An office at home
Telecommuting and the importance of a home workspace
We write these lines being confined at home to stop the spread of COVID-19. We have been working from home for weeks and the place where to put the computer and take notes has gained great importance in all our houses. Now more than ever we need a home office.
It is usual that, in the client’s briefing of many of our projects, they ask for “a corner or space to put the computer.” And it is that, in most cases, we have always thought of the workspace at home as a place of circumstantial use. So much so that if we are lucky enough to have one, it is most likely intended to be used by one person at the same time. If we are two or more at home, the rest have to adapt to the conditions of the rest of the house.
Today, on the last day of March 2020, in many homes the dining room table is converted into a work table, we are moving from room to make videoconferences with clients, collaborators and colleagues thinking about the pertinent aspects of the bookshelf, table or background wall or, fleeing from environmental noise. Shifts are established to use the “powerful” computer or with the big screen in the house and we miss a good chair where we can sit for a whole working day, among many other things.
We are sure that in many cases and given the circumstances, the rooms of the young people of student age are the best prepared for the teleworking scenario, having a working desk and chair.
Instead, parents seem like work nomads within our own homes. Well, we must share that little corner where to put the computer. Or, seek refuge at the multipurpose dining room table, now the scene of many games and crafts in addition to meals. And choose the most suitable background for a video conference with a client when it is often not the quietest in the house.
Many things are changing with this crisis and the state of confinement. And obviously, the generalization of teleworking is not the most important, not remarkable. But we are sure that, from now on, when thinking about the distribution of a home it will gain a lot of importance to have an adequate and comfortable workspace at home.
It is expected that, given the experience, many companies definitively adopt teleworking as a habitual modality to reduce unnecessary trips or give their workers the opportunity to work from home one day of the week. All of us will already be trained and used to a new way of working that has our own home as the main stage.
In this sense, and thanks to the experience gained during these weeks, all of us are much more aware of what is necessary to enjoy a good workspace at home. They are quite evident and desirable elements in all circumstances:
- Sufficient work surface
- Comfortable chair
- Natural light
- Possibility of isolating
As architects and interior designers we are always concerned with understanding and foreseeing, as far as possible, our daily practices, that is, our way of living, of inhabiting our houses, our spaces. In this sense, the learning that we highlight of this forced telework situation is, on the one hand, that it is possible to do it without productivity decreasing and on the other hand that among the “indispensable” of our clients for their homes is a good place to work, the possibility of having an office at home.
We leave you some more images of workspaces that we have designed in our projects. Some are places to put the computer, other shared work spaces and some authentic offices at home.