If you work from home, designing the right office setup is vital. Check out these helpful tips for designing a home working area you will love.
For those who have the discipline, working at home can be a dream.
But are you making the most of your home working area?
While you want to be productive and get work done, your workspace doesn’t need to look like a cubicle or, even worse, a prison cell.
There are plenty of ways to warm up your home office without turning it into another living room.
Make Your Working Area Comfortable, But Professional
There will be plenty of things trying to get your attention while you’re working from home. So consider the following when approaching your home office design:
1. Pick the Right Color
There is a psychology to color. Colors evoke both a physical and emotional response that can affect our moods and brain function.
It’s important you choose a color that will positively impact your productivity. For instance, blue is said to have this effect. But if your work is highly stressful, you may fare better with the calming effects of purple.
Start by repainting just one wall, or adding your chosen color to a piece of furniture. You could even add artwork to the walls with the color you’re considering- just to get a feel for it.
2. Stay Ergonomic
When sitting in your chair at your desk, are you constantly adjusting, stretching and fidgeting? This makes it difficult to focus.
That’s why it’s important to look into ergonomic furniture that will be the correct fit for your body.
For example, when sizing out the ideal chair, you want your eyes 24-36 inches from the screen and the top edge of the monitor should be at or below eye-level.
Also, your feet should either be on a footrest, or placed on the floor.
Most experts in ergonomics would recommend a chair that allows for you to be slightly reclined so as to reduce pressure on your spine and minimize lower back pain.
3. Get Creative with Storage
Digging through piles of papers in an attempt to find what you need is a major suck on your time. So you’ll need to figure out how you want to store important documents.
Forget file cabinets. Magazine racks or library style display shelves you can mount on the wall are a good solution.
Or, you could go with bookcases. Just be sure they’re large enough so that you don’t end up overstuffing them.
And finally, if you’re in a spare bedroom, take advantage of the closet. You can fit it with a shelving system to keep all the clutter out of your actual workspace.
4. Make Use of Light
You’re not in a cubicle anymore! You now have to freedom to put your desk where you please, so why not enjoy some natural light?
Move your desk closer to the windows. But place it parallel to rather than facing the windows. That way, you’ll get the benefits of natural light, but you’ll also have an excuse to turn your head and look outside.
Also, think about what light you want for your home working area when you can’t rely on natural light. Swap out those stress-inducing overhead fluorescents for several table lamps that will give your space a warmer glow.
Remember all those times your parents told you to clean your room? They may have been on to something.
People who are highly creative may thrive in a cluttered space. But when your job demands focus and productivity, clutter can be a hindrance. And you may find yourself cleaning and straightening when you should be working.
So hire a professional cleaning service to regularly clean your home. Or at least schedule a specific day and time each week for you to clean your home.
And spend at least 10 minutes at the beginning of every day to be sure that your workspace is straightened-up and organized.
6. Add Scents
Just like there is psychology behind color, the same can be said for our sense of smell.
Different smells can have a profound effect on your mood, mindset, and productivity.
- Citrus wakes you up and lifts your spirits
- Pine increases alertness
- Peppermint elevates your mood
- Cinnamon improves focus
- Lavender relaxes you when the day is stressful
To achieve these scents, you can use candles, essential oils or incense. Or simmer them in the kitchen to fill your home with a warm scent.
7. Carve out Some Comfort
Up to this point, we’ve talked about the importance of focus and productivity.
But having a space where you can relax is important too. And it’s one of the most overlooked parts of a home office design.
So if you have the space, add a nice comfy chair. Place a lamp and a table next to it so you can cozy up to a cup of coffee and a good book when you need a break.
You might even want to add a pillow and a colorful throw. After all, a power nap could be just what you need to get re-energized. And you won’t get in trouble for it!
8. Bring in Some Plant Life
Adding some plants to your home work area is like bringing the outdoors into your space. Plus, they’ll boost up the oxygen level in your space and give you a little lift.
Plus, since most houseplants can go a good week without watering, you won’t be required to go into your office on weekends. Just be sure you water them some time during the week.
9. Overstock Your Supplies
As we mentioned earlier, being at home is itself a distraction. And this is especially true if there are other people around during work hours.
So keep all of your office supplies such as stamps, pens, a scissors and a stapler right there with you. Consider a small coffee maker or even a little refrigerator so that you can stock up on coffee and healthy snacks.
But be sure to still give yourself proper breaks. Schedule a time to leave your office and go to the kitchen, or visit your partner in the other room.
Then head back when you decide it’s time to “clock in” again. I
10. Change up Your Space
Although the above are great ideas for creating the ideal workspace, you might find an occasional change of scenery really helpful.
Go to work in a cafe or at a park or the library. Or set up shop on your front porch or in your backyard.
And if leaving is not an option, try turning your desk around, rotate the pictures on your wall, or put different colored light bulbs in your lamps!
Variety can truly be the spice of life.
Get to Work!
Start by thinking about what colors, scents and kinds of furniture you want for your home working area. Then continue following the above steps and putting it all together until you feel right at home… at work.
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