Mind over clutter: creating a mindful home office space

Many of us will be working from home on a more permanent basis, but how can we design our home to balance life and work? A new digital design guide by Kelly Robinson gives some tips

As many economies prepare for a second wave of Covid-19, it is becoming more apparent that working from home is here to stay. And as living areas have been converted into home offices, it has also become increasingly difficult to achieve a sense of balance or zen between work and life.

Kelly Robinson, the workplace designer behind companies such as Airbnb, Headspace and Soundcloud, has collected her philosophy of design into a digital design guide, Where Spirit Meets Space. Even for those with limited resources, Robinson’s design guide gives readers an opportunity to reimagine how we can design the space around us to regain a work-life balance in the home. She outlines five key tips to transform work-from-home setups into ones that consider overall productivity, wellbeing and happiness.

Shift your lens

Working from home does not come without its challenges, but it is always a privilege to have a home that we have autonomy over. The way that a space is designed and cared for can shape the experiences within it. It is important to take the time to appreciate the space that you do have, whether it’s rented or owned, small or large. This shifts the perspective on how we view our home and spaces we work in.

Practice essentialism

Homes are often cluttered with items collected over many years. Now is a good time to take stock of everything and clear away non-essential possessions. Whilst we may think that everything in our home serves a purpose, often there are many things that go untouched for months. Robinson’s advice is to reclaim space for the things that are truly important, and do not shy away from having empty space.

Create balance

A balanced space contains elements that are both masculine and feminine. In many spaces, one element overpowers the other, causing a sense of unbalance. Feminine elements include round, curved, circular or organic shapes, whereas masculine elements include clear countertops, hard surfaces, closed cupboards and empty spaces.

Mimic nature

Humans are inherently creatures of nature and we often feel more at home in spaces that contain the elements found in nature. To create a more balanced and harmonious space, natural elements such as earth, fire, water, metal and wood should be considered. A ideal workplace should have a balance of these elements.

Enhance your vista

A room with a view is the optimal layout for a workspace. If the room has a window, it is a good idea to place your workspace so you can look outside. If the workspace is facing a wall, it can be decorated with art, imagery  or photos that make you feel good when you see them. However, this is not a one-way process, it is also important to consider the vista of colleagues and clients who are on the other end of a video call; this can be done through a well-designed backdrop which includes plants or intentional imagery.

Where Spirit Meets Space is available here.

Kelly Robinson is a conscious workplace designer and author of Where Spirit Meets Space, a digital design guide which weaves together ancient practices of Feng Shui and yoga with her holistic approach to design.
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