Over the last year, our living spaces have had to go above and beyond their usual purpose, making multi-functional rooms commonplace. Work from home stations were constructed overnight, using any space and surface up for the task. Many of us turned to our bedrooms as our designated work-places – away from the hubbub of family life, and possibly somewhere with a bit more room. However, using your primary sleep space to work in blurs the line between work and relaxation, making it even trickier to achieve the elusive healthy work-life balance.
Unsurprisingly, feng shui experts recommend against using your bedroom as your work-space, to avoid throwing the energy of the room off balance. But we’re not all blessed with dedicated home-study, so what do you if there’s no other viable option? Especially as WFH is a lifestyle change seemingly set to stay for the long-term.
In our blog we look at practical ways in which you can mitigate the potential negative effects of using your bedroom as a home-study, keeping bedtime wellbeing as a key component of your daily routine.
Protect Your Sleep Space
Try and ensure your work area is as far away from your bed as possible, so that when you’re in bed, your work station isn’t within your line of sight. Glimpsing piles of files before you nod off isn’t good sleep hygiene. Similarly, you don’t want to be met with them first thing in the morning either.
A neat idea to physically separate your work space from your sleep area is by installing a temporary room divider. This is an instant fix for compact spaces and adds a design feature to your room as well. There’s plenty of choice available, from wooden panels to frosted glass, as well as upholstered options and eye-catching murals. You could add a mobile shelving unit and use it to display your treasures, or create a lush green shelfie showing off your favourite plant-life! House plants also offer health benefits and have a soothing effect, whether you’re working, or about to drift off to sleep.
Clear The Clutter
In order to properly switch off at the end of your shift, you need to be able to walk away from your work and shut the door on it until the morning. ‘Out of sight, out of mind’ is key to turning your bedroom back into a calming and welcoming sleep space. Then you won’t be tempted to add something extra to your to-do list or check your emails. You can achieve closure on your workday by clearing your desk – even if it’s just sliding a laptop into a drawer. An even better solution is a flexi-desk which you can fold away, allowing you to differentiate between work and relaxation time in an instant.
By the very nature of a multi-purpose room, you’ll need effective storage solutions for two types of belongings. If you don’t have space in your existing bedroom storage units for your work resources, vertical shelving above your desk area could help. Two or three shelves measuring the width of your desk, or slightly narrower, will provide handy storage for your files and an area to display photographs and other treasures which will add a positive vibe to your space. A divan with a mattress which lifts up or includes drawers will also be useful for housing larger items, such as drawings, plans or occasionally used outsize resources.
Of course, if you’d rather take the bespoke route, a desk with drawers or cupboards can snugly fit into a space which might be otherwise redundant or under-used. Matching wall cupboards could also be designed for a streamlined look and further maximise your space, without taking up any more precious floor area.
Separate Your Down Time From Your Work Day
It’s hard enough establishing a balanced WFH routine when you have a dedicated home-study. Working from your bedroom makes it tougher as your desk and work resources are a constant physical reminder of your work itinerary. Plus, it’s important to have a change of scene – working and sleeping take up a large proportion of the day. So, take regular breaks, away from your bedroom, and ensure your household knows your schedule. That way, when you’re working, you are totally focused, effective and efficient, which translates into more, and better quality, family and self-care time.
Opt To Make The Guest Bedroom Multi-Purpose Instead!
We know that your own sleep space isn’t the best place to set up a work-station. But, if you have a guest bedroom or storage area which is suitably located for working from home, you might consider repurposing that room instead. Add a built-in desk to optimise your space, and swap your standard guest bed for a wall bed – a great space-saving option as your floor space will be free the majority of the time. When guests do appear, the bed folds down into position, easily, and in a matter of seconds. Fitted wardrobes and low or wall units will handle the storage requirements – designed solely for you and your space.
At Hartleys we are experienced in designing fitted furniture for bedrooms, home-studies and multipurpose areas. So if you’re considering which is the best route for a WFH set-up for you and your living space, we’d be delighted to help. You can visit our Yorkshire showroom in Skipton, or see us online.