A complete guide to how you can create a beautiful home office with reclaimed teak...
Over 4 million of us currently work regularly from home and it’s estimated that, by next year, half the UK’s workforce could be working remotely. While there are obvious cost benefits for employers, more than half of all employees think they would be more productive if they worked from home. Those who already do so are reported to be happier and have higher levels of job satisfaction, even if they miss the camaraderie of the office. Familiar surroundings and feeling more comfortable while working are major factors and we think that having total control over your choice of office furniture could make a difference too!
If you work from home, some or all of the time, or even if you simply need a dedicated and properly organised office space for home management – and 21st century homes and families seem to need plenty of organisation and management – Raft can help. Our home office range, in stunning, reclaimed teak is sturdy, stylish and sustainable, enabling you to create the perfect environment in which to work or keep on top of all that household admin.
Planning a home office
It’s always a good idea to start with a plan… and your home office plan starts with an empty space. Whether it’s a room that you’re able to designate solely as an office, or just a small area under the stairs, make a note of how much space you’ve got – horizontally and vertically – and work from there.
Think about what you do and how you work. Do you need constant access to a range of technology, or just a laptop? Are you fortunate enough to have minimal paperwork (small desk)? Or do you need to spread the paperwork around (large desk)? What sort of storage do you need and how much? Do you have to keep large supplies of stationery? Is a filing cabinet an essential? Do you have stacks of print magazines and books, for example, which you have to refer to frequently? You’ll need a bookcase or storage unit of some kind. However much we love digital technology, there are times when only print will do.
And, finally, will you have visiting clients, customers or suppliers? Don’t forget a comfortable chair or two and an occasional table.
The perfect home desk
The nature of your work, the way you work, and your workspace will determine what sort of desk to choose.
If space is tight or you don’t need acres of desktop space, just room for a flat screen or laptop, the Raft office desk is a great choice. It’s compact (120 x 60x 78 cms), has two drawers for basic office essentials and stationery, and comes in dark or natural teak.
If you like a minimalist or streamlined look, we think you’ll approve of the clean, uncluttered lines of the natural teak Hudson office desk. And its perfect partner, the Hudson desk cabinet (see below), will slide under the desk, if you need to make the best use of space.
Raft’s Lifestyle double desk offers a modern twist on the traditional pedestal desk. It’s the largest desk in our home office range, available in dark and natural teak, and combines maximum desktop space with flexible storage. There are spacious cupboards and drawers on either side and a slimline middle drawer; store a computer tower in one of the cupboards and your laptop in the middle drawer.
The perfect home office storage
The concept of the paperless office has been around for almost half a century – but we’re not quite there yet. And, inevitably, some types of work and some professions, businesses and organisations – and even some homes – generate more paperwork than others and probably far more than we would like or have time to deal with.
If you need quick and easy access to stationery and basic office equipment, the Hudson three-drawer desk cabinet definitely fits the bill. It sits neatly under the Hudson desk but its natural teak finish and uncluttered lines mean that it works well, alongside a table or desk, in any home office setting.
If you need access to books, magazines, rigid files or printed reports, or want to display photographs or certificates, for example, vertical bookcases and storage units make the best use of space. Raft’s vertical storage range comes in three main styles: Lifestyle, Classic and Hidden.
Our Lifestyle bookcase has simple lines and comes in dark or natural teak and in two versions: with or without drawers. Lots of large books or files? Then opt for the Lifestyle version without drawers, which gives you five deep shelves. The alternative version provides five slightly shallower shelves and two low-level drawers, with inset handles that match those of our office desk.
The Classic bookcase also has five shelves and two drawers but features distinctive curved edging at the top of the unit and traditional cup handles on the drawers. It’s available in a natural or dark teak finish.
When it comes to flexible storage, Raft’s Hidden bookcase has some rather cleverly concealed extras. As well as generous shelving, it has pull-out drawers and hidden compartments at the side – perfect for stashing chargers and remote controls, not to mention those essential sundries – the office coffee and biscuits. (Or whatever you need to keep you going through the working day or to help you unwind at the end of it.) What’s more, the Hidden bookcase comes in three widths, small (83 cms), medium (100 cms) and large (135 cms) and, at 210 cms, all three are the tallest of our bookcases and are available in natural and dark teak finishes.
Welcoming visitors to your home office
If this is a routine part of your work, it pays to make the right impression and to ensure that clients, customers or suppliers feel welcome and comfortable. Take a look at Raft’s armchair and sofa ranges to see what would work best for you and your home office. And don’t forget that office stalwart, the coffee table - very useful for informal meetings.
The perfect home office – finishing touches
If you are going to spend much of your working day at your desk, our advice is to buy the best ergonomically designed office chair that you can. Your back, neck and shoulders will be eternally grateful.
And still on the subject of a healthy work environment, do add a suitable plant or two. Apart from being good to look at, plants are good for you, as they help to remove air pollutants, created by humans and office equipment. House plants such as rubber trees, palms and peace lilies are all good choices and need little maintenance. There’s no more cost-effective way to bring the outdoors indoors and to make your office just that little bit greener – and healthier.
If your home office space is tight, open it up and bring in extra light with a strategically placed mirror. Raft has a wide range of styles and sizes, including brass and teak frames.
And, finally, why not add a stylish wool rug for the perfect finishing touch? Raft’s range includes vintage and cool modern styles.
Raft is one of the world's largest retailers of 100% recycled teak, which we turn into stunning and enduring furniture for the home and workplace. Browse the full range of Raft home office furniture here.