The office within the four walls at home
The world of work has changed dramatically since the start of the Corona pandemic. Many companies have had to rethink and send their employees to the home office. Employees, meanwhile, have been forced to adapt to the new situation as well. And not everyone has an extra room available to work comfortably from home. So in many places, creativity was and still is in demand.
For suppliers of office furniture, the home office trend has been particularly noticeable. “Demand has definitely changed during the pandemic,” he said.
“In larger companies, where employees are mostly in home offices, the time has been used to swap out manually height-adjustable desks for electric motorized height-adjustable desks.” Other companies, he said, have provided their employees with home furniture to allow for hybrid working, even after the pandemic. “This allows office space to be downsized and used for other purposes. Where there used to be individual workstations, there are now communication and meeting zones,” says the furniture expert.
However, if employers have not reacted to the changing conditions, employees have had no choice but to look for suitable furniture for their homes themselves. Therefore also the demand from the private households increased clearly, explains Stefan Hemken. He advises against the use of kitchen and living room furniture in the home office: “For occasional activities, this is certainly still acceptable. But for permanent employment in the home office with eight-hour working hours, we strongly advise against it. Here, a similar standard should be used as in the office environment.”
Space-saving and multifunctional furniture
Especially in smaller apartments, setting up a workstation is not easy. Therefore, space-saving and multifunctional furniture is a good choice.
“There are various solutions that fit into the living environment.”
As an example, he mentions the in-house table program.
This is a classic table with four legs that can be used in the living room as a dining table and at the same time as an office workstation. “Via an electric height adjustment, the table can be adjusted in no time at all, allowing an ergonomic change from a sitting to a standing position,” explains the furniture expert.
Height-adjustable tables – whether with lift technology or electric – are a sensible option for the home office. The challenge, however, lies in the acquisition costs. Under certain conditions, the employer is obliged to provide employees with a comparably designed computer workstation in the private or home environment. If there is no agreement between employer and employee, then the solution is often to work in the kitchen or living room table or to provide suitable furniture oneself. If space is very limited, small secretaries, for example, are suitable. As a wall model, they can be folded in no time or transformed into a bookshelf.
One chair for multiple purposes
A good chair is particularly important when working at a desk.
“Ideally, this should be just as well equipped as an office swivel chair that you use in the office,” .
When working all day, it should have various adjustment options to ergonomically adapt to the user’s needs. Here, too, furniture manufacturers offer models that do not exude the typical office look and also look good at the dining table.
An often underestimated topic is the appropriate lighting. Working under atmospheric living room lighting is not ideal. “An adequate level of lighting requires a horizontal illuminance of at least 500 lux in the work area. With increasing age, the need for brighter working light grows,” explains the expert. “Then the use of a table lamp is recommended.”