In what may be the new normal, it is important to think about how the designs of our homes help us achieve a balanced work from home environment. In fact, it is really important to understand how spaces we once thought of for a specific use, do not need to lose that usage as we start to use them as a home office.
What I am talking about are “Dual Use” spaces. A space can be a guest room and home office, or a home office and work out room, or perhaps a TV room and home office. The keys to dual use spaces are integrating the usages for coexistence and not impeding usage.
As we design our homes and think about dual uses we evaluate several criteria including:
- floor plan layout;
- integration of usages;
- potential furnishings;
- integration of technology;
- natural light; and
- perhaps, most importantly, a space that you can leave when you are done working.
For example, a TV/home theatre space can become the ultimate in integrated Zoom meeting space by integrating the hardware from the theatre into your computer system. Or a guest room can have a desk location with a monitor used for your computer that guests can use as a TV for those 7-10 days a year when they come for a visit.
Remember the home office portion of the dual use space does not need to be large. You are gathering online now. The ancillary filing cabinets, copiers, etc. aren’t as important with so much in the cloud. The office usage can seamlessly fit into existing spaces and create not only a very professional space, but a comfortable space as well.
So keep all these things in mind as you think about creating your home office and your own “Dual Use” space!