The way that people work is changing, with many more people choosing to work from home, either as a freelancer or as part of their full time employment. According to Forbes, there has been a dramatic upsurge in the number of people remote working in the past 10 years.
It is important to have clear differentiation between the living space and the working space. Those of us fortunate enough to have a spare room can create this space with ease. The remainder will need to create a space in an existing room and for many of us this will mean finding an area within the bedroom. So, how can we successfully add a home office inside the bedroom without losing our restful space?
The following tips will provide you with some ideas of how to make a harmonious home inside your bedroom without compromising your relaxation.
1. Positioning of your desk
The position of your desk is paramount to being able to work effectively. Imagine that you have an entire day’s work ahead of you and there in your eyeline is a wonderfully comfortable bed, complete with soft pillows and furnishings. This alone could lead to you becoming less productive, so it is advised to have your back to the bed. If you are worried about being in a corner, play with the angle of your desk to find what works best for you.
Some home workers prefer their desks to face the window and find that this provides them with inspiration. Others can be distracted by what is happening outside. Remember that if you are facing the window, the light is going to change throughout the day so you may need to fit blinds.
2. Get the right chair
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It may be tempting to buy yourself a large comfortable armchair or to work from the sofa. However you still need to consider ergonomics to ensure that you are not causing yourself any long term injuries.
Buying a proper office chair will allow you to work comfortably for longer periods of time. The chair needs to have both height adjustment and lumbar support; ideally it should also have 5 legs with wheels which provide mobility, stability and support.
3. Clever storage
Combining your bedroom and office space can lead to mess. Even with the best intentions a home office can become cluttered with project files, stationary, paperwork etc. By creating clever storage that blends in with the rest of your bedroom furniture, you can ‘hide’ the office when using the bedroom for relaxation.
Ensure that you have places where you can put your paperwork so that it is both easily accessible for you to continue working, but does not affect the aesthetics of your room.
4. Natural and Artificial Lighting
Ensure that you have plenty of natural light coming into your office area, and complement this with lamplight. There is nothing worse than working in a dark corner as this will affect your mood. It is possible to buy daylight bulbs for your lamps that will allow you to work in the smallest of nooks or alcoves whilst keeping your productivity high.
5. Keeping zones separate
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Try to keep the two zones separate so that you know when you are ‘In the Office’ and when you are ‘In the Bedroom’. Even in a small room this can be done by clever use of colour. By using either a muted or a brighter colour than the current decor you will be able to section off the office space whilst keeping a harmonious atmosphere.
If your bed is the same height as your desk your room may seem cluttered. A low bed will make the room seem naturally segregated. Alternatively you could invest in a day bed or bed settee to allow you to free up space whilst still utilising the room as a bedroom.
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Plants keep us healthy and happy, both physically and mentally. By bringing a little greenery in the form of plants to your home office you could find yourself becoming more productive.
Research shows that when people work in a space with plants they experience increased feelings of wellbeing and lower levels of stress. Plants are also believed to boost creativity. So go ahead, pull out those green fingers and get potting.
7. Keep stocks close to hand
You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t look for a reason to step away from your desk at times. One problem for the new homeworker is the risk of procrastination. For somebody who has been confined to an office for their entire career, the chance to work from home can often feel like a paid holiday. But on every occasion that you need to leave the room you are wasting valuable minutes.
This can be addressed by having regular stocks of stationery and other consumables within the office space. This does not just apply to your office tools and equipment, but also your teabags, coffee, etc. There are too many distractions outside the office environment that could lead to lead you away from the task at hand.