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Many office workers have been working remotely for about two years now, but somehow a lot of us are still clocking on from the dining table or sofa.
While Australians look set to return to the office soon, the work-from-home trend isn't going to disappear. Some of us want to work from home all the time and others for part of the week.
Then there's the fear that another wave or variant of COVID-19 will pop up in winter, leaving us wondering whether we'll end up doing another remote work stint.
READ MORE: Inspiration for turning even the smallest corners into a work-from-home sanctuary
It means now is the time spruce up your home office or finally get a proper work space organised. To help you do that, 9Entertainment spoke to interior stylist and founder of Style Curator Gina Ciancio for some advice and styling tips.
So important! Many of us have started the new year working from home, and for those who don't have a dedicated office space, it can mean working from the kitchen bench, dining table or bedroom. By working in these communal areas and leaving our work material out, we're constantly being reminded of work, even when we clock off for the day.
Creating a work space separate to our communal living areas is important to encourage a healthy work–life balance.
Now that we are back into the routine of working, the first few months present the perfect time to reset and transform your home office space. I'm working with Allianz to call on Australians to reclaim their home as exactly that, their home.
READ MORE: 7 practical tips for effective home office organisation
While everyone works differently, there are a few key elements that should be considered in our work-from-home space.
Good Lighting: This can significantly impact our productivity and how we feel. If you don't have sufficient natural light, invest in a couple of lamps, which can also act as a décor piece.
An ergonomic workspace: Most of us work at a desk and there's an optimal range for your desk and chair height based on your height. It's worth calculating this so you can create an ergonomically correct workspace to avoid strain on your body.
Clutter free: Find ways to remove unnecessary items and keep main surfaces as clear as possible. Implement a daily or weekly routine where you spend time cleaning your space to maintain the area. As the saying goes, 'A cluttered space, a cluttered mind'.
Storage: You can never go wrong with storage! This can help keep your desk tidy, especially if you're working with minimal desk space.
As an interior stylist, I'm seeing a growing trend of people living in smaller units or houses wanting to find nifty ways to incorporate their home office into their existing space, without taking up too much space.
There are plenty of new products available to meet this growing demand. For example, you can find pop up desks that slot together in minutes without any hardware or tools. Best of all, they can be taken apart and stored flat, such as under your bed. This means you can create a temporary workspace throughout the week and have it out of sight and out of mind for the weekend.
Alternatively, simple stands can transform your dining table into an ergonomic desk instantly. This is ideal for people who don't have any available floor space for additional furniture.
When it's time to switch off for the day, pack down your work material and place a small styled arrangement on your dining table instead. Simply using a tray with salt and pepper grinders and perhaps a small arrangement of flowers or foraged stems from the garden instantly transforms it back into a dining room.
This helps you not only create physical distance between your work and personal life, but mental distance too. If packing down your desk is not possible, try to keep it clean and tidy using smart storage solutions.
Create a positive connection to nature. From plants and cut flowers to crystals, all can bring an extra element of energy and vibrancy into your home.
Bring back the personal and homey touches by adding some new photos or display objects that are meaningful to you.
READ MORE: Stylists give their tips and tricks for an effective home office
My work-from-home setup is clear and bright. I hacked my own extra-long desk so I have plenty of space to organise my work material. This faces towards a window so I can look out at the trees and get plenty of natural light throughout the day.
My favourite thing about my home office is how it feels. I take time each week to declutter and change things up in my office so it's an inspiring space. This includes pinning things on my oversized mood boards, restyling the plants and décor, and switching the scent of my candles or oil burners. All of these things help to promote wellbeing and a sense of calm in the midst of any work chaos or stress.