I’ve been working from home now for 8 years. In the early days, I started working from our dining room table. It wasn’t long before I realised that wasn’t a long term solution (if you’ve ever sat on a hard wooden chair for longer than 30 minutes, you’ll know that it soon gets incredibly uncomfortable!). At that time we had no children so we decided to turn our spare room into an office space. I loved it – a light bright room, relaxing pale green walls and white furniture including a lovely bespoke glass desk. It was so bright and airy. Then boom! Two weeks having completed the new office, we found out we were expecting our first child. My home office quickly became the nursery.
When we moved into our new home, there was already a dedicated office space which initially seemed like an ideal place to work. A built-in desk, shelves and near a window. However, it’s never really been a place that I’ve particularly enjoyed working from. The desk is actually quite small and it’s also set into an alcove which gets very dark. Because of the size of the desk, I feel like I’m just staring at a wall and it can feel very claustrophobic. So, inspired by WeWork, a co-working office space, I am looking to move and redesign my home office space and have been looking for ideas. These are my top tips and wish list for my new working space:
A light and bright space – I find dark spaces very claustrophobic and draining which isn’t conducive to working productively. This is one of the key problems I have with my current office space. I love the look and feel of this workspace with it’s minimalistic feel and added brightness with flowers.
A large working surface – I don’t have a lot of stuff on my desk but I do like to spread myself out when I’m working. The small wooden desk that I have at the moment can soon become cluttered and seem chaotic. My glass desk is about twice the size and because it’s made of glass, it lets light through. Not only does it look and feel less cluttered, but it also helps to optimise the light and brightness of my working space. I’d definitely recommend using toughened glass for a desk. We had a solid piece of glass cut for around £60 and sourced some white metal desk legs. A fantastic bespoke desk for less than £100!
Organisation – Storage space and organisation is essential for working productively. My current organisation solutions are a little, well erm, disorganised! This is one of the biggest changes I’d like to see in my new working space. I love the wall to wall storage in this office space. Plenty of room to file and manage paperwork and easy access to everything.
Sit comfortably – A decent, ergonomic chair was one of my best investments. From those early days of sitting on a hard wooden chair, I know how distracting it can be when you’re constantly focusing on how uncomfortable you are. More importantly, bad posture from sitting in the wrong position puts extra pressure on your spine and can lead to longer term back problems. I do also have a cosy arm chair in my home office. It’s great for those times when I just need to get away from my screen or just have a quick tea break. I love the idea of this bright orange chair to bring some colour and cosiness to my workspace.
Avoid social isolation – I wanted to add this one in because for me it’s one of the main challenges with working from home. It’s easy to feel isolated from colleagues and clients when you’re working from your home office. No matter how lovely your home office space is, feeling socially isolated can soon zap my motivation and productivity. This is why I love the idea of co-working office spaces such as those offered by WeWork. It’s a way to get that social contact, help to separate work and home life a little more and also gives the added benefit of networking and making new friends.
I love the flexibility that working from home can give, but I’ve learnt over the years that working from home not only requires dedication and commitment but also a dedicated working space that motivates and inspires. I hope the lessons I’ve learnt inspire you to review your own homework space too. If you have any tips or even photos of home workspaces that inspire you, I’d love to see them!