In the past, our home was our castle. Then, at some point, we had to go out into the hostile world, to the factory or the office, and our work was synchronized and optimized. From time clocks to digital time recording, we were under suspicious observation at the workplace: Do we really accomplish anything or do we just stand around in the coffee kitchen?
And suddenly everything changes, Corona demands contact reduction – and we are responsible ourselves. Staying at home when you can is very helpful for society as a whole – but it’s also a challenge for the very small society at home. More or less, as we know from many Zoom conferences in which children unexpectedly turn up who also want to take part in the customer meeting (or simply want a Nutella sandwich). We can’t and don’t want to change that, but perhaps this unusual, absurd and stressful time is also an opportunity to think about our own home. Two-thirds of Germans would like to work more often in a home office in the future. Of course, we need the technical prerequisites for this – but we also need an environment in which we are happy to do so. Sure, you can answer e-mails on the kitchen stool (or in bed), but for most activities that require concentration, that’s not ideal.
Better: an area where you can work properly, but that at the same time enriches your home. This is not as difficult as it looks at the first glance: We ourselves, for example, hosted wonderful dinners with friends at a Florence Knoll executive desk for years. Well, that’s also not possible at the moment, but the principle works ;-). For example, with the Partnerdesk by Jørgen Kastholm, which is officially a double office desk, but with its chrome-plated steel legs and large, warmly glowing wenge veneer top also cuts a fine figure in the living room. A little more courage may be needed for a piece of true design history: an Olivetti ‚Spazio Desk‘ set with desk and side table, designed by BBPR in 1963. Also from BBPR: two beautiful storage shelves from the ‚Arco‘ series from 1954, one of the first modular office furniture systems ever. And because you still have to keep a lot of paper (from tax documents to rental contracts), you should also have enough space for files – e.g. in the System 5600 shelf by André Cordemeijer from 1962 (we haven’t come much further with digitalization yet).
If you really work „9 to 5“ sitting at your desk, we of course recommend an up-to-date, modern office chair according to the latest ergonomic findings. But for the occasional meeting at home, these classics are a good choice (instead of kitchen stools): An original pair of EA117 aluminum chairs in ‚mossgreen‘, designed by Ray & Charles Eames in 1958 and professionally restored. Or would you prefer something more unseen? Here is a ‚Swag Leg Chair‘ by George Nelson from the same year – and in addition the lounge version MAA, for the one guest from another household.
What else do you need to work in a home office? (No, red wine is not the right answer…). Light, of course. Preferably with a statement piece (or two) right away: midgard lights model 121 with table mount from the Twenties. Because on the desk you should be able to direct the light where it is needed. You just can’t do that with the chandelier in the salon. So make yourself comfortable in your home office. Not too much, but yes…