With a huge number of UK employees currently working from home, often at short notice, many of us have had to suddenly find a space at home in which to set up our own office space.
While lockdown will not go on forever, a large number of businesses have seen the benefits of staff working from home, with increased productivity at an individual level, and from a company perspective, potential savings on overheads by offering more working from home for their employees.
Therefore it looks like working from home, at least some of the time, may become the “new normal” for many UK workers.
While many of us may enjoy some of the benefits of working from home – namely the very short commute and therefore increased time with family, one thing that many are not prepared for is where to locate our workstations. Most people don’t have a spare “office” in their home, and even for those that do, in many instances, more than one adult in the household now needs a space in which to work.
The kitchen can make an ideal space to set up your home office. We uncover some of the best ways to incorporate a workstation into your kitchen.
How to fit a home office into your kitchen
Before committing to adding a workspace to your kitchen, you need to consider how much space you have, and what you use it for. Very often there may a “dead space” in the kitchen – an empty wall can offer an ideal location in which to add either a desk – or where space is limited, even a wall mounted shelf space which can be used as a desk.
Kitchen islands or breakfast bars can be a good alternative to adding specific office space – however it depends on how often these areas are used by the rest of the family, and the desk set up which you have.
Making office storage within your kitchen
One of the advantages of considering your kitchen as a space for your home office is that you are likely to already have considerable storage space. Repurposing unused kitchen cupboards as a space to store documents or stationery can be a great way to ensure that your home workspace stays tidy and uncluttered.
Lighting for a workspace in the kitchen
A big advantage of choosing the kitchen as an area to work is that, in many instances, the kitchen offers adequate lighting – both of the natural and electrical variety. Task lighting in the kitchen is traditionally focused on providing illumination for areas in which food is prepared, but can also be used for home working (or even for kids to undertake their homework).
Of course, working in the kitchen can have its distractions, so before choosing the kitchen as a space to work, do take a few things into consideration. Firstly – who else is likely to be using the kitchen (for it’s more usual functions) throughout your working day? If you are likely to be distracted by the coming and goings of your family, there may be a better space for you.
Additionally, think about things like using your dishwasher or more importantly washing machine. No one wants to host a Zoom meeting with a machine on full spin cycle in the background, so do think about whether you need to use these white goods during the day.
Getting life/work balance right when working from home
This is one of the biggest issues for those who regularly work from home – making sure that you are able to separate your working time from home and family time, and with the kitchen often the heart of the home, when it comes to making it your office, making the distinction between work and home life is even more important.
So consider whether you are able to “switch off” if your laptop is calling to you from your kitchen table while making the dinner. If so, a kitchen office may not be for you.