Don’t Cry for Me, Quarantina
Well, gentle reader, it’s been a while since we’ve talked and I’m guessing you have a lot of free time on your hands thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. I do too. Maybe you don’t because you’re having to work from home. So that got me thinking about what it is to work from home and how you can have a home office space you’ll delight being quarantined in. I’m going to give three examples of home office spaces from best to least ideal: a separate office or den, an office area in the main space, and a office niche area for the space challenged. Let’s look.
The Home Office or Den
If you have a separate den or room for a home office you’ve hit the work from home pay dirt. You’re like the Dad on “The Brady Bunch”. Not only can you work comfortably from your home but you’ll have an easier time keeping from being distracted by outside temptations or Jan whining about Marcia, Marcia, Marcia. Also, you can decorate the space to suit your needs but keep in mind there are some must haves:
- a good desk. This is obvious but placement of your desk is key. Placing a desk facing a wall is something you should try to avoid. It’s best to place your desk facing out into the room corporate style. This allows you to see people coming into the space and lets your energy expand rather than be stymied.
- storage. You’ll need some type of cabinet or credenza to hold things like files, your printer, etc. that’s closed so those items can be tucked away.
- shelving. Shelves can hold any books or reference items you might need to put your hands on quickly.
- a comfy chair. It should give good back support and ideally be on wheels so you can move it often without scratching your floors.
- good lighting. You’re likely going to work early or late at some point when it’s dark out. You’ll need some ambient lighting plus some directional task lighting for your desk.
Let’s look at an example room:
So here you can see our must haves. Desk facing out, comfy chair, credenza to tuck away clutter, shelving for quick access and ambient table lamps and some directional ceiling light to illuminate the work area. The separate home office also has a couple of bonuses. You can use punches of colour on walls or floors to energize you and have space for things like organizational boards or calendars to keep yourself on track.
The Main Space Office Area
If you don’t have the luxury of a separate den, your next best bet is the “office area”. The office area is a designated zone of a larger area. The office area may or may not be used as frequently as a home office but the same rules can apply. Let’s look.
So here you can see we’ve carved out an office zone in the main living space. Here we couldn’t do our *don’t face the wall* rule so we cheated by placing the desk looking out a window. This is your second best option because it allows you tuck the desk out of the way but because you’re looking out the window you feel like you’re not facing a wall. We still have a comfy chair, ambient lighting, task lighting on the desk itself this time, shelving and closed storage. The trick here is that shelving and storage are part of the larger room so they should fit the decor style accordingly. Also, they might not be as close by as they would a den so you might have to walk a few more steps to access them.
The Office Niche
This last scenario is for someone who doesn’t work from home a great deal but needs a spot to work from occasionally and may not have enough room in their main space. So here, we’re basically talking a desk in a corner. It’s not great but we can still apply some of our must haves to make it the best it can be.
Here we’ve tucked a desk next to the bed in lieu of a side table. This is a clever double duty idea because it serves as a workspace and a bedside table. Yes. We had to face a wall but we did put it in the corner near a window so your energy won’t feel as trapped. If we put the desk in the other corner it would feel like cruel and unusual punishment. Also placing a mirror on the wall will bounce light around and reflect the room so it won’t seem so closed. We still have a comfy chair but not office style as it wouldn’t fit the room decor but you’re likely not using it a lot anyway. We still have our ambient and task lighting. Any shelving or closed storage will likely have to be somewhere else in the home but again you’re likely not running an empire from the office niche.
So, I hope this has given you some inspiration for creating a Home Office that will really work for you. Until next time, thanks for reading and keep striving to live the Well Designed Life. And please, stay home and stay safe.