At Buju Architects we design with wellbeing at the heart of our philosophy and we have been thinking recently about how spaces can be improved for home-working. With the return to the office still unclear, we have collated a few tips that we have learnt through our experience in design. Whether you are lucky enough to have your own home office or are currently set up at the kitchen table, we hope these tips can help to boost productivity and wellbeing.
1. Daylight, fresh air… and temperature
Both daylight and fresh air are key considerations in designing office spaces, and achieving decent ratings in the industry, so are definitely relevant to work from home spaces. It is well-documented that these factors boost productivity and wellbeing, and there are a number of studies that suggest that 22℃ is the optimum temperature as well. You may find that moving to a south-facing room in the house, or just moving your kitchen table towards the window will help greatly.
2. Natural materials
Biophilic design is a principle used in architectural design, which looks to create a connection to the natural environment, and has health, environmental and productivity benefits. By this logic, we would encourage using wooden furniture or even being at a stone worktop, rather than a plastic desk. It would also help just to have natural materials in your home environment.
3. Something green!
This point is actually not just limited to houseplants, although having one at your desk will be a worthy addition! Just having a green cushion or rug mimics nature, and according to Feng Shui the colour is associated with growth and decisiveness.
4. Art and textures
While you want to avoid over-stimulation, research from Unispace (a leading group of workplace designers) has found that ‘more than 83% of teams working from home found artwork to be important to their work environment.’ Texture in interior spaces plays a part in wellbeing too. While often considered in the design of care environments or SEN schools, research suggests that tactile elements such as a wallpaper or textile can alleviate stress in the home as well.
5. Put it away at the end of the day
As always a clear workspace aids a clear headspace. If you can’t close the door on your home office at the end of the day, it is well worth putting it all away in a cupboard or box, to help you switch off when not in work hours.