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Home offices used to be a nice-to-have and these days, in the wake of the pandemic, they’re more of a must-have! And if you ask me, one of the main benefits of working from home is your space can be a lot more stylish than corporate! But the same practicalities, like storage and ergonomics, apply. This week, I hopped into Metricon’s free online Masterclass on the topic and I’m here to share all the top tips I picked up.
Metricon’s design manager, Ricky D’Alesio, and senior interior designer, Jacinta Evans, had so much to share, whether you’re renovating, building a new home, converting a different room into a work space or wanting to create an office nook in some unused space.
As home builders, Metricon naturally need to keep on top of what people want in their homes and Ricky explained home offices are now top of the list. “Having the right space to be able to be productive when working from home is so important,” he said. “Although people tend to gravitate towards the dining table, it’s probably not the right spot! That separation between work and home is very important. You want a spot which is quiet and away from disruptions so you should avoid being in high traffic area.” As a mum often working from home with two young kids (even with a nanny here) I most definitely concur!
Even better if your space has a door you can close or a screen. And Ricky said Metricon customers were keen on office spaces at the front of their houses so if people do have to come and visit you on business, they don’t have to walk through your entire home. And natural light, if possible, should always be in plentiful supply.
Jacinta suggests having an outlook to the garden and some greenery can be lovely if you can manage this, or even the sound of a trickling water feature. Sounds heavenly! She also touched on the topic of work/life separation. “If you’re always looking around from your desk at other things that need doing, it will affect your productivity. Try and keep your desk clean and tidy and only use that space for work.” That said, an office nook could do double duty as a dressing table at weekends, perhaps if you only work from home occasionally.
Measurements are also important. Ricky suggests deciding at the outset the size of the space or nook depending on how many people will use it and how often. The desk, built in or not, should be at least 600mm deep, and you should ensure you have ample storage. A combination of shelving for books and decor, and cupboards or drawers for unsightly things like printers, is best. Wall mount your computer screen if you can for a more streamlined look and less clutter.
You of course have the option of everything from professional custom joinery (the best, most expensive and most permanent option) to storage cubes and baskets from the high street and everything in between, depending on your budget and needs.
Other great tips include thinking about cables, where your powerpoints will be and if there’s enough of them, and proximity to wifi.
And let’s not forget ergonomics! Although this word often conjures up images of ugly adjustable office chairs, the design of these has (thankfully!) come a long way and there are now a lot of options which tick both the style and comfort boxes. Your back will thank you for it!
To add the finishing decorative touches to your work space (and if you can, why wouldn’t you?!), Jacinta suggest indoor plants, wallpaper (even just on the desk wall), personal photographs and mementoes. And last but not least, while natural light is the ideal, you’ll often still need a task light to work by.
Right, I’m off to completely re-jig my space, stop crossing my legs at my desk and invest in a chair with wheels! If you’d like to learn more, you can sign up for Metricon’s next online Masterclass on kitchen design this coming Tuesday and you’ll later get access to the replays of all the masterclasses.
Metricon has been exploring new ways to deliver seminars and Masterclasses to their customers, bringing events into your home so that you can stay educated from the comfort of home.