Home workstation: how space responds to current needs
Unlike in the past, where the working space was conceived as an integral part of the office and corporate headquarters, today with the change in values and social needs and with the spread of technological innovation, this place takes on different connotations. The current corporate policy often provides for the possibility of carrying out one's work remotely, on some days of the week. Furthermore, new professional figures who work independently are growing: this is the case of freelance workers, freelancers and collaborators with VAT numbers. This social scenario inevitably reflects on the spatial conception of the place intended for work which is thus dematerialized, according to its traditional meaning, making flexibility and adaptability its cardinal principles. Today the home office is becoming for many an indispensable prerogative that involves some attention from the point of view of the function and distribution of the home.
The residence must include activities other than strictly residential and the first is work. In this regard, first of all it is good to define the type of work that takes place and the needs it implies. A fundamental aspect is represented by the level of privacy required: are these professions that require the meeting and exchange with the client or, on the contrary, do independent activities without interpersonal relationships take place? In the first case it will be necessary to create a material separation of the area intended for work and appointments, in order to avoid an unpleasant fusion between the private and the working sphere. If, however, there are no visits from outsiders for the work that takes place, you have greater freedom in organizing the different functional areas. In the face of these needs, the home workstation project must fit in coherently with the home environment, ensuring comfort, functionality and aesthetic care. In fact, since there is a close link between the well-being of the worker and his productivity, as is done on a large scale in corporate offices, even in domestic spaces intended for study and work, it is necessary to ensure a good microclimate, suitable lighting and adequate conditions of concentration and privacy.
If functionality must be one of the guiding elements on which to implement design choices, aesthetics should not be overlooked. In fact, especially in the case of corners for work inserted in pre-existing environments, it is necessary to ensure overall coherence and balance in the finishes and furnishings, in order to "camouflage" as much as possible the area inserted later. In conclusion, although each profession is different from the other and needs specific conditions, it is possible to affirm that there are some elements to always consider, in order to achieve a good design result in terms of usability, safety and comfort.
Where to place the study corner
As mentioned, the space intended for the study can occupy an independent room but more often find a place in a corner belonging to a home environment. Analyzing the first example, if contact with customers and colleagues is foreseen, it is good that between the study and the rest of the house there is a hallway or a corridor that acts as a filter between the area frequented by third people and the private one of the residence. The best choice is to insert it near the entrance of the apartment so as to be immediately accessible by external patrons who will not make contact with the most intimate rooms of the house. This type of attention is not necessary in case of personal studies that are used exclusively by the worker. First of all, it is necessary to establish what are the dimensions of the room available, whether there are openings and how to distribute the furniture necessary to carry out its activities regularly.
It is good to organize the spaces with a view to maximizing their functionality and making the study comfortable and orderly. In addition, it is advisable to keep in mind that although it is a workstation located within the home, it is necessary to guarantee sobriety, brightness and order, in view of conference calls and video calls. From the point of view of the furnishings, they will be chosen according to needs and taking into account the availability and spatial conformation: the desk must be large enough to accommodate a PC, a lamp and documents but its shape must be chosen based on the room and the presence or absence of windows. In fact, the latter are very important for carrying out the work during the day, because they allow you to take advantage of natural light, ensuring comfort and greater energy savings.
To favor the brightness of the room, the colors used for the walls and ceiling also contribute: the light and relaxing tones of white, beige and gray are preferable, better if combined with green details that guarantee a vital touch to the whole and a high concentration level. In this regard, it is also recommended to insert natural elements such as plants and eco-friendly materials in order to make the environment healthier and more pleasant. Another important element for the study is the artificial lighting project since it is essential to ensure diffused but also punctual light. To do this, a center vaulted luminaire and a table lamp with adjustable arm and possibly with dimmer will be essential in order to change the intensity and color of the light beam. With the aim of promoting the free performance of activities without straining the eyes, the temperature of the suitable light is about 4000K (typical of neutral light) and white is preferable for the color. Finally, since it is a room in its own right, you have more freedom of choice from a chromatic and style point of view. Since there is no obligation to maintain full coherence with the rest of the home, it is possible to customize the environment according to one's aesthetic taste: accessories and complements will contribute to giving strong personality to your study. However, this possibility must always be calibrated, especially if it is a work environment where it is customary to receive other people, because they will contribute to providing the personal image and the level of your professionalism.
