While Canadians, like most global citizens embracing technology, have long lounged at home scrolling our personal electronic devices, the arrival of the COVID-19 virus to Canada in March suddenly required most of us to socially distance and self-isolate. To accomplish this, those with corporate lives were suddenly transferred to a new location called 'Work From Home or WFH'. Instead of our professional selves commuting to an office five days a week, our new reality meant jockeying for position in our homes in an attempt to occupy whatever free space is not being inhabited by pets, children, or last night's pizza box. This is certainly not without its challenges.
The media is reporting that nearly five million Canadians are now working from home as a safety measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19. And with this change now part of our everyday, the polls suggest there's a clear consensus that most employees would like to continue to Work From Home occasionally, or permanently, in the future. For some, this means it's time to stop clearing away the cereal bowls and toast crumbs so you can fire up your laptop, and instead create a dedicated home office. With Canadian retailers suffering financially because of the lockdown measures, creating your Work From Home space also allows you to support the Canadian economy while improving your productivity.
Have A Dedicated Desk
You don't need to have Drake's mansion's square footage to have productive work from home space. The Gander Desk by Style Garage is a minimalist's dream. It has just enough room to host all of your WFH essentials, without being cumbersome, and boasts hidden storage compartments to keep your supplies (or your phone) out of sight. It's also a great visual cue to your partner, roomate or children that when you're sitting at your desk it's time for work which can be a difficult boundary to define if you've been working from your kitchen counter or couch. Consider this like a moat, without the risk of water damage.
Image courtesy of Style Garage
Add A Winning Wall
Just add walls! The Perch Wall Storage system from Neat is the perfect solution for those who need everything at their fingertips. If you're anything like me you've been using your precious floorspace to accumulate last week's laundry, so employing an unused real estate surface for storage will have you excited about your walls, instead of climbing up them.
Image courtesy of Neat
I Love A Fancy Folder
Sometimes organizing isn't so much for you, as for the loved ones you share your space with. In which case the Penn File Cabinet from CB2 is the perfect organizational tool. Throw whatever files are typically cluttering your workspace behind the solid brass sheeting and clock out early. Of course, the real bonus here isn't just easy access to this year's taxes, its warming up your space with one of 2020's hottest design trends.
Image courtesy of CB2
Feline Friendly Furnishings
The Soma Shelf is an eco-friendly, steel-framed shelving unit that is (surprise!) feline friendly. Laser-cut cubbies serve as both storage and as a cat playground and come with an optional hidden litterbox. And since cats are now your colleagues, it only makes sense to elevate their space too. Although you might need to have a custom solution if your feline friends happen to be a Bobcat, Lynx or Cougar - all of whom are native to Canada. If you think you work hard for lunch, take a cheeky work break and check out this insane pursuit by a Canadian Lynx in its efforts to catch a rabbit dinner from CBC's The Nature Of Things.
Image courtesy of Cofo Design
Gushing For A Grow Light
If your laptop is currently relegated to a dark corner of the house, why not infuse your space with a little light (and oxygen). The Babylon Light by Toronto-based Object Interface brings the outdoors inside with multipurpose pendant. Perfect for those with limited space who love plants but hate clutter. Research shows the being in the presence of plants not only improves air quality but your ability to learn as well. Save the receipt and invoice your boss for this one!
Image courtesy of Object Interface
Curated Coffee-Table Book
If you've been stalking Instagram interiors for office inspo (short for inspiration!), you'll know that all the best WFH (work-from-home) setups feature a carefully curated collection of coffee-table books. Not only is it a simple way to add colour, but a great excuse to break mid-afternoon for a creative recharge. Toronto Makes features the stories of 50 of the city's most innovative entrepreneurs making it the perfect addition to your office library. It can also do double duty, propping up uneven legs if your WFH desk happened to have been neglected in storage for a hot minute.
Image courtesy of Make Joy.
With Ontario imminently approaching the "Phase 2" of re-opening, and with other Canadian provinces also lifting Covid-19 restrictions further, we are slowly begining to uncover what the "new normal" of work might look like. With the magnitude and severity of the health crisis, it's abundantly clear that innovation and co-operation will be essential in the next stage. Employers, employees and designers will have to work together to build a successful future. Which is perfectly Canadian!
Inspired to upgrade your other spaces? Check out these other Houseporn.ca design posts:
For more information on how Covid-19 is impacting home design you can cruise these articles:
Researched and written by Sarah Wright, freelance writer, design enthusiast, and work from home expert.