Times have changed, and we’re left with very little choice to change and adapt to it. These changes have trickled down to our work setups, affecting most of us and significantly impacting our day-to-day lives. At a time like this (especially for those who did not have work from home setups before), carving out professional spaces for ourselves to work and be productive is very important.
Many offices around the globe have changed their work setups, either providing employees with the necessary setups to facilitate that shift or turning and revamping their workspaces to a covid-free zone. Either way, designing office spaces has gone through an overhaul since 2020, and many newer variables have to be considered.
Designing consciously in a post-covid world
Right from our homes to our office spaces - whether they are indoor office spaces or common workplaces - interior designing takes into account social distancing, hygiene and sanitisation, and providing room for spacious, open and personalised spaces as opposed to our previously enclosed air-conditioned setups.
Choosing and designing the right kind of space could go a long way in ensuring good physical health and overall mental well-being. Interior decorators use antibacterial, antifungal surface finishes and design easy to clean and maintain spaces that promote a healthy work environment. But those aren’t the only things to be considered. Living in a cold, detached and minimalist environment can get quite stressful, so it’s essential to also keep in mind long-lasting friendly spaces that carry your personal touch too.
For those looking for inspiration to design healthy and personalised workspaces, here are a few cues and considerations to help you make that decision.
What to consider when choosing surface finishes for an office space:
The vibe you wish to create
When thinking about designing clean spaces, the first thing that comes to mind is a stark minimalistic vibe. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. While spacious workspaces are the way to go, there’s more than enough room for customisation. You can break the monotony by mixing it up with lighter dual tones of laminates while letting centrepieces do all the talking. If you are the less is more type, you can opt for decorative laminates that will do all the talking.
However, if you’re the playful kind and want your workspace to jolt the life out of you, you can opt for brighter colours or mix it up with bold colour blocks. For a more sophisticated look, feel free to play and experiment with wood laminates, or you can make use of wood veneers too. Wood patterns tend to exude warmth and evokes many a memory; they also have a very calming effect on the mind.
Another creative way to go about it is to play with a single tone and let your showpieces do all the talking. Many of us prefer clutter-free spaces, and monotone workspaces give you just that feeling. Monotones act like the perfect canvas to add some green to your home and get your oxygen levels flowing. Spaces that can accommodate indoor plants are also a great way to add life to your day to day workspace.
Purpose and functionality
One of the things that a home office space needs is ample space to compartmentalise, organise and declutter. You need to find things when you need them rather than have to turn your house upside down in search of it. Compartmentalisation isn’t a highly complex task and can be achieved without drilling too many holes in your pocket.
Setting up your home office space for maximum productivity may sound daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. For starters having a room with a door that you can close and work in silence is essential. If your budget allows for a work table with shelves and drawers to help you better compartmentalise, go for it.
While choosing furniture for your home office space, it would bode you well to select grease and grime resistant surfaces and ones that aren’t too reflective. Laminates with a matte finish are a great way to keep your day-to-day cleaning simple, and they are both scratch-resistant, easy to clean and maintain and have a moderate reflection.
Flexibility and customisation
Several non-wood materials can be used for cabinetry, shelves, and tabletops with similar properties to hardwood and can sometimes even outlive solid wood. Materials like Plywood, Birch Plywood, MDF, Chipboards and Particleboard are some of the best alternatives to solid wood. These materials are bound together using resins, wood chips and sawdust sheets, and cross-grain textures that make them sturdy.
When choosing substrate and surface materials for your home office furnishing, it’s best to choose materials that are durable, moisture-resistant as well as antifungal and antibacterial. Surface materials like laminates, veneers or even melamine are fastened to a substrate, so it would do you well to choose long-lasting substrates.
Having the flexibility of the design makes it easier to switch it up every once in a while when you get tired of having everything in the same place for too long.
Using solid wood can sometimes be on the costlier side. But that isn’t a need for worry, considering that several materials exude the same properties of solid wood and may even last longer. Engineered wood materials like plywoods, MDF, melamine and chipboards are more affordable and easier to maintain. They come with a range of design, functionality, longevity, and make and are built to last.
Setting up a simple, sophisticated, breezy, yet highly functional office should be your main focus. With the kind of materials available today and ample room for customisation, you can achieve just the look you want without burning a hole in your pocket.