Working form home is the new normal. Now is the chance to make sure your home works for your life – leaving the days of working from your bedroom desk behind you. Working, relaxing, family time, school time – homes around the country are being put to the test. We are working with our clients to design extensions, refurbishments and annexes that transform their homes into the space they need. So, having said that, have a read of our five top tips for making sure your home makes sense for both family living and work from home.
- Your morning “commute”
Routine is important. You want to have some kind of separation between your before-work morning routine and your “I’ve arrived at work” morning routine. Having a desk in your bedroom is definitely not ideal. It’s good to think about how you move around your home in the morning, and what your routines for breaks look like. Having your working area on a different floor to where you relax, or in a different part of the house will help you keep the work and play side of your brain separate.
- Separating Spaces
Creating separation between spaces is important. This isn’t always as simple as having an annexe or garden working space, although that is a great solution. Sometimes it means rooms having multiple functions at different times of the day. Studies can be a great solution to this, but in these quarantine times where every inch of your house is being used it doesn’t always guarantee that separation you’re looking for. One thing which helps is designating a communal area which can never be ‘monopolised’ by one person. This means that the whole family knows where they can be together, which puts less pressure on studies or working corners that are supposed to me delineated. Sometimes your home just doesn’t quite work in this way no matter what you try, and that’s when you might consider rationalising your internal layout or adding an extension/ annexe to your property. Find out more about that process here.
In the world of work from home flexibility really does revolve around how you plan your utilities and electrics. Do you have plug sockets and Wi-Fi extenders in opportune places? Is the washing machine and drier away from where you need to make those noise free conference calls? Have you got storage areas where you need them to quickly tidy away work items and start the dinner time rush? Having flexibility is a big part of being able to add variety to your day and get out of that early afternoon working slump with a change of scenery. We always spend a good chunk of time thinking about plug socket placement and storage solutions (and much more besides) when working with our clients because it is these seemingly small things, if missed, that have a massive impact on the usability and live-ability of your home.
Being uncomfortable when working affects your productivity. No great surprise to you I’m sure. First thing you’ll notice when you work from home in one place for any stretch of time, especially in the winter months, is that you get cold quick. There are lots of great heating solutions out there, and it’s definitely worth looking into systems such as underfloor heating if you’re going to be spending lots of time in your home throughout the day. Also, picking out the right chairs and desks, and making sure that they actually fit in the space you have planned for them and your screen isn’t too close to your face, is important for ergonomic comfort and keeping your lower back and eyes healthy.
- Outside In
Thinking about how you can get natural light into your work from home spaces, without adding glare to your screens or leading to an overheated study, is important. That often means planning your space around the sun paths with relation to your home. When we work with clients to rationalise their home’s internal layout it is often a focus on sun path, window placement, daily routine movements and working eye lines that are taken into account. Getting it right is all about understanding the way that you live and how your home can work for you and your life. Watch our video about the design process here. If you would like to find out more about how we can help make your home work for you and your family’s life, then get in touch for your free initial consultation here.