This year the amount of people working from home has skyrocketed, with 47% of the work force mostly working from home in April 2020 compared to 5% of the population mainly working from home in 2019.
There is never a better time to make sure your home is optimised for your productivity as well as your mental and physical health – and often this means making our kitchens work-from-home ready.
See: Kitchen ideas – decor and decorating ideas for all kitchens
Wren Kitchens' Design Director Darren Watts shares his top tips for working from home in your kitchen – efficiently and effectively.
1. Lighten your workload
Evidence suggests that good lighting is key to productivity, and with the right lighting you can be more productive.
A new report by Wren Kitchens reveals that people are more energised to work under spotlights, which correlates with scientific research because they are brighter.
Nearly a third of those surveyed (31%) said that spotlights are the best for working, naturally they are an ideal choice for the kitchen, because they brightly illuminate food preparation and cooking areas.
This supports the idea that it’s best to set up shop either at a kitchen island or kitchen table.
2. Keep it clean
Clean kitchen, clean mind, which is exactly what you need when you’re trying to concentrate and be productive working from home. Keep your kitchen surfaces free of clutter as much as you can and remove items from surfaces into the cupboards.
You would never work from your office desk with a pile of dirty pans next to you, so you should treat your home office space with the same mindset – clean is the dream.
3. Make the most of every inch
Your kitchen has similar benefits as an office. It has tonnes of storage space and plenty of lighting as it’s usually the most well-lit room in the house. When working from home, you can use all these conveniences to truly optimise your space to create a functional working environment.
Make use of your kitchen cupboard space, as it can hold printers or second monitors when you’re cleaning up in the evening, as well as notepads, laptop chargers and headphones. This means they are easily accessible during the working day but will not be in your way when you’re trying to cook in the evening.
4. Be clever with your space
Your kitchen is as versatile as it is robust, so it can bounce into office mode during the day and back out again in the evening.
Be creative with your kitchen space, for example you can use the tiles and cupboards as whiteboards to put up post it notes to remind you about meetings or, if you’re struggling with your posture, create your own standing desk by utilising the kitchen work tops. All of these can be cleared away to allow you to retain your title as the best family chef in the evening.
- See: Home office ideas – that are smart, practical and stylish
5. Don't take work 'home' with you
Not as easy as it sounds, but productivity is not the only important thing of course with a worker’s wellbeing crucial in these times especially as we approach an isolated winter.
One of the problems with working from home is people feel they cannot switch off, having their place of work and relaxation under one roof. If you don’t have a designated office, the kitchen is the best alternative giving you space and light while keeping work away from your places of rest.
Switching to a warmer, dimmer light in the evenings can help to distinguish your kitchen during the working day and your kitchen when you’re off duty. Survey findings showed that a quarter of people surveyed said the right lighting does make a difference and improved their wellbeing, with 30% saying it helped them destress after work.
Nearly half of respondents (48%) say that warm lighting improved their mood, so finding the right environment after work is just as important as your home office.
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Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.
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