How to upgrade your home office
Date: 15th January 2021
Adapting to working at home from working at the office...
In 2020, the world of work saw one of the biggest cultural changes since the introduction of personal computers in offices due to the strict working from home rules put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. For years, working from home was always seen as an option for the freelancer, self-employed professional or office workers from multinationals with flexible working cultures. Now, almost 67% of Managers, Directors and Senior Officials are working from home and up from just 24% in 2019 (Emsi analysis of ONS data, 2020).
Almost overnight, many employees from both large and small businesses were required to log into Microsoft Teams, set up Zoom meetings and create a VPN link for the first time whilst continuing to work in their day jobs as normal.
These working cultural changes were swift and unexpected, many home workers found themselves with a laptop, a shaky broadband connection and a working environment that wasn’t set up like an office.
The situation was only ever meant to be temporary...
Many office-based employees who sat at nice, ergonomically designed desks in purpose-built office environments suddenly found themselves at home sat at makeshift desks under the stairs, on the sofa with a tea tray or at the kitchen table. The situation was only ever meant to be temporary, but almost a year on from our first Remote Desktop Connection to the server, many office workers are still tapping away on keyboards at home and will be for at least the first quarter of 2021.
A year on from the cultural shift, if your home office set-up isn’t as good as it could be, maybe 2021 is the time to invest in improving your at-home working environment?
How can BDI furniture improve your productivity and living spaces?
As we are all spending more time at home, poorly laid out working spaces can become cluttered, uncomfortable and stress-inducing especially when surrounded by objects that blur the line between the home office and living spaces. The American furniture manufacturer BDI benefits from years of experience in crafting home office furniture, which is designed to both boost productivity and inspires.
Gone also are the days when a home office required space for bulky IT equipment such as clunky PCs, large printers and monitors. Using a portable device such as a laptop, Mac or tablet will swiftly remove the need for multiple storage units and take up less room in our often confined living spaces. Portable working set-ups allow you to move around your working environment rather than be stuck in one position all day. Tables such as the BDI Bink 1025 will allow you to work comfortably on the sofa without precariously balancing your computer on a laptop tray for example.
Storage solutions are just as important as a good desk...
One important consideration is the storage of items surrounding your working environment. Chargers, leads, lamps, folders and additional screens all take up space and create clutter. Filing cabinets might sound retro especially in a largely paperless environment but can create useful additional space. Multi-function cabinets that are fitted with locking drawers, adjustable shelves and locking wheels will ensure your diaries, documents and notebooks are safely secured away especially if you have confidential or sensitive information. Wires can be fed through the built-in slots that are commonly found on BDI furniture systems to keep things even neater and tidier.
Space is often at a premium in more compact homes and your home office will compete with your day-to-day living requirements. Spare rooms across the land have been repurposed as working spaces and converted into home office hybrids. Having a matching desk, storage and media cabinet can turn a miss-matched space into a stylish one and incorporate nicely into your home’s overall interior design. Wood furniture is great for a more traditional look, whilst steel and glass are more contemporary and create a more modern style.
Are you spending too much time sat down...?
Finally, working from home has also changed the way we deal with colleagues. This is one of the most missed and challenging aspects of WFH office life and sitting at a screen on Zoom doesn’t compare to chatting with co-workers about life outside of work. We now meet virtually instead of standing around a shared kitchen or drinks machine. Team meetings are held on Teams via webcam and even more time is spent sitting down.
Making a solitary brew round just isn’t the same. This means we are sitting down even more that impacts our posture and the distance spent walking each day is drastically decreased. Standing desks provide an alternative and encourage you to move and remain motivated whilst remaining focused.
Working from home and the shift from a temporary arrangement to an almost permanent one has led to many challenges over the past year, however, the benefits of a clean, comfortable and inviting working space cannot be underestimated.
Create spaces that reflect your own creativity and achieve your goals...
Your home office working environment needs to reflect your creativity and productivity as well as fit in with your decor and style. Not everyone likes having their work PC on show in the kitchen or living room, however, the innovative furniture solutions from BDI will help you alleviate some of this tension. Quality, well-designed furniture can go some way to help you separate some of the ‘working from home’ life challenges and still achieve your productivity goals.