Smart Working: designing a performing domestic workspace

Interview with the architect Luigi Rinaldi, Responsible of the Project Dpt of Las.

An effective definition of smart working was recently given by the Politecnico di Milano (Technical University of Milan) dedicated Observatory, which described it as "a new managerial philosophy founded on giving people back the flexibility and autonomy in the choice of spaces, times and tools to be used in the face of greater responsibility for results ”.
In the reality of these weeks of home quarantine due to the Coronavirus emergency, however, smart working has only been synonymous with work from home, often performed in conditions of noise and stress, in unsuitable rooms and with workstations remedied and not suitable for a high performance.
But how can you try to optimize your work when it needs to be done at home?
We asked the architect Luigi Rinaldi, head of the Las Projects Division.
Here is what he replied.

What features does a home workplace need to be high-performing?

Working in the home office requires a lot of discipline and motivation. In return, you have all the freedom to organize a work environment that has the ideal conditions: it is ergonomic and designed according to your needs and it favours a daily routine planned according to your biological rhythm.
The fundamental aspects to consider in "designing" your work environment are the following:
Mental well-being: quality and characteristics of the environment.
Physical well-being: quality of the seat and characteristics of the desk or work surface.
Lighting: a balanced mix of natural and direct light and indirect light is ideal; more light is equivalent to being alert and effective. Daylight, which can also be reproduced with special lamps, is the most natural and therefore the best choice, because the colour of the light also influences human well-being.
Right temperature: never as in this case are we to decide the ideal temperature for working. In general, the perfect temperature for working sitting in front of the PC is slightly above 20 degrees.

Not everyone has the opportunity to live in a house with large sizes and a room used as a study: in this case which space to allocate to the workplace?

There is no precise rule, however it is necessary that the environment intended for work allows us to achieve the following characteristics:Concentration: silent environments, positioned far from noisy places and sources of distraction.Communication: spaces able to ensure discreet acoustic insulation.Contemplation: silent environments which allow individual creative thinking activities but which also allow the recovery of psychophysical energies.

It can therefore be a plus to work on a work surface that is easily relocated to the environment that is currently most suitable for concentration.

What should the ideal chair be to allow the user to work healthy?

The most important piece of furniture in the home office is the office chair. Only an individually adjustable and ergonomic desk chair supports the spine optimally and also allows for faster position changes. Even better if the armrests can also be adjusted.

Regarding the desk instead, must it have specific dimensions?

The size of the workstation can be safely reduced compared to the standards provided in the office, as it is only necessary to have space for the monitor or for a laptop. It may also be interesting to have an adjustable workstation for those who want to change positions while working.

How to deal with the problem of acoustics with the noises that often occur at home (household appliances, children, etc.)?

Unfortunately, at home, especially in this period, the noise and distraction factors are sometimes difficult to manage. Sound-absorbing panels positioned laterally to the workstation can be useful, in order to create an ideally protected area.

Precious advice from the architect Rinaldi, especially in this period that sees an unstoppable spread of the Home Office in the working reality of many professionals. Precisely because of this, Las is working on the creation of dedicated workstations that will soon be available for its customers.