Sales of home office furniture have spiked in recent weeks, as UAE residents adapt to a new regime of homeschooling and working remotely.
“A significant increase in demand for home office furniture has been noticed in the last two weeks, where most clients who are furnishing their houses today will not leave the showroom before they ensure the desk and the office furniture [they want] is available [immediately],” says Gayatri Dongre, senior general manager of Natuzzi UAE.
Furniture brands across the country are reporting increased demand for their home office offerings, with ergonomically designed chairs, multi-purpose bookshelves and shelving units proving particularly popular.
"People are buying small mobile desks and chairs with storage," adds Hridesh Methwani, head of marketing at Pan Emirates. "Also, there has been an increase in children's study station items, such as computer desks and chairs. Our advice is to look for functionality, space-savvy attributes and quality for the value you are paying," he says.
"Having a home office can keep you productive and professional, and separate your work life from your home life," says Dongre. But before you go out and invest in a whole new home office suite, be realistic about how much space you can afford to dedicate to your new working conditions.
Also, set a budget and stick to it. While we will all be working and learning from home for the forseeable future, we will eventually be heading back to our offices and classrooms. You don’t want to be left with a whole room’s worth of office furniture gathering dust.
There are unlimited options out there, but your home office essentials should include a comfortable, ergonomically designed chair (it is worth spending money here, as this will ensure you don’t put undue stress on your back as you go through your working day); a bright table lamp; and some kind of storage system that will allow you to keep things looking orderly.
Adrian Shaw, general manager of Kare and Chattels & More, recommends pieces that will adapt to various spaces in your home. "Office furniture for the home should include pieces that are multi-functional and can be used to recreate a working environment anywhere in the house.
"The average worker at home is still going to be spending around eight hours a day sitting at a desk or table as they work, so investing in a comfortable office chair or some desktop accessories such as a bright table lamp, will help to create an office space that encourages productivity and increases focus.”
Dongre also recommends making sure your home office furniture blends into the design of the rest of your home. A big hulking desk that overtakes your space will quickly become an eyesore.
“When selecting office furniture for your home, one must consider a balance between comfort and productivity,” adds Dania Al Masri, senior interior designer at Interiors, which is holding a sale until April 6. “Determine what stimulates you and what makes you productive.”
Finally, choose a work spot that offers as much natural light as possible. “It’ll make your space feel brighter and more optimistic,” says Al Masri.