Home Working. Reinvented

How to Create a Flexible Home Workspace

May 2020
4 minute read
Rail desk, afteroom dining chair and peek lamp by Menu

Early 2020 is a time we’ll never forget.
Coronavirus sweeps the globe and life’s turned upside down.

Offices, restaurants, cafes, shops, gyms - all shut.
Overnight, you find yourself working from home.
Perhaps for the first time.
And not just the occasional day, but every day!

Is this the new normal?
Will this be the future of work?

Time will tell.
But what is certain, you’ll be working from home more than before.
Regardless of the pandemic, work is changing - and fast.
It’s about flexibility and reinvention.

To help you adapt, here’s how to create your ideal home workspace.

The Flexible Home Workspace

What springs to mind when I say the word OFFICE?

Perhaps

  • Wire-haired carpet tiles
  • Grey walled cubicles
  • An ocean of Dell computers and spaghetti of cables

Who’d want these in their home?
No-one.

Neither do you want to be perched with your MacBook on the corner of the dining room table. Clearing crumbs and magazines, trying to look professional with your boss waiting on Zoom.

You deserve better.

Kaari desk in black lacquer oak and Stool 60 in birch by Artek
Kaari desk in black lacquer oak and Stool 60 in birch
Artek

You don’t want a clone of your office.
Or be hot-desking in your own home.
So what are your options?
How can you work at home on your terms? In comfort.

The answer - a personalised work zone.

Verve 4 leg chair and Taro table in smoked oak by Fredericia
Verve 4 leg chair in hallingdal and Taro table in solid smoked oak
Fredericia

Here are the 3 key elements to create yours.

  • Keep work separate
  • Make it flexible
  • Avoid office furniture

Keep Work Separate

Work shouldn’t take over your life, or home.
When the lid of your MacBook snaps shut, you want to walk away and switch off. Then return refreshed the next day.
So find a place you can allocate just for work, and only work.

Avoid the living room sofa, dining room table, kitchen worktop or anywhere in the bedroom. These are places you want to relax. Not be reminded of your inbox.

Perhaps you have a spare room.
If not, what about a corner of your living or dining room?
It doesn’t have to be a whole room, just an area you can allocate for work.
This is your 'flexible work zone'.

Post chair and table in oiled oak by Fredericia
Post chair and table in oiled oak
Fredericia

Next, consider how to position yourself in the zone.
To do this, look at what’s in front and behind you.

IN FRONT

Ideally sit facing or near a window.
Natural light is energising and perfect to work in. The opposite of fluorescent strips.
Your face will be perfectly lit when Skyping.
And inspiration’s more likely to strike gazing at a view than a blank screen.

Jig armchair in black and Icha desk in charcoal by Massproductions
Jig armchair in black and Icha desk in charcoal
Massproductions

BEHIND

You’re probably doing video meetings, and you don’t want your boss seeing a picture of you on the beach in Bali. If you wouldn’t take it to work, don’t leave it in view of the camera.

Here’s what NOT to have behind you

  • A light or window - otherwise your face will be in shadow on video calls.
  • Clutter - look organised. Clear your clutter. Leave one tasteful abstract picture or a plant.
    If you want the formula to clearing clutter, read my Move to Minimal 3 Step Fix. You’ll cleanse your home, clear your mind, and never look back.
  • Personal objects - People make judgements. Don’t leave things in view and give them this option.
Pin table lamp in black by Vibia
Pin table lamp in black
Vibia
Rail desk in oak, Afteroom bar chair in black, Gravel rug in ivory by Menu
Rail desk in oak, Afteroom bar chair in black, Gravel rug in ivory
Menu

Now you’ve picked your work zone, think about your work style and what you need around you.

Make it Flexible

What’s your style of working? Everyone’s unique.
You may need a big desk for documents, books and folders . . . or you may just need your MacBook, on your lap.

Think about what suits your style.
There are no rules.
There’s nobody saying you have to work in this cubicle.
This is your chance to work the way you want.

Søborg metal armchair in black, Mogensen 6284 table by Fredericia
Søborg metal base armchair in black lacquered oak and leather, Mogensen 6284 table in oiled oak
Fredericia

Do you prefer sitting at a desk or relaxing in a chair, or do you need both?
Be flexible and include as many options as possible within your work zone.

Here are some ideas

  • A portable desk placed by the window for work or angled to the wall for video calls.
  • An upright armchair to write at a desk, or for relaxed reading away from the desk.
  • A sofa (not the living room one!) and side table, to sit with your laptop and coffee.

You’ll be surprised how much your focus and productivity will increase when your work zone is right for you.

Maarten swivel base chair in white by Viccarbe
Maarten swivel base chair in white
Viccarbe

Avoid Office Furniture

If you’ve ever googled office furniture you’ll have been assaulted with

  • Leather exec chairs on chrome octopus feet
  • Bulky metal filing cabinets
  • Plastic wood 'effect' desks

This soulless 'off the peg' furniture is grim.
So where do the beautiful options live?
Not in these online warehouses!

Desk Series console and organiser in oak by Karakter
Desk Series console and organiser in oak
Karakter

When furnishing your home work zone, aim high.

The brands featured in this article design beautiful minimal furniture and lighting. And many can be adapted for work.
A small console table makes an ideal desk. An occasional chair makes a great work seat.
Think laterally.

Mogensen J39 chair in black, Taro table in smoked oak by Fredericia
Mogensen J39 chair in black oak and paper cord, Taro table in smoked oiled oak
Fredericia

The Coronavirus pandemic has made us rethink our approach to work.

Overnight, working from home has become the norm.
There’s many benefits - no commuting, flexible hours, less interruptions.
So it’s likely it’s here to stay.

To avoid a generic, plasticky home office and achieve a sleek, personalised workspace, make sure you

  • separate work from play
  • tailor it to your work style
  • don’t compromise on design              

Lead the way and make working from home a beautiful thing.

Dan
Fitness Nut, Bookworm and Minimalist
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