Create the perfect workspace
You may be one of a growing number of people who work from home some or all of the time, or you may just want to study or shop online in comfort; either way, the internet has had a major impact on most of our lives, and computers and related paraphernalia now form an integral place in our homes!
Whether you have tiny “box room” or something a little bigger, or even a new property with a designated “study”, you’re probably one of the thousands if not millions of people for whom the term “home office” has become significant.
If you’re lucky enough to have a reasonably-sized room, the word “multifunction” springs to mind as by introducing some office furniture, a sofa bed and a small flat screen TV, you’ve created a home office, bedroom and den! You think about it, how often does that spare room get used as a guest room throughout the year? Why not have a room that can be used all the year round?
Depending on the size of the room and also your budget, we have a great range of office furniture and sofa beds to suit most people’s needs, but when planning your home office there are a few basics to bear in mind:
1. Make sure you measure accurately – may sound obvious, but it can make the difference between whether or not that run of bookcases end up covering the light switch by mistake, or you achieve that “semi-fitted” look allowing the furniture to “flow” around the room. When measuring, measure skirting board to skirting board, as this is the narrowest part of the room and where furniture will fit up to.
2. Ideally your desk should be near the window, but if directly in front of it use blinds as prolonged periods of direct sunlight can damage a wooden desk and your monitor. If you’re right-handed, try having the desk positioned to the right of your window so you have natural light, say at 90° to the window. Don’t place your desk directly opposite the window or you’ll get lots of reflection from the window onto your monitor, and be spoiling your own light!
3. In a small room a corner desk is good, like the Abacus (in oak or beech) is a good choice, as you’re utilising the diagonal space in the room which is always greater than the length and width. Corner desks also give you plenty of depth of workspace, usually 80cm, which means you still have of room for computer and paperwork.
4. If you are putting tall bookcases in, particularly if it’s a small room, try to keep the height on one wall, preferably behind the door or out of your line of vision as you walk into the room. This makes the room feel less cramped and is not as claustrophobic to work in, also light woods and glass feel less imposing and give more of an impression of space, our Abacus, Agatha and Staten ranges would be good choices. I like Agatha in particular as the bookcases are 214cm in height, utilising the floor to ceiling storage space really well. The range also has 2 clever corner bookcases (inside and outside corner) enabling you to create that “semi fitted” flow of furniture around the room, and again maximising the space well.
5. To optimise space in a small room, you may have to sacrifice easy access to plug sockets and telephone points, but as trailing electrical 4 gang extension sockets and broadband extension cables are available, and usually tuck around the back of bookcases and desks, it’s more important that you position your furniture in the most ergonomic way.
Similarly with a radiator, so long as you leave a 10cm or 4” gap between it and your desk , this will allow enough air circulation so as not to damage the furniture, and enable the radiator to operate efficiently.
6. Are you sitting comfortably? It really pays dividends to get a comfortable desk chair to enable you to work, study, shop or browse in comfort for longer. The Peter chair is a bargain at under £50, but if you can afford to pay more then the Duffy has arm height, seat and back tilt adjustors. The Herman Miller ergonomic office chairs new to John Lewis are amazing, and are aimed at people who work from home; so adjustable that they make an 8 hour day a doddle – worth the investment if you’re going to spend hours in the saddle!
To give you some starting points, I've drawn up some sample office plans on the next page,which I hope will give you a clearer visual understanding, and include details of some of our ranges – the economy, medium and premium price options!