The pros and cons of home working from your kitchen


The pros and cons of home working from your kitchen

The significance of the kitchen table amongst home workers is a well-catalogued legend.  Businesses great and small have been launched on this universal piece of household furniture.  Over half those working from home in the UK are women who may have small children, so the kitchen has always been the obvious location to locate a workstation.  Now, for many employed people, spending some time working from home is commonplace.  However, you just might not want to set up a permanent, dedicated office or you may not have space or an available spare room.  Keep it flexible and low key with a work station on your kitchen table.

Hot desking from the kitchen table to the sofa – you can’t beat it

The kitchen table has a cachet and reputation that needs no introduction.  As well as the place for momentous decisions and life-changing conversations, the kitchen table is also a great location for working from home and here’s why:-

  • The kitchen is invariably warm and cosy
  • There is a plentiful supply of food and beverages
  • You can intersperse work with domestic chores like stacking the dishwasher or putting the washing on.  University researchers have found that taking frequent short breaks actually benefits your concentration and physical wellbeing
  • It’s sociable – prolonged periods of working from home can be isolating and lonely – there is always someone popping in to make a drink or find something to eat – the kitchen is the hub of the household
  • The kitchen is a room of work and industry, home workers will find themselves far less popular in the living room where the family are trying to relax

Set up a work station on your kitchen table

Most people have a computer, laptop or tablet, add to this some key home office essentials like stationery and something for filing.  Do think carefully about the chair; an ergonomic design is preferable but certainly, it must be comfortable. Make sure your internet provision is powerful and reliable and consider installing a surge protector.  Most kitchens feature targeted light for cooking purposes but do make sure there is sufficient illumination – consider adding a desk lamp.

For loose equipment like staplers, hole punches, pens and other office stationery, source a storage container like the Leitz MyBox WOW which is a sturdy box in a glossy, two-tone finish that can pop neatly away in the kitchen when you are not working.  These boxes are safe to use for food storage too and, as the kitchen is always full of other odds and ends, you may find they have multiple uses to keep things organised and tidy.

Ease and simplicity

Working from home doesn’t have to become a kitchen sink drama, it is reasonably effortless to set yourself up with a portable workstationOffice workers can save money in terms of travel costs on their daily commute and mitigate some of the negative impacts this can have on the environment.  Flexible working can help to support family life during difficult times.

What are the drawbacks of working in the kitchen?

Kitchens have a high footfall so can be noisy if you need to concentrate; make sure you have headphones to hand.  There can be constant distractions working from home and these don’t have to be related to people.  That stack of washing up or the laundry pile can nag away at you out of the corner of your eye and make it hard to focus on work tasks.  Compartmentalise your day.  Working from home requires an organisation of the mind just as much as it demands physical home organisation.

Why not share your workspace at lunchtime with friends or other homeworkers locally?  To offset the isolation of remote working, it is important to see and engage with real people and not live in a virtual existence.

There is no need to create a small home office in a spare room when a portable workstation will have you hot desking from the kitchen table to sofa in an instant.  It’s the ultimate in flexibility, quick and easy to set up and can meld into your home life without any grand designs for an interiors’ restyling project.