One of the most pressing situations residents are facing today is how to balance work and life when a professional role must often occupy our living spaces. Remote working is become more pervasive, with many employees actively pushing for their position to become manageable from their homes. The issue is, however, that without considered design, there is a greater than expected cost of working from within a personal living space.
This is not to say that working from home is not possible. It certainly is and many operate their professional lives with efficiency and happiness from within their own properties. However, the home must be designed to accommodate two separate lives, or else residents soon find themselves burning out.
One of the most important qualities of a professional space within the home is a visible barrier. Those who choose to work from the sofa or on their dining room table will soon find themselves unable to switch off at the end of the day. This is unlike the office, which allows an employee to leave their role and professional mindset when returning home.
As such, remote workers should endveaour to set up an office space that is visibly divided from their living space. By doing so, they will be able to more easily separate their roles and prevent working hours to merge with their downtime.
Such barriers can be as simple as a door. By closing it at the end of a working day, a person is able to leave responsibilities and stress behind, which is why many set up offices in spare or lesser-used rooms. Others choose garden structures, such as converted sheds or log cabins, which also have the added distance of being separate from the home entirely. Outdoor spaces need only be fitted with basic amenities, such as WiFi, and can then be designed in a way that does not compromise a living space’s aesthetics.
A home office must also be conducive to focus, something that shared office spaces are largely designed around. Working within a shared living space, such as a dining room or kitchen, for example, means not only might others become a potential distraction but so too will noises and devices associated with that space.
When designing a home office space, try to replicate that of a former shared office. The insulation that blocks out noise and plain decor then encourages individuals to focus on the task at hand. These elements may seem rather stark when contrasted with the rest of your home’s interior design but it is for good reason.
One must also consider comfort as well as utility, and this is an advantage that the home office has over those of central urban areas. Coffee machines, blankets, stand-up desk spaces, and even the type of chair one might favour. These elements can each be customised to one’s preferences and, importantly, should be because a greater degree of comfort supports focus and professional stamina.
So, when accepting a remote working position, be sure that your home is ready with a distraction-free, comfortable space that allows you, at the end of the day, to close the door and leave your professional life behind.