A year ago I gave up the commute and started working from home. I love the flexibilty this offers me, although some of my initial ideas were somewhat deluded. I had visions of keeping on top of housework during lunch breaks, trips to the gym or going for a run when I had a spare hour… the reality is my daily exercise is the half mile walk on the school run twice a day, I’m also within touching distance of the fridge, I still eat my lunch at my desk and housework comes last when you have to earn your own money. Not a good combination.
Having said this, I treat the school run as my walk to work and when I get home my work day begins. I always (well most days) get ‘dressed for work’ and never slob around in my pjs. Working with two businesses I spend half my week at my desk in the corner of the kitchen and the other half in overalls, upcycling things on the living room floor or in the garden and I only have myself to answer to.
According to the Office for National Statistics, at the last count there were 4.2 million UK home workers – this is around 13% of the workforce, and more and more people are joining in this growing trend, working from home and giving up the daily commute.
There are also increasing numbers of employers encouraging their staff to have ‘work from home’ days, allowing them a more flexible lifestyle. Your home, however, needs to be able to accommodate this.As well as living spaces, our homes now have to function as office spaces for desk bound jobs, craft rooms for creative makers and even professional kitchens for small bakeries.
With this record number of people choosing to work from home, it’s only natural we’re seeking more attractive work spaces in our homes. Some require nothing other than a laptop or tablet, to catch up on emails, post a blog, or check work-based social media before heading back to the office, others need a fully functioning office space. We use our spare bedrooms, living room alcoves, dining room tables, the kitchen table and even the understairs cupboards can become a useable desk space with a little bit of imagination. The reality is that, initially at least, the majority of home workers will end up with a desk in the corner of the dining room.Whatever your job or business, your workspace should be inspiring and uplifting, you’ll enjoy your day at work and be so much more productive.
You will need to consider if clients will visit your home-based office. If so, then think about the location, your tiny box room may be the only room suitable, but you could consider using a dining table or kitchen table as a meeting space.
As for decor, treat it like any other space in your home. Bright colours work for some people while others need calm and serene environments. Your office should be an extension of your home style and your working personality. Consider storage for filing and supplies, and if any of these will be on display then look for some storage solutions. Ikea and stationery shops such as Paperchase are a great start, but also think about using old blanket boxes for box files, or upcycle some old kitchen cabinets to create a desk area. Standard grey filing cabinets can look amazing in your home spray painted in quirky colours to match your scheme. Think mustard or bright blue and you’re along the right lines, anything but the traditional grey they come in! For a lovely upcycled twist to your home office, if you can source a few old apple crates and some reclaimed scaffold boards then you could build your own office space very easily.If you’re old enough to remember covering your school books with sticky backed plastic and wallpaper, then you’ll know how simple and stylish it can be to recover box files and even shoe boxes in wallpaper and fabric to match your existing colour scheme.
Flexible working is definitley here to stay and we don’t need to compromise on style at home to get the perfect workspace. As much as I miss my old work mates – you know who you are – I really hope I never have to go back to the office.
Source: All images sourced from pinterest and can be found on my page here