Years ago, what we called “the studio” used to be a desk with a nice flower base, or a forgotten table in a corner. Hidden or organized, we used it to keep our belongings from a past student life or present hobby interest. Now, that studio has become our work environment. Call it “guest-room”, “corridor”, “dining-room, “bed-room” … all of the sudden it is in that space where we become creative and productive while working from home.
A couple of years ago, a toddler and a baby became an instant internet sensation by walking into their father’s home office during a live TV interview. It was a funny reminder of the ups and downs of working from home. At that time I was partner in Fos Studio and a couple hired us to renovate their apartment. Our clients were expecting their second child and both were independent business owners. Fos Studio had designed a co-working space the previous year which gave us a real experience into shared working environments, allowing us to implement a similar strategy in a residential project with comparable criteria.
The master bedroom was spacious enough to reorganize the layout and optimized the home office while giving privacy to the bed area and a panoramic view of the skyline. The furniture was conceived to provide a clear separation between the two areas, generating a more discrete entrance to the master bathroom, while creating enough storage and shelves for both parents’ activities.
Here are some tips to improve your home office environment:
- Imagine that your home office is a shared working environment, that your family members are your new co-workers, give each other space, create schedules and rules of engagement.
- Picture your home office as your dream office. Do you like that corner close to the window? Well, here is your opportunity to promote yourself and take the corner office!
- Conference calls require an organize background so that the focus rests on you. Position your camera/screen and “call yourself” to see what others may perceive, that way you can make improvements accordingly.
- Remember you need to "close" the office. Assign enough shelves and storage for all the co-workers, so that each "office" is organized and secure during off-business hours.
- Choose a lamp appropriate to your task.
- It is easy to fall for the looks of a beautiful chair but choose one that is comfortable and appropriate to the table you are using.
- Use the space in front of you. Position a cork/white board to brainstorm and illustrate your thoughts and schedule.
It is your space, let it evolve, make the best of the new normal.