Trendspotting: The new home office is all about you

In the digital age, working from home means styling a comfortable, inspiring personal space rather than recreating the traditional office look.
A home workspace should reflect your personal style and be an inspiring place where you enjoy spending time. Courtesy of Nitorphoto
A home workspace should reflect your personal style and be an inspiring place where you enjoy spending time. Courtesy of Nitorphoto

Advances in communication technology are enabling many people in the UAE to work or run businesses from their homes full time. Perhaps when the next census takes place we will have a more accurate picture of how popular this trend has become. Until then, we know that the economy has been a catalyst for downsizing and for rethinking the idea that you must have big, impressive offices to be taken seriously in business.

That certainly feels like "old thinking" now as more companies actively encourage home working and previously employed people work freelance. Business interactions no longer have to be physical, so reports and designs can simply be emailed, uploaded or downloaded, while meetings and discussions can take place remotely. Plus, running an online business has become a viable option for people with even the most basic knowledge of computers, making previously unfulfilled entrepreneurial dreams a reality.

To successfully work from home, however, it is essential to take control of your work environment from the beginning. The challenges of working from home in the open-plan apartments and villas of the UAE can make this particularly difficult and potentially stressful. Without a separate room to work in, the comings and goings of the household can be very distracting. Even the lure of the television or refrigerator can affect productivity. Creating a dedicated workspace helps you to concentrate, contain your work and separate it from your private life.

The initial interior design trend for home offices focused on recreating a traditional office workspace in your home. This has dramatically shifted. As the Steelcase "Home Alone | Home Office White Paper" puts it, "A home office is your own work kingdom. In other words, you are responsible for creating a place where you can do your best work. So make it efficient and effective - for you. Whatever makes your work easier, faster, better."

Workspace styling is now much more relaxed, so don't feel under pressure to make it anything other than a reflection of your own taste, practical for your work style and in keeping with the rest of your home's decor. The current trend is for creating an inspiring and stimulating area where you enjoy spending time and that visually connects you with your work. So why not commit to reworking your boring home office area this month?

* Victoria Redshaw is the managing director of Scarlet Opus, and


For more information visit the Steelcase showroom in Dubai,

Published: December 1, 2011 04:00 AM


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