With more Hongkongers working remotely, creating a home office environment that optimises mental health, work productivity and available space is increasingly important. Here are some tips to consider.
Your office is the place where you spend several hours a day thinking and ideating, so it is key that you are at ease in that space and that you enjoy working there. Think of it as real estate within your home, an additional yet all important area. While it is essential, it also needs to be discreet enough that it doesn’t take over your personal living environment. This does not mean you should tuck it away in a corner, as that would only result in making it an uncomfortable and undesirable space to be in. Instead, embrace its purpose and elevate its design by incorporating it into your home.
The integration of your home office into your design aesthetic is crucial so its function and appearance are cohesive with the rest of your home. Be mindful about selecting colours, textures and furniture that resonate with what you already have around you. The design and furnishings of your home office do not have to replicate a typical office cubicle—it is about enhancing your place of work with a sense of home. Take time to carefully consider your design choices; do not make your workspace an afterthought, after all, you will be spending much of your time there.
Make sure to choose the right desk and office chair for your personal needs. The options are endless, so you must take the time to try them out in person. When it comes to chairs, think about what works best for you in your work environment: casters, armrests, lumbar support, high back, low back and so on. Your seating position and comfort are imperative for mental and physical health, resulting in better work productivity. Pair it up with a desk that has the surface area you need, the storage you require, and a look that is cohesive with your home environment’s design. Bear in mind that overly large desks can dominate space, so reflect on the minimum size required to enable you to work effectively and efficiently.
Lighting and Power
Try to find a balance between bright and dark in your home office. If you have the option, situate it near a window to enjoy the wonders of natural light but make sure you have window hangings to combat too much sunlight. The choice between blinds or curtains is up to you; just ensure it fits with your design tendencies. A handy desk lamp with warm light will make the area welcoming, helping you focus on your work. These can range from classical to funky, making statements about you and your work area. Power cords are inevitable but steer clear of disorder as they will quickly start to dominate your space. If you have a desk with cord holes, great; if not, make sure they are tucked away and secured together with simple twist ties—this will avoid visual chaos. Also, make sure you are in proximity to a power outlet. If not, you can install a power extension neatly on the floor or wall perimeter or even raise it and secure it to your work surface.
Shelving and Accessories
Your office is most definitely a reflection of your design, your personality and your work. Opting for organisational shelving or systems will help you locate items easily and therefore work more efficiently. Whether it is open shelving, cabinets, labelled plastic bins, bespoke cardboard boxes or rattan trays, make sure they work for you and are always at hand. Some such shelves and accessory holders can be concealed behind curtains or below the desk to keep your home office tidy when you are not busy working. This will ensure that your home does not become dominated by the workplace.