How Good Design Can Make Telecommuting Work for You
Considering the time, money and energy saved from stay-at-home employment, the telecommuting trend is surely here to stay.
The Design Within Reach tableau illustrates the phenomenon facing the contract-furniture industry, as home and work blur.
Photo by Jim Bastardo for Design Within Reach
Three million people today work from home with another 47 million in jobs that are telework compatible. Spurred by shifting family dynamics, an upswing in non-traditional work environments and an increasingly digital age, employees and independent contractors are giving up office walls—or cubicle partitions—for the convenience and confines of their homes. In fact, this shift has spurred contract furniture manufacturers to add or expand their home-office furniture collections. With some thought—and a growing batch of stylish home-office furnishings to choose from—stay-at-home workers can design workspaces that sidestep the pitfalls of the typical home office.
Define a Workspace
Working from home involves more than setting up shop on the sofa with a laptop cradled in your arms—that is a sure-fire way to sidetrack productivity. Clearly defined spaces devoid of distractions like TVs and gaming consoles help to keep the stay-at-home worker on task. Experts suggest delineating a work environment whether a spare bedroom or dedicated space in a living area, kitchen or nook. These thresholds serve as a visual clue as to indicate when work begins and ends. Creating a dedicated workspace, especially in a small apartment, can be as simple as hanging a curtain or erecting partitions that can also double as storage.
Aesthetics, Aesthetics, Aesthetics
No one wants to go to work in a boring space. Making a workspace fun and interesting by sprucing up the environment can help to boost worker output. Incorporate your personality into a space by adding curios of interest. But, restraint is a virtue, as the addition of unnecessary distractions might actually keep you from getting tasks fulfilled.
Ergonomic Furniture is Key
Skip the makeshift desk coupled with the repurposed dining room chair. Instead, invest in comfortable and ergonomic furniture that can help you concentrate over extended periods of time. Sit/stand desks can help introduce a new level of activity into your workday, while a chair with an adjustable seat and backrest can help to avoid repetitive strain injuries.
Considering the time, money and energy saved from stay-at-home employment, this trend is sure to continue to grow.