Interior design

Working at home: making it work for you

Sleeping in the office? Working in the bedroom? The rise of home working means taking a good look at how and where we do what we do!

Practical guide - 30 May 2017

Tip 1

Sweet dreams

For many busy professionals and self-employed entrepreneurs, working at home is not just living the dream; it’s essential. Just make sure your dream-time is sacrosanct and work worries are kept out of the bedroom (and out of your head) when it’s time to sleep.

Tip 2

Plan before beginning

Before you even start, think very carefully about place and function. Even if you’re working at the kitchen table, make a planned transition of function with a visual signal, like an ‘office’ plant or desk-tidy.

Tip 3

Back to bed

Keep your back to the bed! Research studio apartment layout plans; you will see that work space faces away from sleeping space. Even better, consider a space-saving bunk arrangement with the desk below, and all that lovely eye-level wall space for storage.

Tip 4

Make a barrier

Even if your home is tiny, small studio apartment designs can still accommodate a work space; think about all the possible physical barriers you could create. Perhaps an old-fashioned standing screen, or a free-standing open book-case, or even a settee with its back to the desk.    

    Home 2

Tip 5

Don't cut corners

Fill your corners instead! One of the best ways to create an office space is to invest in a corner desk so not an inch goes to waste. There’s something about the convex curve of the desk-front that feels friendly, too.

Tip 6

Tidy, tidy again

If you invest a few minutes in tidying your work or living space before making the transition, it will help to keep your head in the right place. That little bit of washing up? Do it, it’s finished, move on.

Tip 7

Go outside

Don’t succumb to the temptation to move seamlessly from me-time to work-time. Just a few minutes spent outside your living space will prepare you for the day’s next task, otherwise a jumble and muddle will be your fate – and affect your work.

Tip 8

Forget multi-tasking

You may pride yourself on being brilliant at it, but when you live and work in the same space, it’s essential to keep your various roles clearly defined. Do not be tempted to wash those curtains or phone that friend during work time.

Tip 9

Recognize displacement activities

Keeping domestic tasks out of sight while you’re working is essential to avoid the displacement activity syndrome. If you must find one, tidy your office knick-knacks to make your working space calm and inviting.

Tip 10

Color-coded office

If you have an office alcove, such as under the stairs or under a bunk, consider color-coding everything – even the walls – in your preferred office environment. Just make sure it contrasts enough with your living space to help keep you feeling focused.

In a nutshell

Plan and organize as you would for any project; take a long look at the space available and define living/working areas and stick to them. Make sure your work space is clearly defined, even temporarily.

Manage your time wisely; forget multi-tasking and try to leave the space altogether between work-life time changes.

Learn more