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Real LeadWorking from home is emerging as a popular trend in Pakistan. Consequently, an increasing number of people are opting for home offices.

If you are looking to set up a home office, factor in the following to ensure aesthetics and efficiency:

Before establishing a home office, you will require legal permission from local authorities (e.g. DHA or LDA), because commercial activity within residential areas is often prohibited.

An open floor plan conserves space, which is particularly important if you are setting up an office in an apartment with limited space. This entails merging the office within the existing environment instead of using a separate room. To minimise interruptions and loud noises during working hours, cordon off the area with a temporary partition. These are usually made of wood (Rs 5,000-8,000 per metre square) which offer greater durability, or fibreglass screens (Rs 4,000-7,000) that are lightweight compared to wood.

Ensure that you have an efficient yet comfortable working space. Do not limit your furniture options to office chairs and tables; opt for an ergonomically smart couch, floor to ceiling storage shelves and a sturdy coffee table, allowing you sufficient space to spread out your work materials and devices. If cost is an issue, opt for unused furniture in your home and revamp it for office use.

Make design allowances to allow natural light to filter into the office space. In case this is not possible, install glass blocks within walls (Rs 200-250 per glass block) to light up the space.

Recommended colour palettes for home offices include blue, green, purple and yellow, as interior designers believe they exude professionalism and boost productivity.

You will need extra electricity sockets and, in case of a large setup, an additional electricity line to power office appliances. Consider investing in a backup generator exclusively for the office space.

– Farah Rizwan
The writer is an architect based in Germany.  

First published in the Real Estate Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on March 15, 2015.