Now more than ever, an inspiring home office is on the minds of many business-people. Working from home has become the norm as we battle COVID, restrictions and lockdowns. How will you create yours?
Even before COVID, South Australia was known for having the greatest percentage of small business owners in Australia. Therefore, a functional and inspiring home office is often required regardless of whether that business is run from home full-time or not.
So, whilst this space needs to function well, it can also be stylish and comfortable. I mean, why not? For example, a client of ours is a mad AFL Collingwood fan AND mad about pink. So we decorated her inspiring home office space with black and white striped wallpaper including a bold hot-pink neon sign above the desk that read ‘Boss Babe’. She LOVED it!
An inspiring home office that’s truly functional is totally achievable. Follow these easy designer tips to create a beautiful space that will make you productive and profitable.
The Inspiring Home Office Space
Many a spare bedroom has been turned into a home office, or attic space or even part of the garage. However, tiny spaces can also be used as a home office, even a cupboard. If you have a big enough flat surface and shelf space for your needs, you could create room in surprising places. Add a super cool chair in a bright colour, a charming lamp and co-ordinated storage boxes on shelves to make even the smallest space inspiring.
Of course, if you have more space than a cupboard, think about how much space you realistically need. Perhaps you only work with a laptop. Or perhaps you work with large format items or an array of products. Consider your flat work space as well as storage. I love open shelving to display all my interior design and architecture books. However, I also have cupboards to store all the less-then-glam stuff too.
Be realistic about how much space you need and ensure you can keep it tidy and organised. This is where storage containers come into their own. Whether it’s hanging files, ring binders or a multitude of small items, ensure you can store them away on a shelf, in a drawer or under your desk.
The most important part of handling clutter and storage is easy access to what you need, when you need it. Decorative boxes on your desktop, small vases to hold pens, or desk drawers for everyday items. Keep your workspace relatively clutter-free but ensure everything you need is close at hand.
Functional (and chic) Furniture
The old desk in my inspiring home office was formerly our dining room table. It was wooden with turned legs and had a great deal of work surface given it used to seat six people. Trestle tables are popular, having an industrial chic vibe. Small spaces may require a glass top table so you can see through it (thus giving the illusion of more space).
Don’t limit yourself to ‘office’ furniture. Think of something with a flat surface that may suit you… and it may already be in your shed. Similarly, an antique credenza or a bedroom dresser could provide you with all the storage you need.
The Inspiring Home Office Inspiration
Regardless of the size of your home office, have things in there that inspire you. This includes visually pleasing items on the wall, tactile items such as luxurious cushions and throws, inject colour with a great rug, or hang a fabulous chandelier in the space.
Play music, light scented candles, have pictures of your kids, place a bed for your dog… inspiring your home office should be a functional space that also exudes YOUR personality with items you love. Never underestimate the power of an inspiring home office. It may be where your best work is done.
It’s a new disease so Coronavirus cleaning is also something new to consider. I’ve researched current facts to bring you the cleaning advice that works best to kill the virus.
Apparently, COVID-19 can live on some surfaces for up to 16 hours. Some research also suggests Coronavirus can live longer, up to three days, on surfaces including metal, glass and plastic. So regular Coronavirus cleaning in your home and office is definitely required.
Whilst this is a new virus, *experts assume that what works against other coronaviruses will work against this one, SARS-CoV-2 know as COVID-19. This advice assumes that no-one in your home or office has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
Coronavirus Cleaning (which is really disinfecting)
Some people prefer to use natural products for cleaning. However, vinegar, vodka, tea tree oil and other natural products are NOT recommended. Experts recommend using products that contain alcohol, hydrogen peroxide or bleach for cleaning. The reason is to kill the pathogens behind COVID-19.
Typically, we are better at cleaning than disinfecting and the DISINFECTION part of Coronavirus cleaning is crucial.
Coronavirus Cleaning Time Frame
It is recommended that you leave any cleaning solution on a surface long enough to kill the virus. So don’t spray and immediately wipe. How long you leave the solution on a surface depends on the cleaning product.
For example, using water diluted bleach needs more time than an alcohol based solution. A mix of bleach and water – four teaspoons in 500ml – is good but use the mixture within 24 hrs.
Whereas dilutable or off-the-shelf products need three to ten minutes. Read the instructions and try to keep the solution on the surface for as long as possible.
Coronavirus Cleaning Products
Using bleach on applicable household surfaces requires 10 minutes of exposure, or more. However, children’s non-porous plastic toys should be immersed in bleach for 30-seconds. DO NOT mix bleach with ammonia as it will cause dangerous gases.
Undiluted isopropyl or rubbing alcohol with 70% alcohol or more will kill the virus in about 30 seconds. Hydrogen peroxide is known to kill Rhinovirus which is a stronger virus than COVID-19 so a straight 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide should kill Coronavirus as well.
In general, most disinfectant wipes (NOT baby wipes) need a contact time of two to five minutes. Whilst the packet may say “kills 99.9% of bacteria in 15 seconds” we’re not dealing with regular bacteria. You’ll need to leave the disinfectant wipe solution on surfaces for three minutes or longer.
What Should I Be Cleaning?
Give items and surfaces the are regularly touched the Coronavirus cleaning regime on a daily basis. So door handles, bench tops, light switches, tables, toilets, tapware, computer keyboards, TV remotes, mobile phones, etc should be a focus.
Is a Quick Hand Wash OK for Coronavirus Cleaning?
Soap and water is very useful for cleaning hands and household surfaces because physical agitation will work. What you need to know is that the Coronavirus is contained in what virologists called an ‘envelope’. However, to ‘tear open’ the ‘envelope’ you need to actively scrub your hands, or a surface, for 20-seconds or more. Please teach children how to do this correctly.
Be vigilant. If you’ve been to the supermarket or other places, consider what you’ve touched. Then consider what you touch in your car – steering wheel, seatbelt latches, indicators, handles, touch screens even baby seats – and when you get home. Clean accordingly. I now keep a packet of disinfectant wipes in my car.
Words of Wisdom
And please remember, if we view ourselves as besieged victims who need to go into hiding, then we will cultivate fear and hoarding. If we view ourselves as a community working hard to protect the most vulnerable among us, then we will cultivate courage and helping others. Mindset matters. Courtesy of Len Niehoff via Twitter @LenNiehoff
*Source: www.weforum.org quoting Siobain Duffy, Associate Professor of Ecology at Rutgers University.
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