as possible is counter-intuitive, and it is easy to get distracted, this will help your productivity as you can rest your mind from looking at the screen.
If your room isn’t large enough, consider placing your desk below a window, giving you a view of the outside and making even the smallest offices seem larger.
Making sure you are near a window is essential for good productivity. Natural light is a great way to see what you are doing without relying on overhead lights, which can be harsh on your eyes (and your electric bill!)
Keep it functional
Functional storage-solution furniture is key in an office. Whether relying on storing your books in ceiling-high bookshelves or keeping your shoes from ruining your nice, new carpet, keeping your space both aesthetic and functional requires a balance.
Dominic says: “Functional doesn’t have to mean bland. Your space can be full of colour or high-quality items while remaining useful for you and your clients. A home office space doesn’t have to feel different from the traditional office, with the minor change of quick kitchen access and your slippers!”
Quality furniture, such as handmade coat racks, can give your space a true office feel – meaning that once you leave for the day, you feel like you are actually leaving, even if it is only to step downstairs! This also means any visitors, if you are welcoming clients, for example, will have somewhere to put their belongings.
You might even consider a seating area within your room if you regularly have visitors. This separate space away from your desk can promote movement in your room, giving you a place to rest and think away from the office chair.
Brightening and widening your space is key to a free-flowing room promoting creativity and productivity. The biophilic design has been a trend that doesn’t seem to be leaving anytime soon – and lucky for you plant parents, they are actually beneficial for your working-from-home space.
Bringing natural woods into your furniture choices and finding space for plant life can help you concentrate better by bringing nature to you. This can even widen your space by elevating the colour scheme to a lighter tone – beige can be beautiful, especially with a biophilic design.
Dominic says: “Wood isn’t just beneficial for its sturdiness, but inviting nature into your office can help spark creativity and promote relaxation – letting you take the pressure off brainstorming!”
Making your office layout functional requires a balance. Focusing on elements that improve the quality of your working space and make it a nicer place to work can be the best choice you’ve made this week. Minimising noise distraction and having enough natural light during the day can also help.