How to design a home office

By Mihir Sanganee, Design Director, Designsmith

Published: Thu 28 May 2020, 10:00 PM

Last updated: Thu 1 Jul 2021, 3:59 PM

We have all had to recalibrate our lives in the past couple of months, and WFH has brought us many benefits along with the usual challenges. Although Dubai has begun to reopen responsibly, the culture of working from home seems like it's here to stay for the longer haul. Organisations like Twitter have announced a permanent remote-work policy and Salesforce is allowing their staff to work from home for the rest of the year. Every organisation has different requirements but there's no time like the present to invest in and create a suitable home office - for now and the future. Here are some simple tips to design and upgrade your personal space into a conducive working environment.
Always start with a plan
A home office shouldn't just be where you decide to place a desk and chair; it should be a well-thought-out mix of decor and utilities that define you, your personality and your work requirements. Reflect on what colours uplift you, or which materials aren't a distraction. If you rely on natural light for energy, keep that a top priority while allocating space. A little preparation before you commit to creating this space will go a long way to making you productive in your home office.
Pick the right basics
Since home offices are some of the busiest rooms in the house, right lighting plays an important role. You would want a desk lamp and also built-in lighting fixtures if you don't have access to natural light easily. Your home office furniture can vary from large to compact, multifunctional to permanent, light and natural to dark and earthy. Whatever you choose, it must meet your work habits, personal style and spatial boundaries. Finally, pick storage options as per your requirements - some of us just need a set of drawers or organisers while others might need more space. Try using shelves and corners instead of boxy cabinets to avoid lending a heavy look to your home.
Set aside a place for gadgets
In this age of connectivity, it's crucial to draw a line and distance yourself from work at home when needed. If you're prone to overusing your phone during work, don't keep it in your home office and check it only when you take your breaks. Limit calls with friends and family during the workday as you would in the office. Similarly, once you're done with your workday, physically distance yourself from your home office and disconnect from work emails and messages.
Remote working is probably the way ahead. Webinars across the world, Zoom meetings with colleagues, and even staff birthdays and office socials have all migrated to digital platforms. WFH (work from home) is here to stay - invest rightly in it.
wknd@khaleejtimes.com