How great design can help hybrid working

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A a hybrid working model has taken shape in many offices across the country, allowing staff to split their time between laundry-intercepted projects and gossip-punctuated tasks. By that, of course, I mean that part-time work in the office became a new (rather comfortable) reality for many who, as far as they knew, had been committed for many years to the mat relentless daily commuting before the pandemic took hold.

However, I find that there is a greater margin of organizational error with this structure. I love how it frees up time, saves us money, and limits the hours we spend in crowded train carriages, but there have been countless mornings on the way to the office where my stomach s blurted out, knowing full well that I missed something off the list (usually my lunch box). So this week, I’m looking for ways to streamline and make the hybrid approach my own, making the commute between home, office, gym, after-work drinks, and home absolutely seamless. No surprises here, but it all comes down to great design.

First, an organized hybrid worker knows that home office space is just as important to productivity and inspiration as the corporate office. It all starts with a great desk, and there are some fabulous options out there that take space saving seriously. String Furniture, the utili-flair-ian shelving and storage company from 1949, has updated its modular furniture collection with a complementary desk surface that attaches to its iconic shelving brackets. The String Work Desk allows String collectors and lovers of authentic Scandinavian design to utilize their pre-existing shelving system in a new and convenient way.

(String Furniture)

Habitat’s new swivel desk is also a work-from-home winner. Its swivel component means it can be tucked away after a day’s work, and it has such clever storage space that you don’t have to stare at all your professional gubbins in your downtime. Another super stylish option is the Nubo desk, designed by GamFratesi for Ligne Roset. A generous desk can be easily unpacked from a wall capsule, inspired by 1960s Pan-Am blue travel suitcases.

Moving between two (or even three, if you count the local coffee shop) workspaces requires careful planning that can be made easier with practical, well-designed products. For those who like to hit the gym before their first meeting of the day, microfiber towels are non-negotiable. Lululemon’s color range is the best, while Decathlon’s Nabaiji collection offers larger sizes at less than half the price.

Habitat Asha 3-Drawer Swivel Desk in Sage Green

(Habitat)

Another tip for gym goers before work is to invest in a good quality jewelry storage box. The bottom of my gym bag is littered with the backs of butterfly earrings, so I’ve made it a point to store all the jewelry I’ll be wearing to the office in a compact jewelry box the night before when I’ll pack my bags for the morning. Some of the best options available for style, functionality and innovation can be found in Luxtra London’s range of cruelty-free vegan leather jewelery boxes. Plant-based leathers are made from AppleSkin, an eco-friendly alternative made from apples (you guessed it!) and Piñatex, a textile made from waste pineapple leaf fibers. With Luxtra London’s personalization options, these boxes of sweets (from £65) can be printed with colorful initials, making them great gifts too.

Luxtra London Personalized Portable Jewelery Box

(Luxtra)

The work-from-home order during the pandemic has turned us all into budding chefs and I’ve certainly discovered a passion for preparing food and taking time to enjoy the cooking process. Especially at lunchtime when working from home, taking a few minutes to prepare a nutritious meal is worth every moment for the calming, mindful break it affords. Preparing food at home will always trump picking up a platter of withered sushi or a sad, soggy wrapper from the lunch rush franchise that’s set up shop closest to your office. Bringing leftovers to the office brings a semblance of home comfort that we appreciate, as long as you don’t forget to pack your lunch box. Black and Blum’s recycled PET lunch bags come in stylish colors like sage green and can be compacted or securely strapped to your bike’s handlebars (if desired). Maison Kitsuné’s stacked black bamboo and polypropylene box will be the envy of all your colleagues, while design purists may want to opt for a more assertive look for lunch at the office with the Food à Porter lunch box from Maison Kitsuné. Sakura Adachi for Alessi.

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