How to reboot your home office (without breaking the bank)

How to reboot your home office (without breaking the bank)


Turn your humble work area into a space to be proud of with clever tips from The Telegraph's interiors editor, Nicky Rampley-Clarke

We've partnered with The Telegraph to create a series of articles designed to help you embrace connectivity and use tech for good.

If you work from home some of the time—and at least 28 per cent of us do, according to the Office of National Statistics—it’s time to embrace some smart ways to turn a simple work space into a stylish home office. After all, even the smallest changes can make the biggest difference when it comes to increased productivity and creativity, not to mention being somewhere you actually want to spend time in.

What’s more, you don’t need a dedicated WFH room, as some of these savvy ideas show. From zoning with colour to upgrading your tech—it’s time to ring the changes.

Design your work zone with style


Conducting Teams calls from a corner of the living room or scheduling your meetings from a spot in the spare room? Make your work area work even harder by zoning it with colour or furniture. A lick of paint on the walls can easily designate the space as your office while divider screens or shelving units can quickly divvy up the room, creating a ‘broken-plan’ living effect. Architectural features such as fireplaces or alcoves can be used instead of walls to separate one area from another. Clever lighting, too, can be employed to illuminate different areas in a single room: think an Anglepoise with directed light on your desk versus table lamps emitting a soft glow beside armchairs, for example.

Choose your colour palette wisely


Colour doesn’t just zone a space or change how a room looks, either, but it can transform how we think and feel. Karen Haller, colour psychologist and bestselling author of The Little Book of Colour, champions blue for concentration as it’s the colour of the sky (blue-sky thinking?) and we associate it with intellect; while Sophie Robinson, interior designer, celebrates yellow for creativity, because it draws on the energising effects of the sun. Interior stylist Sam Grigg says: “Green is super restful as it reduces eye strain because we can see more shades of it than any other colour. It doesn’t just infuse a space with calming vibes, but grounds it by connecting us to nature.” Think about how you want to feel, from motivated to relaxed, and pick a palate accordingly—whether it’s in the paint you apply to the walls, the furniture you choose, or in some statement accessories.


Colourful home office

Invest in quality furniture


Furnish your room with beautifully designed pieces that inspire a happy and healthy nine-to-five. Opt for clever desks with concealed storage, ergonomic chairs that promote good posture and optimal lighting. Consider your computer set-up, too—as a general rule of thumb, the top of the monitor should be slightly below eye-level—as well as the positioning of your desk so it benefits from natural daylight. Lastly, give your desk a little personality with trinkets and treasures that actually mean something to you, which will help to make your space feel like a home office, and not an actual office.

A clear desk reflects a clear mind. Wherever clutter accumulates, energy stagnates.

Priya Sher Feng Shui consultant

Sort it out


Whether The Home Edit or Mrs Hinch, the benefits of home organisation have long been touted by the biggest personalities and brands, while employment website Indeed says that it reduces stress by avoiding overwhelm. It might sound obvious, but ensure that everything from your desk to your shelves and your drawers are kept clean and clutter-free, with a specific storage solution for everything you need to get the job done (paperwork, stationery, electronics, etc). Priya Sher, Feng Shui consultant, says: “A clear desk reflects a clear mind. Wherever clutter accumulates, energy stagnates.” Even something as simple as a desk tidy can avoid unnecessary chaos. Not only will a good sort-out make your space look streamlined, which is aesthetically pleasing and Instagram-friendly, but it can help you feel more in control too—a philosophy also believed by professional organiser and clean queen Marie Kondo. 


A home worker on a video call

Opt for lightning-fast tech


It doesn’t matter how pleasant your home office is, if you can’t do the WFH basics your fury will be matched only by that of the people forced to sit in meetings with your intermittent signal. So ensure your tech is top-notch, starting with a strong and steady WiFi connection. EE, which provides all the tools and tech to fit work around your life, offers the fastest Broadband in the UK. You can connect up to 190 devices all at once, activate Work Mode to boost connection when on apps like Zoom and Teams, or utilise the Ping Optimiser that reduces lag when video calling, with a tap of the app. Consider EE your own personal tech support.

Go Green


According to the Royal Horticultural Society, having plants indoors can have many proven benefits for your psychological and physical health, from improving mood and reducing stress to increasing productivity and reducing blood pressure, as well as helping to remove carbon dioxide from internal air. Opt for species that are easy to grow, can withstand the environmental conditions typically found indoors and have attractive leaves, such as peace lilies, succulent and spider plants.


Indoor plants can benefit your psychological and physical health 

Trade up your tech


There’s no point in creating a home office that looks good if it doesn’t perform well. Luckily, EE offers everything you need to equip yours with cutting-edge kit that will keep you working at your best, from broadband and computing to mobile and accessories, plus gaming for when you’ve hit those all-important deadlines. After all, everyone needs a little downtime. 

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