Rethinking Workplaces at Home in the Times of Pandemic
Published on 2020
Architect, Urban Designer
There is a desk, a door, a chair, kids running over, the constant rambling of neighbors, rattling of vessels and I am sitting in one corner of the house thinking if it was better to be in the office working for hours together thinking of being at home. Or is it better here at home missing my workstation and its silence.
There is always a retrospection offices were made considering lighting, ventilation, ambient atmosphere, place for two people, place for eight people. On the other side homes were designed for eating, sleeping, storing, relaxing. I am wondering if these norms are changing? In 2010 when I was an Architect fresher we had offices with NO OFFICE TIMINGS (or they were just numbers) endless laborious working hours. But soon after it went on to a trend of alternate weekends off to five days a week, this was much better and productive we had our “me time” chilling. Then in 2015 the ever-trending Co-working spaces came and I had thought this was definitely the way ahead, you could bring your home to office pet friendly, comfortable, easy going, free, open workspaces (mostly long working hours). Here I am now in 2020 being at home and working for office, wondering this is definitely the way ahead and the condition is not changing any soon.
According to the Air tasker study, telecommuters "worked 1.4 more days every month, or 16.8 more days every year" than people who worked in an office. They are happy due to less travelling and timely meals. Does it hold true? Is this analysis for metro cities?
As I have been working for longer hours not able to maintain the healthy work – home balance which I had earlier.
To help beat the blues here are a few ways to make working from home more exciting and less miserable
A. Enlist your requirements. Know what exactly you want on your working desk
How much laptop or working space do you require?
What storage do you need?
What are your Internet requirements?
Do you require a quiet and calm place away from noise and disruption within the home?
How much of your time is spent on the phone and are you going to disturb others?
Do you require access to a library of books, or samples?
Are you untidy, and should your clutter be left untouched by other people in the house?
Do you have more of a sitting work?
What is the light and ventilation you require?
B. Invest in the Office furniture and pick a good chair
Choosing the best desk and furniture for your home workstation will involve considering how much space you have available in the room. The desktop needs to be big enough to accommodate your laptop or computer, while giving you space to take notes. A right height of the working table is ideally of the dining table. But one would not want to spread their worksheets all over. Try to have channels or clips to declutter your desk of wires
Invest in the chair as it is the one that makes you sit upright and maintain the posture, which stops you lying on your bed and working. Its best to buy an Ergonomically tested chair. Ideally buy a chair which has net and back support for better ventilation and that extra push to your back
Have foot rests, ergonomic mouse instruments shaped to fit your hand and soft keyboard pads that allow rest and relaxation for the wrist, and foot rests. The goal is to make work comfortable for your body and to support the form of humans.