One of the biggest social shifts to occur as the result of COVID-19 was the transition into working from home. It’s estimated that as much as a third of the country’s workers were forced to the #WFH lifestyle at some point in 2020. In the frenzy of Zoom meetings, Slack messaging and frantically cobbling together a home office in the initial panic of the pandemic, something interesting and even unexpected made itself clear over the months that followed: working from home is productive, practical and preferable.
With the pandemic thankfully now somewhat contained across most of the country and restrictions easing, studies are showing that most people want to continue to work from home, at least in a hybrid capacity. And many employers have also recognised the benefits, such as improved productivity, decreased sick days and financial savings in the reduced office operating costs.
It’s a win–win for employers and employees in the work–life balance, and businesses are predicting things will never return to how they were pre-pandemic. As such, there’s never been a better time to set up the snazzy and inspired home office space of your dreams as we enter this exciting new flexible era where working from home — whether full-time or part-time — is the norm.
A good workspace should reflect your personality. It should be streamlined for the work you do specifically and, most importantly, it should be so ridiculously comfortable you can smash out your eight-hour workday with ease.
🖥️ Space and privacy
🖥️ Decent work surface
🖥️ Comfortable chair
🖥️ Decent lighting
Start by working out exactly where you’re going to set up your home office space. If you’re lucky enough to have a spare room or bungalow — bingo! — but if not, you’ll need to get inventive with a niche, like the landing at the top of the stairs, underneath the staircase or a converted linen cupboard. Also, it can be hard to focus with household noise and distractions, so if you have an open office space, consider investing in a privacy screen and noise-cancelling headphone.
The right desk is about more than just somewhere to rest your keyboard and mouse — it should be the right height (approximately 75–78cm) to prevent back or neck pain and to be able to rest your arms, and it should also offer enough surface space for your specific work requirements.
The desks in the Early Settler range have been constructed to the industry-standard height and with between 120–150cm of surface space. They’re all crafted from timber and come in a range of styles — from industrial to Hamptons — and have been designed with a choice of drawers or shelves to keep your stationery organised. You’ll know your desk is the right size for you if when you’re sitting up straight, your forearms are parallel to the ground and your wrists can rest comfortably on the top of your desk to type to write.
A poor choice of chair is often the culprit of late-afternoon backaches so it’s well worth investing in an office chair that’s comfortable and well fitted to your form. Height-adjustable chairs are the most ideal to allow you to find the perfect stature for you and don’t forget caster wheels so you can glide in and out of your desk with ease.
All form-fitted and upholstered in soft velvet, this year’s office chair collection comes in a range of colours — from dusty rose to olive green — so you can match it with your home office décor. If space and funds allow, invest in a cosy armchair too so you’ll have extra seating for client visits or to simply curl up in comfort while reading or researching.
Whether a few client files or a full library of books, appropriate shelving is a home office essential. From country to contemporary and with cubes, cupboards or shelves, you’ll find a vast selection of shelving units and bookcases to keep your office sleek and sorted in this year’s range.
Getting the lighting right isn’t as straightforward as it seems when it comes to creating a comfortable home office. You want the right balance of adequate overhead lighting coupled with a table lamp or two so you can customise the brightness for your needs at each time of day and throughout the seasons.
Consider too the natural light. While it’s wonderful to have plenty of sunshine streaming in, it’s less ideal if it’s causing excessive glare, heat or monitor reflection, so sheer curtains or blinds may need to be a part of your lighting plan.
Finally, add your own personality or motivational vibe with some delicious décor, like a beautiful print, plush rug and some luscious indoor plants (or the faux version if you prefer to keep it fuss free) to create a fresh and inspiring home office you’ll enjoy working in for years to come.