Many of us have now spent a year working from home – also a year spent in makeshift offices predominantly put together in a hurry. Having spent part of lockdown working in a restaurant after graduating and then (in March) joining the fabulous team at APM, I have experienced first-hand what it’s like going from seeing and chatting to people, walking around and experiencing different environments to moving between my bedroom and my spare bedroom/office 5 days a week. So, what can you do to improve the space you work in?
Layout and Design
If possible, designate a room or area as your workspace – this will help to disengage the connection between your home and your work and allow you to relax and unwind at the end of the day. If your workspace is in another room (ie. living room or bedroom) you can implement partial partitions such as open bookcases that still allow light to travel through the room but also create a separate area and provide additional storage!
Place your desk or workstation in front of a window – this is key! Not only will the natural light illuminate your face on Zoom calls (so you still look fabulous when working from home), but daylight also impacts the circadian rhythm – which in turn can have huge impact on your sleep, diet and mental health. Investing in an ergonomic and comfortable desk chair is also a great idea as you will spend most of your day sat down.
Try to add décor such as artwork, picture ledges and plants to your workspace so you don’t feel like you’re sat in a blank box – but make sure that your background still looks tidy and neat! If you’re in a space with limited lighting, use a mirror not only as a décor piece but also to bounce light around the room.
Colours and Materials
Depending on the amount of space and light that is accessible to you, you can use a wide range of colours in your home office/work zone. Classic neutrals such as white and warm grey are timeless and create a great canvas to incorporate pops of brighter colours which aren’t so permanent. We suggest orange, teal and emerald green for soft furnishings, lamps and artwork to really stand out from the walls.
Biophilic colours including grey blues, moss greens and greys can create a really sophisticated space, whilst earthy yellows and browns create a warm and cosy environment. Pair these with natural wood and black metals for an industrial style or gold details for a more luxurious feel.
During the day, make the most of natural sunlight. Once the evening begins to kick in and it gets darker, task lighting is your best friend – you really don’t want to be sat in the dark straining to see your blue lit screen! Aim for a light that is not too harsh and sterile – we recommend using kelvins (Kelvin Scale = the measure of the colour of light) in the high 2000s. Our journal on lighting for beginners is a great place to start. Taller, adjustable floor lamps are great – they can be moved as required, and can be placed so you’re not distracted by light shining directly in your eyes.
Here at APM we are lovers of leafy plants and as lockdown happened, had to distribute many of the plants from the office between team members to take home and look after. The incorporation of plants in a workspace can help to create a calming and tranquil environment as our brains associate them with nature – it creates a sense of bringing the outdoors in. Suggestions include – snake plants, monstera deliciosa, cacti and kentia palms – all simple to look after.
If you need help with your renovation in London, Brighton or surrounding areas, contact us now!