Jun 05, 2020 | Carpet One Floor & Home
Like some many others, Korina Khamis of Hibou Design & Co. is currently working from home all while parenting and educating two small children. Lucky for us, she is sharing her tips and strategies to designing a home office that encourages ultimate productivity.
Home offices seem to be on everyone's minds these days. With the sudden surge of employees working from home because of COVID-19, we're already starting to feel the pain of working from the kitchen island or the dining room table.
Setting up a home office is not only easy but necessary if you want to be productive. The uncertainty surrounding our current living situations means finding solutions and maybe even finding some comfort in all of this discomfort. Do yourself a favor and don't wait too long to create a comfortable place to work from home. We believe many people, including us, will come to realize the benefits and ease of working at home and working from home will be more and more common in the future ahead.
Our offices are located in my home, but that doesn't mean that all of these tips don't still apply. Although I've been used to working from this designated place, being confined to our home with our two small children has brought a new set of challenges to light. These tips have never been more useful and relevant. Both my husband and I have continued working through this crisis, so we have had to adjust our work routines to accommodate the children's schedules. I've set up clear rules with my children that the office is off-limits and that while I am working, I expect not to be disturbed. Our office has it's own entrance which helps when receiving deliveries as not to disturb the others in my home. Being in the industry of beauty, part of our must-have list when putting together our workspace was for it to be beautiful. We love having open shelves that we can redecorate whenever we're ready for a change. This element keeps the space feeling fresh and exciting.
Here are some of my top tips for creating a home office for ultimate productivity:
If you don't have a spare room lying around, that may mean having to get creative. Your kids may need to share a room for a bit while you convert one room into an office, or maybe you can make do with transforming a closet into an office space. For a more permanent solution, we love the idea of incorporating a desk into some custom cabinetry like your kitchen, a library, or a banquette.
Take note of the light. The basement that's currently used for storage might sound like a good idea at first, but if you're spending most of your days in a dungy, dark space, it will get old very fast.
Tight on space? There are easy and effective ways to incorporate a great home office by using otherwise useless space in your home. Think spare closet, space below the staircase, an area off the kitchen, media built-in with integrated office space.
Comfort is key. There's a reason why employers spend thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars making workstations ergonomic. It increases productivity, improves the quality of work produces, and reduces lost workdays.
Adding a laptop stand and a wireless keyboard will usually do the trick and save your neck. An adjustable chair is a bonus, and you can find some pretty stylish ones these days—no need to settle for the common black leather monstrosity when you're working from home.
Working from home within a small space is so easy now since there's no need for a lot of paper storage and a printer. You can accomplish a lot virtually. Signing documents, storing documents, scanning paperwork, and discarding can be done simply by using a smartphone. As such, an office space with little to no storage can be a very functional one.
Keeping your office space neat and beautiful will encourage you to be productive and will allow you to enjoy your days. We prefer the idea of either placing your desk in front of a window or in the center of a room rather than facing a wall. Think about how to manage your cables so that they stay invisible, and if you still need a printer, hide it in a closet. Move around artwork and invest in some pretty work accessories like a stapler, pen holder, and file holders when working from home.
Creating such a productive home office might mean you won't want to leave. Keeping work separate from your home-life is so essential for your mental health and family relationships. Having a separate work phone and having a door to your office that you can close or a secretary desk that you can close up all help. Adding a desk in the corner of your bedroom is a big faux-pas because it's the first thing you'll see as you wake and the last thing as you doze off, which is not great for detaching.
Photography by Drew Hadley
Korina Khamis and Eugenia Triandos are co-founders of Hibou Design & Co., a Montreal based multi-disciplinary design firm known for creating stylish and well-curated interiors. The talented duo provides complete bespoke residential design services throughout Canada & North America. @hiboudesignco