Are you sitting comfortably?

The events of last year have led to a huge number of people working from home and a recent survey by HubbleHQ has revealed 86% of UK employees want to continue working remotely for at least one day a week. The kitchen can be the ideal space to set up your home office and a redesign may be just the thing to make remote working more practical and comfortable. I spoke to Urban Myth’s in-house designers to find out what they thought were the key considerations for using your kitchen as an office space.

Work surface

It’s important to choose the right material for your work surface, making sure it’s durable enough to withstand the additional scratches and scrapes it might get from laptops or other work equipment. We would recommend a robust material such as Quartz stone or Corian.

For your kitchen to work as a home office, you’ll also need space to position your laptop or files without disturbing the functionality of the kitchen. A kitchen island or peninsular is the perfect option if you have the space, but an alternative could be a wall-mounted breakfast bar that can be stored away when not in use.

Storage

Our customers are often looking for more storage and they’re always amazed by the available options, which can almost double the amount of usable kitchen space. Remember, you need adequate storage for your kitchen equipment, as well as extra room for laptops and files, so that they don’t end up cluttering your surfaces. Kitchen islands offer multiple storage options. For instance, one side of your island could be dedicated to cooking, with the other reserved for office materials. You could also consider a pocket door, which would allow you to close off your workstation or kitchen completely.

Connectivity

When planning your home work space make sure you have power sockets within easy reach of where you actually plan to be working. Pop-up sockets on your counter are a great option for laptops, but also ideal when using small cooking appliances, to eliminate trailing wires across the room.

For charging your tech, a nice option is to have USB ports within sockets. Or choose a Corian worksurface, and have a wireless charging point integrated into the worktop itself!

Lighting

Natural light is an asset for any living area, particularly if you plan to work there too. When planning your kitchen, the lighting scheme is one of the most important considerations. And if you’re using the space to work in, you also need to factor in additional task lighting.

At Urban Myth, we often recommend a combination of overhead dimmable spotlights, with pendant lighting over your main work area. And don’t forget under cabinet lighting, which can be great for food preparation but can also function as mood lighting in an open plan environment.

Work/life balance
Once you have your space sorted, you need to ensure you look after yourself too. When working from home, it can be tempting to just grab something quick and easy. But making time to prepare a proper lunch is so important for our mental and physical wellbeing. With that in mind, I asked our guest blogger Danny McCubbin, to give his tips on preparing healthy lunches at home to boost productivity.

Danny says…

When your kitchen becomes your office, it can be a challenge to put your laptop away at lunchtime and switch off completely. As someone who works remotely, I’ve found that the only way to ensure a good break at lunchtime is to close my laptop and put it in another room - out of sight, out of mind! But when it comes to what to eat, it’s essential I have key basic ingredients in my store cupboards, including good quality olive oil and vinegar.
My old boss Jamie Oliver has a brilliant article on his website with great suggestions for a well-stocked store cupboard:

Store-cupboard essentials for families

Having the basics means I always have a solid foundation to prepare a meal, even when the fridge is looking bare. Recently, my friend Anthony Cotton, the founder of Slaw Food, spent a day cooking in the Urban Myth showroom. Anthony creates spectacular plant-based meals, and I am always impressed at how he manages to do this so easily with minimum fuss. On the day, Anthony prepared a lovely, simple salad with grilled asparagus. His recipe for the salad dressing is a classic:

Citrus Dressing Recipe

Zest & juice of half a lemon
Teaspoon of Dijon Mustard
2 teaspoons of Agave Syrup
75 mls of Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper


Shake and mix all together.

The dressing went so well with the grilled Asparagus and there are many other salad ingredients that this dressing would go well with. I am a big fan of presenting salads in varying ways to make it more interesting including chopping all the ingredients up and serving on the wooden platter. In this video on my YouTube channel, I show you how to do this:

Eggs are also a great option for a quick and easy lunch. I am so grateful to have had brilliant cooks and chefs in my life who have passed on their cooking skills to me. When it comes to poaching eggs, for many years I believed that you had to add vinegar to the boiling water to ensure that the eggs would be perfectly poached. I have since learnt though that this is not the case. In this video I show you how to poach and egg to serve with grilled asparagus.

Quick & Easy Grilled Asparagus | Poached Egg

Preparing a nutritious and delicious lunch at home needn’t take a lot of time and I hope that my hints and tips will help you. Thanks again to Anthony Cotton for cooking in our showroom.

We’re both looking forward to returning soon and preparing some delicious plant-based food. Stay tuned for information on more guest chefs who will be cooking in the showroom here at Urban Myth Kitchens.
 

Are you sitting comfortably?