Good morning office workers! Or should I say trying-to-work-from-home-ers?
How is everyone doing?
As we enter the 5th week of a new way of office life, I think it’s truly lovely that people are getting to know each other a bit better during this time, welcoming our colleagues and customers into our homes.
Fluffy cats walking across camera shots, babies crying for their parent’s attention, and sneak peeks of behind closed doors office setups – unless you have found the background effects and have placed yourself in the Bahamas. We may apologise for the disturbance, the clothes hanging on the door behind that you forgot to move, or the neighbour’s ever-present whistling, but our colleagues, clients, and prospective customers don’t mind.
The airtight professional facade has been dropped and the fact that we are all humans with lives behind our job titles is on clear display.
I have been working from home since 2015, so I’d like to think I have the routine and discipline down to a tee by now. Of course, the addition of an 18-month-old and 4-year-old at home has thrown things off a little!
For many, working from home is a new concept. I’m sure for some it has come as a welcome requirement, where for others it comes with challenges.
“I don’t have a designated office space, where should I work?”
“Where in the house is best to work?”
What we’re all coming to realise is that you don’t need an office! While none of us have much of a choice, my official office-planning advice is to try and mix it up a bit.
Dining Table – Possibly the most like-for-like replacement for an office space you’ll see on the list, this might help you feel like you’re there in the office, with all the comforts of home.
Kitchen – Poseur Height; good for your posture and a nice break from the constant sitting. This is something we work into a few of our office spaces, so why not give it a try at home? Even if it’s only for a cup of tea…
The Sofa – Who says you can’t be comfortable while you work? The sofa puts pressure on different areas of your body to the table and chair, helping you be comfortable. It’s exactly what laptops were made for.
The Bed – I know many “top tips for working from home” say this is a big “no-no” – but why not?! If you need to focus and other rooms are taken up by children or a partner in a Zoom call, it just might be the change of scenery you need. Be sure to change out of your PJ’s though or that could make for an embarrassing video call!
The Garden – Anyone who can, should get their share of fresh air. Think of all the times you’ve looked out of your office window to the sunshine and thought “if only we could work out there”. If you can sit out in the grass with your work for an hour here or there, take the opportunity!
The Office – Some people will have their own office but just because you have one doesn’t mean you have to stay there forever. It can be the ideal place to put your things once the day is done, to give the feeling of leaving your workplace for the evening.
Are our homes really that different from our office spaces?
Offices are now being designed to feel more like home.
Many offices have been moving to a more flexible format (similar to that of our homes) for years. So this should be an easy transition. We have already received a project designing a huge space which contains no desks at all.
Ventilation is key
The weather is beautiful, so get your windows open! The fresh air will give your mind a boost and the homely noises of your neighbours might give you the illusion of your team nattering – unless number 9 persist with their DIY, of course.
We are missing designing your new office space, but equally excited to be part of the 2020 historic office design movement. Because, let’s be honest, it’s never going to be the same again.
Thanks for reading – we sincerely hope all of our friends and colleagues are keeping safe and well during this troubling time. If you’re interested in learning about some slightly more “classical” space planning theory, why not check out our blog here? You may also have spotted this article on our LinkedIn page, so be sure to give it a follow!