Home office

With the coronavirus lockdown in Toronto, our homes must now change to a bunch of new round-the-clock needs, with many homes now turning into home offices for two or three people. People might be adding more space to their existing house instead of looking to move in the current  Toronto real estate market.

Many stores can still deliver electronics and electrical goods, furniture, stationery and lighting if you order online, shops like Staples in Canada have various to help you redo your home. 

There’s been a run on small inexpensive desks — “not as bad as toilet rolls, but definitely an upsurge,” says Rob Jones, from the Shop Company in Toronto, who still has good stock levels. 

Equally compact is its oak Zed standing desk — good for a multi-tasking parent doing quick screen checks ( buy a desk and get more office kit half-price).

One online shop has seen desk sales, are up 70 per cent for some models in the past two weeks. The Lisabo from Ikea is a great option.

For more serious desks, featured designers include Matthew Hilton, Sarah Kay, PearsonLloyd and Terence Woodgate with prices from $200.

Some home owners are looking for more office looks and looking to buy basic desks from about $100 with corner models at $150. Three-drawer storage units that you can add cost under $100.

Meticulous measuring up is good idea before you buy.  By using masking tape to outline a proposed desk’s footprint on the floor  so you can see if the deak will work in your home office environment.

home office desk

Another problem is cables, which typically are spaghetti junction, so good desks have “cable management” while printers and keyboards can now be wireless.

Find neat ways to organise your cables at Office Reality. A wifi booster/extender can fix poor wifi which is common depending on your house design and where your router is located.

Having an affordable wall storage system, means your home is not going to look like the shelfs of your local library but you should have a good set-up. If you have a big shelf you could even have a ladder to reach your wall storage.

Some well thought out office accessories can really help your home office work correctly.

Find cordless rechargeable lights and note you’ll also need a chair which properly supports your body. 

Baskets and boxes can keep things under control. 

This is your space so you could be creative and decorate with wrapping paper or wallpaper, or adding paint and a postcard.

IKEA is excellent for office essentials  The show rooms can not be visited but if you search online for Ikea hacks websites are packed with creative ideas to negate a “soulless cubicle”.

Ikea hacks lead to some creative DIY solutions.

Ideas for desks include a flush door placed on two trestles, glass on top of it cut to size, perhaps; or an old kitchen table with useful drawers; or a foldaway drop-leaf table.

Storage boxes could be vintage or wicker crates, old mini trunks or big woven shopping baskets.

Add some artwork. Museum posters are not expensive and plants add a feel-good factor. You can take covers from old magazines and frame them.

“Designing your new work schedule life is as important as designing your space,” says Heidi Reid.

“Get up, have breakfast, shower and change into something more than pajamas. Have a routine, with family time factored in. I really would hate now to be tied to an ‘office’, though a getaway space is useful.’’

Before you go stir-crazy, “get up and stretch regularly and exercise, go the park, go for a run”. You can practice social distance in Toronto by walking around streets and keeping some distance from others.

Don’t forget that video conferencing puts your home on show. Some companies foresaw events weeks ago, and put IT systems for staff, with home access via Zoom and Skype. 

Video calls to clients will happen and the need for an uncluttered spot — no views of unmade beds or piles of dirty dishes