Work from home is fast becoming a reality for most professionals now due to the COVID-19 situation. With several offices taking safety measures and allowing employees to work remotely, the opportunity of setting up a self-designed home office is finally here. In light of the current scenario, it really pays to dedicate space at home that can be your ‘place of work’.
The location of the office within the house should be such that it is neither too isolated nor too public so that one can strike a balance between work and play. In case you have multiple bedrooms, one of the first rooms can be used for this purpose, else in larger houses spanning multiple floors, the ground floor can be dedicated for the office space with a separate entry. In smaller houses, carving out a distinct space within the living room could work well with screens or wooden partitions. “The ideal location of a home office should be closer to the entrance of the house so that visitors can be met with without them encroaching on the personal spaces of other family members. If a second entry doorway into the office is possible from the elevator lobby or outside lobby then that would be an ideal situation,” says Minnie Bhatt, Design Director, Minnie Bhatt Design.
An ergonomically designed chair and a well-planned work table are very important for effective functioning. It is imperative that the whole space is organised and clutter-free. “While looking at the size of the work tables, one should keep in mind if one will have visitors sitting across the table if there’s space for paperwork, laptop or desktop. Handy storage for frequently used files and stationery is a must; height-adjustable tables are available too, these days” said Ashish Patil and Prachi Chavarkar, Co-Founders, ArchiLab Designs.
Substantial importance needs to be given to wiring including network, system and printer requirements. It is key that plug points are easily accessible and wiring is appropriately concealed. There are concealed boxes available with a flap that open when required. “Opt for cable organisers as they give tons of flexibility and are a great idea when you need to use different sides of the table. Keeping power points under the table can be quite inconvenient,” says Shibani Jain, Founder & CEO, Baaya Design.
Natural ventilation, airy spaces and appropriate light fixtures promote functionality and efficiency. While white lights are preferred by many, energy-saving LED lights are available in a variety of applications, from recessed lights, suspended lights to track lights. “Office lighting has three components—task lighting, ambient light as well as accent lighting—all of which can create the right environment to ensure productivity,” inform Patil and Chavarkar.
Adequate provisions for horizontal and vertical storage keeping in mind present and future requirements are a must. Lockers for confidential documents, shelves for books and overhead storage for files help in organising oneself. “Pick a nice stationary organiser and do up your soft-board creatively. For instance, instead of a whiteboard, write out your calculations, formulas, or big ideas on your window glass as it adds an element of quirk,” adds Jain.
Given that substantial time is spent in the home office, it is key that the place reflects warm, welcoming and homely vibes. A piece of art or DIY, personal photographs, a library of your favourite books, a treasured rug, lamp or even good luck charms are ways of adding your personality into space. “Paint the home office in a colour you like. Make sure space is filled with items that motivate such as inspiring quotes, a vision board, and other items that bring you joy,” says Priyanka Mehra, Principal Architect, PS Design.