Sharing the home workspace: tips to creating a family friendly home office
It’s not unusual in this day and age to find at least one adult member of a household working from home. But how do you manage multiple home workers? Unless you live in a mansion, you can’t all expect to have your own office. With different jobs, working styles and requirements, what is the best way to accommodate more than one home worker in the family space?
Some people can work well together in a shared space but contrasting types of work might require individual facilities or even a different environment. Here is some guidance about the best way to set up a co-working space at home.
Styling – small home office ideas
Think about your requirements and plan out one or more designated workspaces around the home. A specific area is very important for productivity and setting a marker between work and home tasks. This will help you shut the psychological door on work at the end of the day as well.
You might have the luxury of a spare room or it could be a shared space in the living room or kitchen. Your work environment needs to be purposeful and bright. Colour has a positive impact on mood and productivity and that’s official. Use colour to personalise and enhance your workspace much as you would design any other interior in your home.
Create a central hub
It’s really easy for two or more people working from home to end up in a bit of a chaotic muddle. Home organisation is crucial to bring order to the chaos.
Make a central hub or work station where all the gadgets can live both individual and shared equipment like printers and paper shredders. This might be the dining room table or the kitchen table if it is big enough or it could be a designated area which people can use in turn. Make sure there is enough office furniture for more than one person to work at the same time should they need to.
Each home worker will need a storage system for loose items, electronic accessories and any documents. Use vibrant coloured box files and stationery to colour code systems for different workers. The Leitz WOW colour range will make tidying up and filing a real pleasure with bold colour pops that create a light and bright statement to complement your interiors and enhance your mood.
You may need boosters or routers to ensure optimum coverage around the home if you have multiple users. Remember to keep your networks secure particularly if you stray away from the property and work in the car or down the road in a cafe for a change of scene.
Moving around the house to work depending on the task in hand creates a change of scene. The sofa or even a bed can be a great place for quiet reading or talking on the phone leaving a small home office free for another family member who may need to work at a desk or table. But be aware of things like ‘tech neck’ with sofa working and other ergonomic challenges.
Video and audio calls
If there is no real privacy or quiet to escape from someone on a voice or video call then use noise-cancelling headphones to help you get on with your day. These let you choose your sound environment as if you were home alone and without disrupting your partner’s activities.
Don’t forget the car
The motor car, emergency home office for many a harassed parent trying to escape from the noise and disruption of small children whilst on the phone. It’s private, sound secure and warm and can double up really well as a second space for calls and video conferencing.
Working from home effectively requires a degree of planning and forethought. If there are multiple workers then this is even more important. Don’t just focus on the practicalities of setting up work spaces, include colour as part of your overall design scheme to make sure your work area is as pleasant and well designed as your home.