• Liza Shashenkova

DESIGN a home office you actually WANT to work in

Updated: Jan 28

Let’s get one thing clear, remote working is not some trending “perk” inspired by the highly ambitious CEOs of Silicon Valley, nor was the idea born with the pandemic. The concept is actually about 1.4 million years old. Another fun fact for tonight’s dinner table conversation: our ancestors throughout Eastern and Southern Africa crafted tools within the perimeters of their dwelling way before early telecommunications was making it part of their employment policy.

Before COVID-19 got its mighty grip on the world, major firms started encouraging this ritual within their company culture because who can sincerely say they do not love it from time to time? There is a better work-life balance, no painful commute (exactly! I dare someone here to say they actually miss that) and flexible working hours as we all begin to acknowledge that our brains are wired differently.

So, how is this relevant to making my home office better?

Because, the sooner many of us begin to accept our new reality (one that is not worth venturing into too much), the sooner we can do ourselves a favour, make the best of it and create the perfect environment to match.

Allow me to share an internal company secret: Kings Design has seen a tsunami of requests for home office spaces as many come to terms with that fact that they will be either working from home for a while or even permanently. Do you think those enquiring about home offices are actually onto something? What was once a luxury commodity in the form of “the study” has actually transformed into a vital space that not only one must know how to nail but could actually increase the value of your property in a post-COVID world.

Take a pause and think to yourself: have you truly managed to create an environment you actually cannot wait to work in everyday?

Time to bring in a team like ours to help create the ultimate backdrop for those endless Zoom meeting.

1. The Key Is In The Privacy!

I cannot stress this enough! It is essential you separate yourself from the rest of the home. I am seeing the readers who are currently in their studios and small apartments having that trembling urge to close this page once and for all but hang on! Please note: this does not have to be some large and expansive space, but it must remain separate from other parts of your home. Have you considered that guest room maybe? Not like you will be needing that for a while!

We all love our pets and family members dearly but conveying a sense of “off limits” is necessary to be able to immerse yourself in a workspace where there will be no unnecessary sound interruptions.

2. Functionality First

Compared to the formality of an office space, the home sure does offer familiar comfort but if that dedicated space is too casual, your productivity is destined to go down the drain in an instant. I know many of you simply cannot help yourselves when it comes to sourcing inspiration from the likes of Instagram, today’s hotbed of dream homes. However, it is during that scrolling time that we forget the purpose of a home office and that is a place where we produce our best work. With that said, hold that plasma screen that you hope to hang on the wall thinking you can casually “tune out”.

Those tiny upholstered chairs you are eyeing are cute but think what that will do to your back in the space of just a week! Leave it to the professionals to apply that same practical mindset when they assist in picking a desk to match - one that will accommodate all those project files, post-it notes and coffee mugs. It most likely will not be a gem from the annual antique fair but a solid piece that ensures your computer monitor will be eye level or even a little below. Eye fatigue is not a fun one! If you are not bringing the professionals in just yet remember to position the keyboard so that the forearms are parallel to the floor and your chair allows your feet to rest firmly on the floor.

3. Get Light Right!

We have talked about the magic of natural light everywhere; in our instagram posts and in previous blogs but its surprising to see this overlooked by so many of us. Ever wondered why the typical representation of an office building in your favourite Netflix show always has floor-to-ceiling windows? Even blockbuster producers understand that ideally you want as much natural daylight as possible in a working environment!

When we take a more technical approach, light always differs depending on the time of the day hence it changes depending on how it is refracted on the surfaces. This can also differ depending on where you are in the world. In conclusion, sit next to a window if possible and even if you like bright colours refrain yourself from painting a backdrop that resembles a Chinese New Year photo booth as we do not need full-spectrum lighting bouncing away.

What about after sunset? Good question! Never forget the additional lighting for those darker hours of the day. The overhead lighting you currently have is just not going to cut it! Remember, we are not trying to create a hotel lobby but a place which is designed with your razor sharp focus in mind. Invest in to a good task lamp, one that offers a nice soft glow and unique design possibilities.

4. Creative Storage

I am going to take a wild guess and assume you are not feeling the “filing cabinet” look? Who wants to ever be reminded of those corporate cubicle spaces from the 80s after all? Nevertheless, we do need a Marie Kondo solution for all those stacks of papers you are going to be needing. Having them floating about the room is only going to add to an overwhelmed head on a busy day.

Every mindfulness enthusiast will know this one: “a place for everything and everything in its place”. If you have carefully considered your storage requirements, you’ll have all the space you need. This is the perfect time to get us involved. If you have been watching our stories closely, you will see we are literally the Kings of optimising storage in just about anywhere. Consider magazine type racks or go all out on a book case where overstuffing won’t accumulate into a habit. (Little life hack for you guys: they look great during your video conferences).