For most of 2020, we find ourselves perpetually inhabiting the same space where we used to spend less than half our waking hours in. Temporary home offices end up as Procrustean attempts that are counterproductive. Yet, the confines of social distancing and lockdowns remain a necessity. In the extended time spent in the same domestic terrain—of rest, mundanity, love and squalor—lies an opportunity to reconfigure our living space as work intrudes life and vice versa.
Tactical solutions include setting a scene for your video conferences. Like Seth Meyers whose book selection brought auxiliary comic relief for his show which moved to his attic, a curated selection of props such as books, posters or figurines may uplift your meeting atmosphere. It allows a new element of self-expression, something many of our homes may have lost when we had spent more time out of than in it. The key is balancing individualistic character and professionalism in a non-standardised workspace.
At the same time, the need to accommodate office articles motivates the typically procrastinated decluttering exercise. As a long-term strategy, it might be worthwhile to carve distinct corners for work and play to reconcile our new lifestyles. Under space constraints, the same corner for work can be for rest when you choose to occupy it differently—adding a rug and cushions so that the floor becomes comfortable for sitting tweaks the atmosphere into a laid-back setting for recess. Creating more space by moving furniture around can also allow for more action like exercise.
They say minimalism is back—well, more precisely, 2020 is making more out of less.