The Evolving Workplace
The days of working at a stuffed cubicle under the flashing fluorescent lighting is a thing of the past and in its place is a myriad of unconventional practices like providing company fitness centers, campus bikes for commuting and catered lunches. Another tool that companies are providing as an option to their employees is telecommuting. Working from home is a professional revolution that companies are embracing and a lot of employees are championing for. So far, the research is showing that it's a win for both sides. Telecommuting can reduce stress for employees by up to 25%, according to a study done by Staples in 2011, which can lead to a more balanced work-home life and an overall increase in productivity.
Here are a few shots of the headquarters of a company called Gusto. It is a San Francisco-based technology startup that operates a cloud-based platform and helps companies with payroll, benefits, and HR. It is located in San Francisco’s historic waterfront at Pier 70...talk about a beautiful place to work!
Allowing employees to work from home also has a lot of benefits to the employer. A study at Stanford showed that “workers were more productive, got more done, worked longer hours, took less breaks and used less sick time than their in-office counterparts.” On top of all this, employees were also found to be happier and quit less. When all is said and done, companies “save about $2,000 per every employee who worked from home.”
With all these benefits coming to light it’s no wonder people will opt for working from home a few days a week over accepting a raise. Who doesn’t want more control over their work environment? Who wouldn’t love to get those two hours back you spend commuting--cussing out other drivers and sometimes avoiding what seems like instant death. Seriously, who drives like that?!? (oh! Denver this is a love hate relationship) Just writing about this is stressing me out.
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The Evolution of the Home Office
So let’s say you are one of these fortunate telecommuters. How do you carve out a space in your home for your genius to happen? One of our philosophies here at Exprès and Kitchen Bath & Home; we believe that your environment should be an extension of yourself and your home office is no exception which is why design and planning are important steps in the process. Architect Sarah Susanka agrees, “A home that reflects you automatically makes you feel comfortable in your own skin.” So it’s important to plan a space that not only facilitates the work you do, but it's almost as critical for that space to speak “you”.
So where do you start? Here are a few tips for how to get your office up to par with your work performance.
1. Make a List! As a quintessential product of my mother, I always start projects out by making a list. I even started this list out with a list! To get those brain gears turning let’s kick this off with a brainstorming session. Just write down things you know you want or need and then we’ll come back and add some order to the chaos. Here are a few examples of things to ask yourself.
2. Functionality. Once you get an idea of what you need in your office, let's put add some order to the chaos. What type of function do you need?
3. Light…because it's just really important. Do you have any natural light or is your office setup in a basement? How many work areas will you have setup and do you have access to enough task lighting in those areas? Don’t make your work space dark and dreary or alive with the white noise buzzing of those fluorescent rays you soak up at the office. Lighting has a magical way of making life a lot easier if it’s done right. Need help? Ask your interior designer or go to your local lighting specialists. In my experience they love what they do and can help you a WHOLE lot!
1. This office by Alexander Design has a conference area with a light neutral color palette and chairs to die for! Here are some hints on where to find some of these pieces... 2. Leather Framed Porthole Mirror 3. Hand-stitched Leather Side Chair 4. Tulip Conference Table
4. Organization. They say geniuses work messy. Cue photo of a messy hoard that will make me want to break out my cleaning supplies as my eye starts twitching. There is a huge difference to having a mess of papers floating on a desk during the work day versus not being able to walk into a space because there is s**t everywhere. You don’t have your computer desktop littered with hundreds of work files do you?!? Then don’t do that to your office. Work efficiency is about accessing the resources you need when you need them. Organize your files in three different categories:
5. Originality--your office space needs something awesome! “There is pretty strong evidence that the environment in which people live is closely linked to their well-being,” says Graham Rowles, a gerontology professor at the University of Kentucky. “...it’s a place that provides us with a centering…” What better to provide us with a normalcy than our favorite something; maybe it’s art or piece of furniture, maybe it’s a certain color or wallpaper. Whatever it may be, make it yours. It will keep those gears turning when it counts.
1. Being you is important! Be sure to add accents you love to make the space more you. Here are two pieces that would make this office a home run... 2. Shag Area Rug 3. Statement Lighting
There is so much more to office design than this but this is a great place to start. Get these steps in order and you’ll be a work from home rock star before you know it! Need more help than this? Reach out on our “contact us” section of our website and we can schedule a conference to figure out if we would be a good working fit!