Nathan Riley remote workspace

Organise, style, and design your interiors to do your best remote work


[Updated May 29th, 2020, to reflect the dramatic changes this year has seen so far]

The amount of people working from home has skyrocketed in recent months, as many companies turn to remote work in an attempt to flatten the Covid-19 curve.

Unfortunately, many remote workers don’t have the luxury of a full room to locate their home office in, and so dining tables and living room couches across the globe are turning into office space.

What’s the best way to stay productive in such an unprecedented time? How can your home interiors work to your advantage? It sounds chaotic. It doesn’t have to be.

Here are some home office interior décor ideas to help you gain back control of your working day.

Your updated guide to setting up your work from home space

Home has become all things to all people – a schoolroom, a working space, a crèche, an arts and crafts haven, a gym.

With so many of us at home due to school closures, and childcare facilities being curtailed, carving out a quiet space to work in is proving difficult for many remote workers across the world. Complaints of back pain or joint sprain while setting up our WFH spaces are rising, and really, it’s understandable.

Think about what your home already has to offer in way of space. Is there a slot at the dining table you can commandeer? Have you thought about working from the cosiness of your own sofa?

Working from home with the interiors you have

Space is tight. The need for laser-focused attention is at a premium. Kitting out a fancy remote work setup is probably out of budget.

Even if you’re living in a smaller home and this seems like an impossible dream, there are ways to tweak your interiors to get yourself back in work mode.

The key thing here is to work with what you already have: reinventing the wheel isn’t strictly necessary.

You have bigger things to be thinking about, and the good news is that it can only take a pinch of creativity to make your home workspace more comfortable (and conducive to actual productivity). With these benefits, that pinch of creativity is well worth the effort and thought! But where do you begin?

Think about what your home already has to offer in way of space. Is there a slot at the dining table you can commandeer? Have you thought about working from the cosiness of your own sofa?

Natural light and neutral colour palettes = a perfect work from home environment

Look at the light in different parts of your home. Rooms that are abundant in natural light are perfect, especially if the colour palette is soothingly neutral. While they're exciting, many remote workers actually don't want flamboyant colours, because they can pull attention away from the computer.

Read more about the role colour psychology plays in boosting productivity while working from home on our blog >

Is there a window for you to let some sunlight into your working life? Or would you prefer to work facing a wall? Think about whether the light might fall over your screen at certain times of the day. Working will be harder if your screen is dim or hard to see!

These are all things to consider, and if you can rearrange your room to help yourself out, we say ...full steam ahead.

Ergonomic tips for working on the couch

Working from the sofa is also an option for people who are low on space. While traditional office space design has the upper hand in terms of ergonomic design, you can easily replicate it at home without breaking the bank.

Avoiding back pain while working from the couch, bed or kitchen table is really important.

Here’s what to look out for.

  • A lumbar support pillow is a good idea. The lumbar region of your back is made up of the five vertebrae in the lower part of your spine that curves inward. Lumbar support pillows keep the spine aligned in its natural curvature, stop you slumping and drastically reduce back pain. You can get lumbar support pillows in lots of colours and textures to work with your existing interior colour palette and mood.
  • Like a lumbar support cushion, picking up a seat cushion to support your coccyx is a pro tip. Dining chairs aren’t designed with desk working in mind and can prove uncomfortable if used for hours on end (we’re speaking from experience).
  • A proper laptop tray is a must for couch and bed workers. They’re kind of like an old-fashioned TV dinner tray, but these days you can get laptop trays in so many designs and styles that you can find out to suit your existing interior styling.
  • If you’re looking for a standing desk, try switching to the kitchen counter. Simple!

Wall desks are the superheroes of a small home working environment

One of the easiest ways to fit a workspace into a small space is using a wall-mounted desk. A shelf will do, fixed to the wall at the right height for you. It needs to be large enough to fit your computer, but that’s it.

Pared-down minimalism at its best.

You can even get wall desks that fold up against the wall when your workday is finished if you want to keep clutter to a minimum now that you’re spending the majority of your life at home.

Storage solutions for small home office spaces

We’ve noticed that the more space you have, the more clutter will accumulate. This is actually good news then for smaller homes with less space for the detritus of everyday life.

However, getting clever with your office storage can help you stay organized while remote working, without files and folders taking over your entire living room.

Solutions we’re loving right now in our own remote work lives include:

  • Honeycomb shelving. It just makes the space more interesting!
  • Roll carts are always an option to fit under your wall desk or table, but make sure you keep them nice and tidy
  • Make use of open shelf space where possible, but keeping that tidy can often be easier said than done. We're cleaning our work accoutrements away into pretty baskets or boxes for uncluttered, visually appealing open shelf storage.

Working with what works

We hope this post helps you wade through the myriad options and setups for remote working during this challenging time!

Focusing on the essential requirements of work from home decor will allow you to seriously ramp up productivity and breeze through deadlines and demands.

Go with whatever works best for you, your working style, and your home environment and remember: you've got this.

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