Many of us shifted to working from home during this pandemic, making a home office set-up nothing but a necessity. Sure, we can work wherever we please, but not all areas are conducive to productive work, especially when toddlers are around.
Why do we need an office set-up at home?
- It helps us focus and minimizes distractions.
- It increases productivity.
- It promotes proper posture while working.
- It keeps all of our work-related stuff in one place and safe from your toddler. (Trust us, we know.)
- It creates a professional space to receive calls and attend webinars.
The benefits of working from home outweigh its cons but make no mistake; the struggles can make a considerable impact on our tasks. Seeing that this arrangement might stay for a while, we must address the little hiccups because simply put, work is work; other than that, the more efficient we are in working, the earlier we can close our workday to attend to our families.
I’m sure you’re asking: where do I start? We consulted our friends at Arkitep in recreating an easy, low cost, and child-safe work area. Here are their ideas:
The first thing you need is a desk. Consider a couple of tables that may work for you:
The advantage of this design is that you can—literally—close your work area so your kids won’t goof around with your important office materials, and you won’t be tempted to answer e-mails at the wee hours of the night. Plus, it’s space-saving and flexible!
Repurposed Cabinets: Pull-out or Flap-down
You can also add another pull-out or flap-down ledge for your keyboard or monitor to create more legroom. This space-saving hack allows you to have your whole work area in one cabinet or shelf.
Layered Shelves and Table Top
Have a spare tabletop? Layer your old bookshelves, and you have your WFH desk in an instant! No hinge, no adhesives, and bonus storage.
If you’re aiming for a space-saving and minimalistic look, a wall-mounted desk is perfect. Just drill it using some brackets of your choice.
Organizers are a lifesaver for both work and home!
Tip: Always maximize vertical space with overhead or hanging storages. This way, you can also keep essential or potentially hazardous materials out of reach of children.
Self-Serve Snack Station
How many times do you hear, “Mommy, I’m hungry.” in a day (not limited to children)? You can organize a mini station for the kids, and yes, for the adults, for their go-to snacks. This way, they can just help themselves to some bites. Not to mention, practice some motor skills and empower them to make decisions by letting them choose. Just remember to select toddler-safe food in small sizes, safe containers, and teach them how to close them properly.
Note: Our rule is no more snacking by 10:00 am, and then by 4:00 pm to make way for lunch and dinner.
It would also help if they have their own space where they can keep themselves busy while learning and creating.
Tweak your space a little to oversee the kids while working
Define your space through furniture dividers. Setting these visual boundaries help the kids understand the separation of “their space” from “your space,” so they won’t intervene as much during work hours.
It’s safe to say that the Plantitos and Plantitas trend won’t be going away too soon! (perhaps never) Because it’s not just another fad. Rather, it’s a trend that traces back to the effectiveness of Biophilic Design. Research says biophilia makes us more productive by 15 percent. How about that?
Create a Minimalist Effect
- White paint finish in storage cabinets, walls, ceiling, etc.–minimal look and minimal budget. (White overhead cabinets are our favorite!)
- More storage to organize stuff for a minimal to no clutter space. An organized space equates to a minimal space.
- Avoid unnecessary furnishings and opt for functional ones. Minimalism takes a longer time to choose what items to remove. One trick is to make sure most of the items displayed on your desks and shelves are practical or useful to your regular activities.
D.I.Y. Sound Proofing
It’s not uncommon to hear dogs barking, chickens clucking, and sometimes, crickets chirping in the background in those Zoom meetings. Unfortunately, these natures can’t be controlled unless you live in a place completely devoid of life in general. 😉 Here are some ideas to minimize them.
- Acoustic boards for the ceiling.
- Canvas paintings, tapestries or maybe woven rugs displayed on the wall. More fabrics against the wall can help minimize noise.
- Softer/Cushiony materials such as sofa or armchair absorb noise while adding a comfortable area for your break times. (consider waterproof/spill-proof furniture, though)
- Thick rugs
- Plants! Greens are always a good idea! Many plants help in noise reduction, such as Peace Lily and Fiddle leaf Fig.
Bonus: Concept Layout
Perhaps nobody saw the need to have a workspace at home becoming a necessity, or maybe your place doesn’t allow for so much movement. Here are some ideas:
Arkitep team: On the left is a plan-view layout of a room divided into 4 categories–Play, Rest, Work, Organize. Also shown in the label below is the level of noise in each area represented by the dark to light colors; and areas from most allowable to non-allowable for kids represented by the numbers/height level.
On the right, highlighted are the space-saving and dual-purpose cabinets and shelf placed strategically for each space category. All of which are movable except for the overhead cabinet, this allows for more space flexibility.
Like what you see? You can download this primer at: bit.ly/workspacesbyarkitep.
You may also book a consultation on your architectural, construction, and interior design needs through:
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