For many of us, working from home (or WFH for short) has become the new normal. But without our usual structure and workspace, many of us can find it challenging to be as productive and focused as we would like. A recent survey of remote workers shows that a huge 72% are not working from a dedicated office space and that 40% of remote workers aren’t even working from a dedicated desk. We think that whatever space you have, it is important to make it feel like your own so that you can get motivated to get to work. Author Karen Mangia agrees, writing in her new book, Working From Home: Making the New Normal Work For You, that "when you’re working from home, work is always there. Always available. Even if you don’t have a dedicated office, you still need a dedicated space where you go to work. And a place where you can leave work behind. When work is always on and always available, it’s vital that you create some healthy segmentation." So we have come up with some our favourite working from home essentials to help you get back into the swing of things!
Pictured: Sofia + Sam Multitasking Laptop Tray
We know that for many people, buying a desk is not a viable option. Whether it is due to lack of space or the often high costs of investing in a new piece of furniture, we don't think a traditional desk is essential. A great money-saving tip is to look for second hand furniture. We know most shops are closed, however places like Facebook market place and Gumtree are great for finding inexpensive furniture to suit your needs - and it is far kinder for the environment too! Think outside the box when looking for a work surface, but also keep your personal needs in minds. Where would you like to sit? How tall does the table need to be? Do you need a big work surface or do you only need space for a laptop? Folding furniture is also a great option for smaller spaces as it can be easily stored away when not in use. Another useful option is a lap tray. You can find all sorts of lap trays or breakfast trays in a range of shapes and sizes - some even come with specific laptop and phone holders. These can be a good option if you sit on the sofa or in bed to do work. Also, don't forget furniture you already own! Can you use one end of the dining table and set up office there? Be creative!
Pictured: Our Ugandan Craft Pen Pots
Organisation & Storage
A tidy space equals a tidy mind! Organisation is key when it comes to your workspace, especially when working from home. The distraction of searching for a pen or a paper clip can often lead to procrastination or just generally wastes your valuable time. Baskets make fantastic storage solutions, and we have one in almost every size or colour you could imagine! You can shop all our Kenyan baskets here which we think are perfect for storing charging cables, notebooks, tech equipment, or even a cheeky snack or two. We also have a beautiful collection of Ugandan baskets, many of which have lids, making them ideal for keeping your workspace super neat and tidy as well as being easy to pick up and move around if you find your workspace is often moving. We particularly love these small lidded pots for storing paper clips, spare staples and other little bits and pieces that often get lost. Our Uganda Pen Pots are expertly made using traditional natural dyes, sisal and raffia straw. They are amazingly strong and durable, perfect for if you have children in the house as they will not break if dropped or knocked over. Each one is also totally unique, meaning you get to keep a tiny work of art on your desk every day. The greatest thing about these storage solutions is they will work just as well as home decor once we all return to work, or you could take them with you to liven up your usual office space!
Add Some Comfort
The best part about working from home is undoubtedly being able to incorporate some home comforts into your working life. We recommend putting a rug under your desk / workspace, especially if it is set up in an unconventional area of your home as it helps to anchor the space and make it look more purposeful. Also, if you have wooden or tiled floors, having a rug underfoot feels much more comforting and will also help prevent you from getting chilly feet! You can use a rug you already have, or if you are on the look for a new one, our range of Indigo Block Printed Rugs made in India are perfect for adding a splash of fun colour and pattern whilst also being super durable for the high traffic areas of your home. Plus, you can even get matching cushion covers here! We highly recommend adding a cushion to your work space, especially if you aren't using a typical office chair as it will help support your back and keep you comfortable. If the Indigo isn't for you, we also have a range of handmade cushion covers in vibrant African-inspired prints from our past collections that you can shop here.
The Final Touches
Now you have your space nicely set up, it's time for the final flourishes to really make it feel like your own! We love having plants in our workspace - not only do they brighten up the room, psychologists have found that bringing some greenery into the workplace can increase productivity by up to 15%! We suggest easy to care for plants if you're a first time houseplant owner such as Devil's Ivy or a Spider plant (if you are also a pet owner, check out our blog post on Hiro + Wolf all about pet-safe houseplants here.) Our hand carved soapstone plant pots are the perfect companion to your new plant friend and each one is lovingly hand carved in Nairobi. And for all those cups of coffee and tea you will be drinking - why not treat yourself to a new, stylish mug to make you smile! Our range of ARTHOUSE Unlimited Fine Bone China Mugs look good and do good. Made by a wonderful charity that support adults living with complex epilepsy, learning and physical difficulties by celebrating their artistic talents. 100% of the co-operatives revenue goes towards sustaining the enterprise, helping it to grow and evolve. Finally, we recommend keeping a framed photo or print on your desk to help keep you motivated and focused. Our Mango Wood Monkey Puzzle Frames will compliment any image beautifully due to their classic, timeless design. We love having inspiring photos around us of the places we love to visit and the people we love to help push us to work even harder.
We know that working from home can be a challenge, but we hope the tips provided here have helped you to feel a little more inspired by your home office. Whatever size or shape your workplace takes, we think the most important thing is making it an inspiring space from which to work. You can shop our entire office edit here. Do you have any Artisans & Adventurers treasures in your home office? Tag us in a photo @artisansandasventurers on Instagram, we'd love to see!