Celine Reyes is a freelance travel journalist who’s been working from home for two years. Maybelle Gormate is a graphic artist who gets her job done at home since 2013. Both employees consider their residence their office as well. But once they’re at their workspace, their focus is on the task at hand and not on what’s happening in the living room or whatever is cooking in the kitchen.
Thanks to electronic gadgets and the Internet, telecommuting is now easier than ever. In fact, it seems more efficient to work at home what with the time-consuming traffic weary workers face on a daily basis going to and from their workplace. A 2014 study by US software company VM Ware Inc. found that 73 percent of Filipino employees said working from home was ideal for them.
But not all telecommuters have the luxury of having a designated area in their house that they can call their “office.”
“In Metro Manila spaces tend to be smaller so it’s really a challenge to create a home office,” SM Home assistant vice president for Marketing Tom Castañeda told MS Young Life. Despite of that, Castañeda, who also works from home, emphasized the importance of setting up a work area.
“I think it’s really important to have a designated working area because when you work from home, there are gazillion distractions. [But] having a workspace where you can say, ‘from 9 to 6 this is where I’m gonna be,’ can feel like you’re working in an office even if you’re at home,” opined the marketing executive/design magazine associate publisher.
Prior to setting up her home office, Reyes used to work on her laptop while lying in bed. “It wasn’t very productive,” she admitted. Now she works in a small corner of her bedroom where, she said, whenever she sits in front of her desktop computer, she can easily focus on working.
Gormate, meanwhile, shared that her designated home office in her living room “creates a mindset that I am at work, not at home.”
Suffice it to say, a designated workspace helps the two telecommuters shift into “work mode.” But is it possible to have such a space if you live in a, say, studio-type condo unit?
Interior designer Iriss Mangio said it’s possible.
Citing a past project wherein they created a small office space for a 22-square meter unit, Mangio explained, “you can transform your living room or a small space in your bedroom, [and put] a small table where you can set your computer and all the things that you need.”
Castañeda suggested alternating your dining table as a desk or using a multifunctional coffee table that transforms into a viable work counter. “If you live in a studio, use what you have,” he advised.
He added that the size of a home office is not as important as the atmosphere it offers.
“It doesn’t have to be a big area, just find a space in your home where you can feel comfortable, you have the least amount of distraction, and you can feel like you can be the most productive,” said Castañeda.
He suggested picking a spot where natural light comes in and adding elements, such as background music or artworks, which could help you be creative and work hard. As for the design, Castañeda said it all depends on whatever fits your style, mood, and personality.
“At the end of the day, you would want to be in an area that’s warm and inviting to you,” he concluded.
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