10 Renovation Tips for a Functional Home Office any Workaholic Will Approve

Image from Yankodesign

The coronavirus pandemic has illustrated the importance of having a proper home office as more and more people retreat into their homes to work. Even when the government plans to ease the Covid-19 restrictions, you will never know when the restrictions will tighten again once a new Covid variant hit our shores. Hence, more homeowners have decided to future proof their abodes by planning for a proper functional home office right from the start. Therefore, if you are seriously considering converting one of your rooms into a functional home office, here are some sound renovation tips to up the ante in your home office design, while you boost your productivity at work!

1. Adapt spaces to your privacy needs with the “Electrochromic” glass

Literally privacy on demand, the switchable “Electrochromic” smart glass enables you to adapt spaces to your needs at at the push of a button. Hence, you can easily turn your open concept home office to an opaque room, and back again with a flick of a switch. With this “Electrochromic” technology, you can still get the privacy you need, when you do not want to be disturbed while you are working from home.

The local vendors which provide the “Electrochromic” smart glass products include the Enforce (Smart Glass),  Singapore Safety Glass (Privaglas) and  Cyber Glass Trade (Switchable Glass).

Image from ecohouse-eg

2. Upgrade your existing glass walls with an intelligent switchable smart film

If you have erected glass walls for your open concept home office, or want to do away with the messy and costly glass removal and replacement, an intelligent switchable smart film is another alternative to the switchable “Electrochromic” smart glass. A bonus tip, the switchable smart Film can also transform a glass wall into a screen for either a projection or home cinema experience at night!

The local vendors which provide the “Electrochromic” smart glass products include Shield Perfect (Smart Film) and Switchable Glass. With switchable smart film, you can also choose to apply the film in the middle instead of the entire glass walls, to retain the open concept feel.

3. Staying productive without disturbance with soundproof panel systems

Holding meetings, team huddle sessions, important discussions from home can be quite daunting if you are unable to insulate your room from the screaming kids, irritating karaoke sessions by your neighbours, traffic highway or the rumble of the LRT or MRT. Therefore, soundproofing your room by using soundproof panel systems for your walls, ceiling and floor will minimise sound leaks from the outside.

Usually in a home office, having soundproof panel systems installed in your walls is suffice. You may look for Noisestopsystems to find out more.

Image from Renostics

4. Soundproof with DIY  acoustic foam panels or thick blackout curtains

If you are looking to soundproof your room on a budget, using DIY acoustic foam panels may be suitable for you. They function by absorbing surrounding noise and reducing echoes in the room. If the colourful DIY acoustic foam is not your style, heavy-duty blackout curtains may be a good alternative. Furthermore, these blackout curtains can pull triple duty by blocking off the noises, preventing light from entering and providing privacy too!

You can also opt to make your own acoustic panels and customise them in terms of size, color and appearance to fit your home interiors. You can refer to Soundproofing Tips and Soundproof.Expert for the step by step instructions and tips on where to purchase the materials.

5. Keep your home office layout configurable by avoiding fixtures

Having a floating workstation, suspended from the ceiling, might look cool at first. However, you might run into issues when you realise that you need to either relocate or upgrade the existing workstation. Hence, you should consider investing in either modular or extendable, mobile workstation so that you can reconfigure your home office whenever the need arises.

Make sure that there are adequate power points at the 4 walls of your home office, so that you will not face any issues when you need to move your workstation, or add an additional station.

Image from Yankodesign

6. Stay healthy with a customised standing desk

Opting for a standing desk instead of the traditional study table can help you prevent neck and back pain when you work from home. A standing desk is a height-adjustable desk that allows you to stand while you work. It can make you healthier by making it easier for you to lose weight, helps you to lower blood sugar levels and also prevent back pain. Also, based on Homestratosphere, standard desk width dimensions are 48 to 72 inches wide, while the standard desk depth dimensions are 24 to 36 inches deep. Hence, the average standard desk dimensions are 29.5 inches in desk height, by 60 inches wide, by 30 inches deep.

Image from Homestratosphere

You can discuss with your renovation professionals to custom make one that matches your interior design. If you realized that even after the furniture overhaul and adjustments, working at your desk is causing chronic neck or back pain, you should consult a medical professional immediately. If you are looking for the ultimate standing desk, with integrated cabling, a monitor mount and an inset magic keyboard and trackpad – CableTread may be your answer! 

Image from CableTread

7. Improve concentration and productivity with adequate lighting

The Singapore standard code of practice for the lighting of workplaces SS 531, states that a normal workstation requires 500 Lux* to carry out activities such as writing, reading and data processing. Hence, based on the luminance of 500 Lux, you can derive on the number of lighting fixtures required for a functional home office based on the following formula: Number of lighting fixtures = (Lux level*area in metre sq)/Lumens per fixture. For instance, the dimensions of your home office room are 5mx3m (LxW). 10W LED with the equivalent Lumens of 750 lm. So the number of 10W LED fixtures will be 10 (based on the formula 500*15/750).

Lux* (illuminance) is the amount of light that is cast on a surface. This can be thought of as light intensity within a specific area. Lumens** is the total output of visible light from a light source. Typically, the more lumens a light fixture provides, the brighter it is.

Image from Yankodesign

8. Relieve eye strain with a space-saving monitor light bar

With the invention of the monitor light bar, your desktop will be illuminated without the need to increase the brightness of the screen. It is also handy during video conference calls to light up your workspace when the room is not bright enough. Monitor light bars are great replacements for fixed overhead task lightings since it allows greater flexibility when you need to move the location of your monitor. Further, it helps to save precious desk estate by replacing the desktop lamp and does not compete with your keyboard and mouse for additional space.

You can start short listing for a monitor light bar from Android Central. If you intend to build a shelf or a cabinet on top of the monitor, remember to leave at least a 5 inches gap for you to install or remove the monitor screen light bar.

 Image from BenQ

9.  Hide all the mess with a desk screen while you video conference

Video conferencing from home might be a challenge if you have been living with piles of toys, open boxes, dirty clothes and books. Alas! The messy background will undermine the professional demeanor which you have wanted to portray. If you find yourself in that position, don’t despair! You can easily hide all the undesirable parts of your room with a desk screen. In addition, the desk screen can also dual purpose as a board for putting up reminders and post-it-notes.

The portable Ikea BEKANT desk screen helps to create some privacy and a pleasant working environment with its 1.2m floor standing screen partition. Best of all, it is also quite affordable! You can also discuss with your renovation professionals to customise design one for you.

Image from Ikea

10. Boost your internet connection with a mesh WiFi

Mesh WiFi is made up of the main router which directly connects to the modem, accompanied by a series of satellite nodes. These nodes are strategically placed at all corners of the house for full WiFi coverage. Overall Mesh WiFi is much faster, and you will have a smoother experience and enjoy much greater coverage when compared to using the traditional router.

Google WiFi is very simple to setup and the most value-packed WiFi mesh system for homeowners who are new to mesh WiFi. It is considerably cheaper and boasts an impressive network management through a streamlined mobile app. Furthermore, its minimalist design makes it easy to blend into any home interior design. Google also released the next generation Google Nest WiFi, which is similar, and its nodes are Google Assistant enabled, so you can play music and command with your voice. Read 8 Common Renovation Mistakes Homeowners Make that Affect their WiFi Router Performance for additional tips to boost your WiFi signals.

Image from Tech Radar


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