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15th May 2020

Working from home? Here’s how to create a home office space that works for you

Trine Jensen-Burke

 Much as more stores are set to open from next week, the reality is that many of us will be continuing to work from home for weeks and months to come.

Having worked from the sofa and dining table for the first few weeks, I finally managed to set up a bit of a home office in a corner of my bedroom, and actually, I am finding it so much more productive, knowing I have one space that is dedicated to work. It also makes it easier to separate between my work and home life – once I leave my little home office corner, I am not in work anymore. And likewise, once I sit down at my desk, I am back in work.

If you have managed to carve out a little corner of a home office for yourself, be it in the bedroom, the kitchen or at the end of your dining table, how is it working for you? Finding a dedicated area for work will hopefully help you create space to work, give you some privacy, and also, as I found, make it easier to separate your workday from your home life. Which, given that this will go on for months, will be important.

I recently caught up with Rosheen Forbes, Commercial Activity & Events Leader at IKEA UK & Ireland, to chat all things staying home and get some of Ikea’s best advice on creating a positive home office space that works for you.

“In today’s changing world, we are increasingly looking for an idyllic oasis to turn to in our homes,” Forbes explains. “Feel empowered to ‘shop’ within your home, making use of items you already own to make small, simple changes and create a comfortable, practical space that helps you make the most of working from home.”

Here is Ikea’s best advice for finding your ‘positive flow’ in the home workspace:

A home workspace should be a place for focus and inspiration. Having a stress-free and positive office space not only helps with creativity and productivity but also helps to maintain a good ‘work and home life’ balance, meaning you can get the most out of your home office while still enjoying your home space as a place to relax and unwind.

Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese philosophy which aims to bring balance and harmony to a person through the reorganisation of their surrounding environment. By applying Feng Shui to a home office you can create a remarkable balance of peace and positivity through a few simple adjustments.

1. Separate your workspace from your relaxation space

By having a dedicated workplace that is separate from your relaxation space, you will be able to find more balance in your work and home life.

Work desks and laptops should be kept separate from the bedroom as working and sleeping in the same room can contribute to sleep disruptions, stress and negative energy.

If, due to space limitations, you cannot separate the two, make sure your work set-up is as far from your bed or couch as possible. Slim, movable tables that are deep enough for laptops and folders, like the FJÄLLBO laptop table are ideal to maximise storage space while taking up less room. And while your bed might be a tempting seat, make sure to get a sturdy chair with proper back support, like the KULLABERG Swivel chair, which is also adjustable to suit all heights.

2. Command position in your workspace

To attract positive energy into your work area, position your desk in the ‘command position’. According to Feng Shui principles, this puts you in an ideal position to deal with whatever life throws at you.

To find the command position, identify the location that offers a full view of the main door of the room. Feng Shui suggests that you should position your desk facing the door whilst remaining as far from it as possible, to give yourself visual control of your workspace whilst also allowing an uninterrupted flow of positive business energy through the room.

Feng Shui principles also suggest that you should try to avoid facing the wall, which is symbolic of turning your back to the world and to countless opportunities. However, if this isn’t possible, try hanging an inspiring print or poster in your workspace. IKEA offers a wide selection of wall pieces, including the KNOPPÄNG Frame with poster set of eight.

3. Let there be light (and air)

Air quality and the levels of both natural and artificial light are possibly the most important elements to consider when you are setting up your working from home space. Both have a huge impact on how you feel, and in turn, can affect how you work.

It is hugely important to have fresh, good quality air to keep your brain focused and working to its full effect. Dark and dimly lit rooms have a negative effect on productivity as well as your overall mood, which can hinder productivity.

Investing in an air-purifying plant such as the DYPSIS LUTESCENS potted plant, as well as good lighting like the FLOALT LED light panel, which will bring light to the darkest corners, are simple ways to bring freshness to your work area, allowing you to feel a rejuvenated sense of energy and positivity.

4. Declutter and Get organised

A Feng Shui tip for a more productive and creative workspace is to rid yourself of all clutter and get organised. Untidy workspaces and disorganised clutter can contribute to stress which may result in a feeling of restlessness. By clearing your desk of unnecessary items, you will feel the difference in your energy levels and mental wellbeing.

Use add-on shelves, like the BERGSHULT / PERSHULT wall shelf, to make maximum use of the space around you, and reuse food jars for holding pens and stationery.