A majority of people have gone from daily commutes to simply going to another room in their home for work, thanks to Covid-19. While remote work has been on the upswing even before the pandemic, it’s now more common than not to have your living space and your workspace co-exist.
Whether you like working from home or are just getting used to it, we have some tips and tricks to spruce up your space for optimal productivity.
No matter how small or large your workspace may be, the more you pack into it, the messier it can become. Clutter in any amount is a distracting, disruptive look for an office, not to mention it can affect your mental health. It’s been shown cluttered spaces can make you feel uneasy and can contribute to anxiety.
2: Balance Comfort
When it comes to working, you have to be alert, focused, attentive—but you also have to feel comfortable, creative, and inspired. That’s where balance comes into play. Make sure your home office is both functional, professionally-centered, but also a joy to be in and a place that makes you want to work.
Balance your desk area with a love seat or a comfy corner chair for a change of scenery when you feel the need. Look into ergonomics and set up your space to follow guidelines that are created for optimal comfort, focus, and attention. Give yourself ample room for your computer, monitor, mouse, keyboard, lamp, etc. to be placed without making you feel uncomfortable. There are many ways to incorporate all you need for a full balance that will make you feel at ease—but not enough to take a nap.
For smaller spaces where it seems impossible to fit all your work gear, try contracting professionals to craft a built-in desk, built-in shelves, or a even a murphy desk for the work space you need when you need it, and not when you don’t.
If you were used to bright, fluorescent lights that made your head hurt within the first five minutes of work, you’re in luck—working remotely allows you to choose your lighting. From warm tones and colorful light bulbs, to floor and desk lamps that you can control from your phone, your home work space can feel like a sunset or midday in July.
However you prefer to work, the lighting you choose can help enforce that. If you feel happy being around modern styles and clean lines, find overhead light fixtures and simple desk lamps. If you like to work at night, find warm toned lamps that mimic early morning light. Your imagination is your limit, so do what feels best for you and your ideal work environment.
4: Don’t Be Afraid of Color
If you are a fan of beige and greyscale hues, that’s wonderful! Everyone has their own style and color palettes they love. However, when it comes to workspaces, it’s been shown that beige and dimmer colors contribute to feelings of sadness and depression—not ideal for a happy work life.
To be your most productive, you don’t want to spend all day feeling down in the dumps, unable to focus, or be your best self. Working from home gives you the ability to handpick everything about your office—that means color. Find the hues that work for you—from blues, greens, even dark colors, like black and charcoal—and create a vibe that you’ll enjoy daily. Choose something that inspires you, makes you feel calm and excited.
Look into complimentary colors, find a scheme that is bright, but not loud, calming, but not boring, and never be afraid to be playful. If you need help finding the colors that work well together or a design for your office, designers and contractors are there to help.
5: Let the Light In
If possible, choose a room in your home that fills with natural light. It will help you feel more open, less claustrophobic, and light helps instill happiness—especially when winter comes and going outside is not an option. At least you can see the great outdoors even if you can’t enjoy them.
Natural light also improves sleep, helps ward off seasonal depression, and helps you get vitamin D. While it’s ideal to surround yourself with the sun’s glow, we know not every home was built with ample windows. If it’s within your budget and timeline, adding a window to the room you choose as your workspace is a great way to help you perform your best.
6: Don’t Multitask
In general, it’s not the best practice, but we mean it more in terms of how you use your workspace. If you have a room that you’ve decided will be your office, don’t also try to make it your game room, TV room, or eating area. Mixing uses for a space intended for great focus and detail is a surefire way to be distracted most of the time.
Getting organized may seem daunting, but it will do wonders once you’re done. And because working from home has become such a commonplace practice, there are many brands you can choose from to get stylish organization tools for your line of work. From wall calendars that look more like art, rose gold or matte black accessories, like staplers, tape dispensers, mail trays, or scissors, folders and filing cabinets—you name it.
The key is to choose organizational tools that fit how you work. If you know you throw papers around your desk, find the right folders, binders, or boxes (they come in beautiful colors, textures, and a variety of materials). If you are very tidy, you can create a specific place for everything you use throughout your workday. Don’t create a space you won’t use, build one that’s organized for you.
8: Be Yourself
That brings us to tip number eight: just be yourself. It’s easy to fall in love with styles and designs we see in magazines or modern offices, but sometimes those don’t work out for us in our homes. Do what makes you feel comfortable and what matches your home. The best thing for productivity is feeling like you can work your magic in a space that’s comfortable, clean, and creative. That doesn’t mean it has to be a piece of contemporary art, it just means it has to be right for you.