For many of us, this current period of working from home came suddenly and without warning. So while you might have settled into a work/life routine, it’s possible that you’re still using your laptop on the sofa, or have converted a cramped corner of the dining table into a makeshift desk. But a few small changes can make your workspace a more motivating space to work, improving both creativity and productivity.
We spoke to Jade Nottage, director at Sydney interior design studio Tom Mark Henry, to learn more about how to create a home workspace that you’ll actually want to spend time in. Whether you have a dedicated office or are using a combined living and working space, her ideas are both inspiring and practical.
And if you’re looking for more work-from-home ideas, we asked some of our friends from around the world to tell us how they’re making it work for them.
Bring the outside in
“Ensuring you have as much natural light as possible is so important in a home office. If you can be near a window to provide that glimpse into the world outside, all the better. Plants are also an obvious but never-fail way to enliven any space.”
See the light
“As nice as it is to utilise natural light, if you’re working in the evening or on a dull day, ensuring the space is well illuminated is vital. For a home office, it’s important to be able to control the light and make it what you need, depending on the task at hand. As I mentioned previously, natural light is amazing, but isn’t always available or sufficient. To complement this, some dimmable LED track or downlights are great for overall illumination. In addition, a desk or floor lamp can offer some more strategically placed and ambient light. These lamps can also be a beautiful design feature when switched off.”
Consider the whole room
“If you have a separate home office space, utilising the walls to personalise the space is great – you can hang art or photos. This means you keep your desk space as clear as possible and when you look up from your computer, your eye lands on imagery that makes you feel good. If you want things on your desk, a water carafe, lamp or desk plant can be a nice touch. From a practical perspective, how you file papers and pens can also provide an opportunity for consideration. And don’t forget storage: the ability to organise and declutter the space is so important in order to provide a space that is conducive to productive work.”
But don’t go overboard
“If your dining table is the new normal workspace for you, then keeping it minimal and in line with the rest of the home is really important, as it will need to be ‘packed down’, so to speak. Dual spaces mean that when they’re not being used as a home office, they will be used as something else, so the ability of these spaces to transform is key to the success. Have only what you need to feel comfortable, but not too much that it becomes a task in its own right to pack down when necessary. Personally, having a minimalist space that makes me feel calm, without mess or clutter is critical to the success of my working from home environment.”
The right scent can also create a more motivating workspace environment. Uplifting notes of citrus and mint help to calm and focus the mind – find them in our Sicilian Citrus and Tunisian Mint Tea candles.
Images via TomMarkHenry