In the event that you do not have a whole room used as a study, it will be possible to obtain a corner intended for work within a home environment. The choice may fall on the living area or on the one intended for the night: both have pros and cons that must be assessed before making any type of decision.
This is the most illuminated home area of all during the day and can include kitchen, living room and dining room. It is perhaps the most exploited during the daytime and this could lead to a lower level of concentration due to the numerous sources of disturbance (televisions, appliances, chatter). In the case of the kitchen, it may be convenient to create a corner used as a study, equipped with a support surface and a blackboard where you can mark notes and deadlines, but at the same time write the shopping list as needed. In this case, a chair from the dining table can be used as a seat (it is assumed that one does not work during mealtime) and as a desk a shelf, so that if not used, the workstation will blend in with the furniture and the components of the kitchen.
If you want to insert the home workspace in the living room, it is very important to follow the style that distinguishes it. First of all it is good to study the spaces and choose the corner where to insert the study: the best choice coincides with a space that is as close as possible to a window, since natural light acts as a fundamental element for carrying out the work during the hours daytime. In this regard, attention must be paid to the location of the furniture, in order to avoid the appearance of unpleasant reflections on the PC monitor. For this reason, it is advisable to place the desk perpendicular to the opening and position the seat so as not to create areas of shadow. Furthermore, the workstation must guarantee the free movement and comfort of the user, guaranteeing him enough space to move the chair without hitting walls and furnishings, to change its position and to move easily. In addition to natural light, artificial light is also essential to be able to continue your activities during the late afternoon, in the evening or on sunny days: for this purpose it is ideal to provide an electrical outlet to be able to power a preferable table lamp with light white and adjustable.
As for the style of the environment, while for the kitchen which is considered a more creative and informal space you can indulge in the choices, in the living room it is preferable to adhere consistently to the whole. If classic furnishings predominate, low consoles or desks will be perfect accompanied by comfortable armchairs so as to combine functionality and aesthetics. Sometimes, the choice of inserting a bookcase or shelves can fulfill the dual function of dividing the space and accommodating texts and documents indispensable for the performance of one's work. In order to make work more pleasant, you can choose to insert some plants which, in addition to representing a pleasant piece of furniture, are able to purify the air and make the environment healthier.
Examples of workstations inserted inside the living area
A valid alternative to the living room and kitchen is represented by the sleeping area which has the advantage of being quieter and more intimate than other rooms in the home. In fact, the bedrooms are usually inaccessible environments for guests and home patrons and for this reason it is clear that this type of location is not compatible with those who need to make appointments with customers and colleagues. The first element to consider is the position, better if not next to the bed. The organizational aspect may provide for diversified options but all of which are capable of ensuring concentration and privacy. One of the most popular choices is to place the study corner near the window (as for the living area) and sometimes, if you have a generously sized window sill, you can use it as a desk, so as to fully enjoy the pleasant light natural and sometimes a valuable sight.
Another idea that makes the home workstation more collected, provides for the distribution of the necessary furniture behind the head of the bed. Often, the compartment behind the bed (which is centrally located) is used to place the walk-in closet but in this case, if the dimensions allow it, this space can be used for another function. If the bedroom is characterized by small dimensions, a trick could be to recreate a retractable study compartment in the closet that becomes evident when needed. If, on the other hand, the bedroom is larger, the study corner can occupy an independent space where you can move in greater comfort. In any case, you need to recreate a small "oasis" where you can concentrate and where you feel comfortable, in order to increase productivity and consequently your professional satisfaction.
Workstation in the sleeping area: behind the headboard of the bed and on the windowsill near the windows