Everyone has been eagerly waiting for a return to the normal, ever since quarantine was first announced. But perhaps they got it wrong all this while. They wanted to return to a time, when they won’t have to cramp work life into homes. It looks like they wanted to find themselves back in 2019.
Recent news reports suggest that work-from-home (WFH) is here to stay. Top multinationals have made it clear that they will be following a hybrid work model. Maybe, we have to move forward to a new normal, where a home office is a happy space. It is possible that some of the knowledge workers resent WFH. We understand the sentiment. But they must read through these tips. What we are prescribing is a rejig. Let’s reclaim warm home spaces and still have fun working.
TIP 1: RECREATE THE RITUAL OF RETURNING FROM WORK.
One of the things people missed about going to an office was the daily tradition of returning home. The sigh of relief, knowing that they have left work behind for the day, was therapeutic. When work spaces started to spill into home spaces during quarantine, one was always home and always at work, never getting to return home.
What if we could recreate the ritual of returning home from a work space? We can do this by separating work area from home spaces. It can be easily arranged in a luxurious 3BHK, like Sun Elecasa.
All you need to do is choose a corner you like for the work station, and create boundaries around it.
If they can keep an entire room dedicated to office spaces, the boundary would be your door. Hang a pretty poster on the other side. We think it should say “welcome to work,” and not “don’t disturb.” They could have easily driven down to a shopping centre and bought fun posters, if they were in an apartment near Lulu Mall.
If they don’t have the luxury of being in a home like Sun Elecasa, they can demarcate the office space by choosing blinds, separators, or sheer linen curtains, according to their aesthetic sensibilities. Before the buy, pause and think about the space as a whole. The many elements in this space will have to exist in harmony. Do keep this in mind.
Also hey, wear work clothes. Because changing into pyjamas is a key part of the ritual of returning from work.
TIP 2: LET THERE BE NATURAL LIGHT.
They are going to spend at least six hours in the work area. So it makes sense that the place should be cheerful, with abundant natural light. Residents of Sun Elecasa can easily choose an airy room with sufficient sunlight. Being an apartment near Lulu Mall, it is close to many high-rises. However, this doesn’t block the light, as we designed it in such a way that every resident gets their piece of sky.
Some might have not yet moved to Sun Elecasa. In case their home is not that well-lit, because of small windows or poor exposure, there are a few tricks up our sleeve to add some cheer to your room. This might have already occurred to some: paint the walls crisp white. If you think that’s boring, consider adding a pop of colour to the room, by choosing fun accessories. Vibrant paintings, handmade crochet wall hangings, framed crayon pictures–take a pick. Juxtapose these with ornamental mirrors.
If they have to use separators or blinds to demarcate the workspace in a room, get those in white. Or choose sheer linen curtains. For work after sundown, use LED lights. A solar desktop lamp will not only save energy, but will also serve as a suave accent piece.
TIP 3: FREE THAT CLUTTER.
Most are not new to working from home, but complain of being distracted. One of the solutions to this is to organise their workspace. This process starts with staring at the desktop for five minutes. Only to see how noisy it is.
They need to figure out five essential items they can’t do without. They can consider adding two more items to add some character to the desktop. This could be a fun accent piece or the photo of someone they care for. Everything else has to go. If their work involves the use of paper, get a clear bookend and other file organisers. Conceal cables. Use a cable organiser.
Existing furniture, if clunky, can be replaced with smart storage. But before that, measure the available space and plan how to optimise its usage. We recommend reading an article from Architectural Digest magazine titled “Key Measurements of a Home Office.”
TIP 4: INTRODUCE LEISURE TO YOUR WORKSPACE
Knowledge workers need frequent breaks, to free up their mind. We suggest that they introduce leisure to their workspace. Then they won’t have to set an alarm for their next break.
When the mind wanders, hopefully their eye will wander and find a bookshelf right behind them. Or they can saunter to a sofa placed away from the desktop and take a power nap. They can span a rug, to-and-fro, while listening to a podcast. They can solve puzzles placed in one of the smart storage shelves. At a spacious Sun Elecasa home, all this comes easy. When they need a longer break, they can go out for a week. In fact, on some days, they can even opt to eat out, since the apartment is close to Lulu Mall Trivandrum and many other restaurants.
But in case space is a constraint at their current home, they can have at least one book, a fruit and a bottle of juice on their desktop table. Space can wield time.
TIP 5: BOOK A SUN ELECASA APARTMENT NEAR LULU MALL
Those living in rental spaces know they can’t even hang a nail, without the owner’s permission. Also, why would anyone splurge on painting and enhancing a home that they will eventually leave?
Fortunately for them, the environment is very supportive of home buyers. Mortgage loans now come with attractive offers. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in an effort to keep economic growth rate study has announced a low repo rate. Following these major lenders have significantly reduced home loan rates. There won’t be a better time to afford a luxurious home like Sun Elecasa. There would be abundant space, where you don’t need to compromise on your home office requirements.
Being a Sun Elecasa resident gives them access to modern lifestyle amenities like a fitness centre and indoor game facility within the tower.
In addition, the location makes it convenient for techies to get to work. When companies like Infosys announced a hybrid work model, where employees are expected to come to work on some days, this location has proven to be a boon for many. Moreover, there is the added convenience of being close to various malls. Very soon, Lulu Mall Trivandrum, reportedly India’s largest mall, will be inaugurated.
TIP 6: TURN INTO A CHILLED-OUT GARDENER
This is to those who worry that they aren’t green thumbs. Even expert botanists have had plants dying on them. So be brave and put a potted plant on your desktop. Start with the easiest ones. Spider plant and Pothos are popular among beginners.
But don’t just stop at one plant. We are saying, if they have the space, they must aim for more. Need we emphasize any further why they need to check out an airy Sun Elecasa home. By the way, living here, they would not just be close to Lulu Mall but many nurseries.
Building their own terrariums could be a fun project. It can be a great stress-buster. It has become a trend in cities according to a Times of India article “Earth Day 2021: Glass bowl gardens take off pandemic stress.” There’s no need to buy glass bowls for a terrarium. Use an old jar with a wide opening, fill it with pebbles, and then put the potting mixture. They can build this little world by adding little things. Choose plants which need just weekly care. This isn’t just a lovely addition to a workspace. Numerous studies suggest that engaging in gardening is good for mental health as well.
TIP 7: SET BOUNDARIES FOR CHILDREN, CREATIVELY.
Tiny humans, just like their parents, do not like being cooped up in four walls all the time. Parents, especially mothers, would agree. News reports say that parenting became more stressful during the lockdown.
While we are sure they must have already tried a lot of tricks, to get their children on their side, we are offering a few more.
What if the other side of that workspace door was a white board at the height of the little ones? Hang pens from adhesive hooks on the door. Don’t tell them about it. Children enjoy discovering an activity more than being instructed to do something. Get a coffee table that they can easily reach for and leave puzzles on it. Plan simple activities like this.
A strategy, which helps in the long run, is a talk about boundaries. Parents can show them that it is a two-way process; that children’s boundaries matter too. They can also tell the children how tough it is for them to juggle work and home chores. Taking children into confidence really helps. Parents have to countenance the idea that this is a constant negotiation.
We hope that the ones working from home find these tips useful. These are tough times. Let’s promise to be kind to ourselves.