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The term ‘working from home’ has become a big part of our vocabulary this year, and whilst some of us are thoroughly enjoying the flexibility and living in activewear, others are finding the home an isolating environment. With the lines between ‘home’ and ‘work’ progressively blurring, it’s understandable that the design principles between commercial and residential interiors are cross-pollinating also. Using this knowledge, the Strutt Studios team has translated a range of design concepts that can be integrated into your home and thus reduce the space-induced anxiety of this new normal called WFH.

Picture: Mike Gallagher Photography

1. Keep It Separated

Visual and aural separation is key to ensure that your productivity remains high whilst working from home. If budget is a concern, changing the acoustics of a room will be hard to achieve. However adding soft furnishings such as floor carpet or a rug, curtains and an upholstered chair will help to absorb noise and create a distraction free zone. Additionally, by applying different finishes in your work area like a floor rug or painted feature wall; your family, flatmates and you yourself will associate this zone as different from the rest of the home and dedicated to work, not socialisation.

Picture: Mike Gallagher Photography

2. Keep It Flexible

With small space or shared living being the reality for many, a dedicated office or study room can be an unattainable luxury. This has resulted in working from the dining table, or worse; the lounge. Obviously a correct ergonomic set-up; with a task chair, a workstation at 720mm high and a monitor arm or laptop stand is best; but we are often asked how this can suit a flexible space. In-built furniture is an effective way to create a space that serves multiple purposes. A wall of joinery can include full height storage, feature shelves, a desk nook, a banquette seat, and a TV or fireplace display. Whilst this is a more permanent way to integrate a workspace into your home, it will maximise your limited footprint and benefit your headspace too. In my own home, I have a custom built banquette seat which serves as an entertaining, dining and laptop work zone; and also an off-the-shelf IKEA desk with integrated storage units and shelving in another room. There is a solution to suit every budget.

Picture: Phu Tang Photography

3. Keep It Light

One of common issues with working from home is signing off at the end of the day. This is another reason to remove your work zone from the dining table, so that you can correctly start and finish your work day, rather than simply pushing the cereal bowl to the side of your laptop. Having both ‘task’ and ‘mood’ lighting in your work space will help moderate your productivity. Ensuring that your ceiling light has a ‘Daylight’ (4000K temperature) bulb or downlight will help efficiency during the day. In the mid-afternoon, when you go for that last cup of coffee or tea, turn off the ceiling light and turn on a desk or floor lamp with a ‘Warm’ (3000K temperature) bulb. This ambient yellow toned light will help to balance the blue light emitted from your computer screen and send the signal that it’s time to start winding down for the day.

Picture: Mike Gallagher Photography

4. Keep It Special

A lot can be said for the power of Hygge. This is a Danish concept that describes the contentment of being in a cosy environment and the well-being experienced when enjoying life’s simple joys. Surrounding your work zone with live plants, a candle or oil burner, and a special piece of décor will go a long way in feeling gratified in your work zone. Stock up on desk supplies that suit your taste, and remember to keep the receipts for tax-time.

This year has taught us that a flexible lifestyle and home/work balance is achievable. Make the most of this unique position we find ourselves in by creating an enjoyable and productive work space in your home.

Want to hear more from Sophie? Head to the Strutt Studios website.


WORDS | Sophie Bowers, Strutt Studios

IMAGES | Mike Gallagher Photography, Phu Tang Photgoraphy



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