People like to say that technology is closing down many doors and businesses, but they fail to see all the new opportunities the same technology has created. With the invention of the internet, you don’t have to strive to get an office job to make a decent living anymore. New, digital careers are becoming more and more popular. That’s not without a reason. The internet allows you to combine your work and personal life like never before. By working from home, you get to keep an eye on the household, get chores done, and still watch your kids grow up while putting a roof over their head.
On the other hand, as nice as all of these things sound, they can also be rather distracting when you’re trying to get some work done. Working at home does have its benefits, but you need to make sure you have a healthy working environment in order to reap them. Your home office needs to exist.
Just like any other office, it should be decorated and designed in a manner that promotes relaxation and productivity. Your goal is to get work done, and you can’t do that without the boost your office gives you. Therefore, before you start or continue with your at-home job, it’s time to rethink where you do it.
1. Scout the scene
When designing a home office, you’ll need to choose where you’re going to place it carefully. Ideally, you would have an entire room to yourself that you can play with however you want. Alas, some houses and apartments simply aren’t big enough, so you’ll have to make do. For these people, integrating your home office as a part of another room is the only option.
The tricky part of finding the perfect spot is having to find the right balance between having an eye over everything and having some privacy. Of course, this also depends on whether you have something to look over or not. For example, those with children will benefit more from placing their home office in the living room. You should find a corner that lets you see the rest of the room but isn’t in the busy part of it. This way, your young ones will be able to play and goof around in front of you, while you won’t have to get up to check if they’re okay. Multi-tasking is every parent’s best friend, and positioning your office like this allows you to get on with work while simultaneously taking care of your kids.
Those who prefer a little more peace and quiet should set their office in the bedroom. There isn’t a lot of traffic in this room during the day, so you’ll be able to concentrate on your work without feeling like you’re missing out on something important in the house.
Whatever you decide, the most important thing to do is to set your office away from the room it’s in. Create a clear barrier between the office and the rest of the room to indicate to others that this is your private working space. It can be as simple as choosing a brightly coloured rug or as solid as putting a baby fence between you and the kids. Others need to understand that these are your working hours regardless of if you’re at home or not. The barrier will help them stay out of your way and help you finish work much more quickly.
2. Lots of natural light
The thing is, no one likes being stuck in an office all day. Even though it’s necessary for the job, it doesn’t have to be unpleasant. Primarily, this means that you won’t enjoy sitting under artificial lights all day. It’s a well-known fact that artificial light causes headaches and can even be the root of some eye problems.
New health trends say that it’s high time this is changed. Instead of being stuck underneath the alerting yellow light of the traditional bulb, many modern offices now prefer natural sunlight. Not only is natural sunlight good for the skin and a great source of vitamin D, but it also makes people feel more energized. As well as that, it doesn’t give them headaches and is quite pleasant on the eyes.
If you’re planning on doing a complete renovation in your office, it might be nice to knock out the old smaller windows and replace them with bigger, better ones. This way, you will be able to enjoy the sunlight almost all day long. In fact, this is the primary reason that some offices are choosing to move their headquarters into spaces surrounded by glass windows.
Another benefit of letting the sunshine in is the way this increases motivation. You won’t feel like you’re in a cage all day, or that you’re missing out on a perfectly sunny day outside. With this positive thought, it will be much easier to focus and get on with work.
3. Play with wall art
The sights we see can greatly influence how we work. In this spirit, you should make sure that you have decent wall art decorating your home office. Anything from funny pictures to framed motivational quotes can have a positive effect on your productivity plus give your design a cute edge.
Don’t be afraid to make your wall art bold and creative, either. It’s best if you’re looking at something calm and motivational, while bolder pieces are behind or next to you. This way, you’ll always have a reminder of why you should keep going without being distracted by the more colourful pieces. Yet, when you’re tired and your eyes are losing focus, you’ll have something brilliant to turn to, rest for a few minutes, and wake up your brain.
As well as finding interesting wall art online, you can also create some yourself. Perhaps it’ll be even more motivating if you’re the one who put in the time and effort to create the photos or posters. If you want to add a personal touch, you can always hang up framed photos of your family. This will give you another reason to push forward when you feel strained as you’ll remember who you’re doing it for.
4. Cancel the outside world
The outside world might be exciting but it’s also rather distracting when you’re trying to work. This means that you’ll have to figure out a way to fence off your little world from it. Primarily, this deals with sounds and sights coming from the outside.
As far as the sights are concerned, you can always block them out with a pair of high-quality blinds. Curtains are an even better option because they allow you to play with the colour, style and patterns. Another reason why curtains work is that a heavy pair can even block out some of the noise coming from the outside.
You should also take into account that you need to replace old windows if you want to reduce noise pollution. Take a look at your building insulation too, as sometimes there are easy measures you can take to fix the problem. Additionally, you can also play some smooth music in the background to help block out the world.
All of this should be enough to give you some peace and quiet. There won’t be any distracting things to see and the noises of the street and city will soon fade away, allowing you to truly focus on your work.
5. Replenish your energy
Whether you’re in an office or at home, working all day is exhausting. Your mental energy is bound to be waning after a few hours of dedicated work. Motivation drops steadily throughout the day until you’re finally dead at some point and there’s no going back. Even if you take a break at this point, it won’t be enough to get you back on the fast and steady track of productivity.
Where your home office design lacks in this respect is that it doesn’t give you the opportunity to replenish your energy. Not only should you take a few breaks during the day, but you should do it wisely. If you’ve got the whole room to yourself, a small portion of it should be your “kitchen” or break area.
Here, you’ll have everything you need neatly stored to help you retain your focus and energy. This area can be as simple as putting down an elegant table or shelf space. The first item you’ll need is a sound coffee machine for home use. These machines are fast, efficient, deliver delicious coffee, and make you feel just a little bit more professional. Some caffeine is bound to kick-start your productivity again.
If you’ve opted for placing shelves in your home office, you can find beautiful wicker baskets and use them as storage. Place them between the shelves to make drawers. They’re better than actual drawers because they’re lighter, more convenient, and you can add or remove as many as you like. The whole point of wicker baskets in your break area is to use them as storage for snacks. You can sort out different types of energetic snacks and label your baskets accordingly. One can be filled with energy bars while the other will store dark chocolate, and so on. This way, you give yourself more than enough opportunity to replenish your energy while you’re still in the working zone.
The moment you start feeling yourself zoning out, you can stretch your legs, get a cup of coffee or a tasty snack, and you’ll be back in the horse’s saddle after a few minutes.
It’s no secret that many offices aren’t exactly bastions of comfort. It’s not uncommon for workers to sit at their desks for hours on end and work tirelessly to reach their project goals while sitting on some uncomfortable desk chairs. This can lead to physical fatigue and back injuries that take a while to recover from. If you want to get the best out of your office and work day, you need to think about your health and comfort.
Ergonomic seating would be a brilliant step in the right direction. Comfortable chairs that don’t harm the back should be your priority, but there’s a lot more that you can do here. In case you are fitness oriented you know that staying fit is the best way to stay healthy and focused. This healthy mentality doesn’t go away during work hours, either. A convertible desk that can adapt to standing positions would do wonders for back health and you will surely make good use of it.
7. Don’t forget about the plants
Last but not least, your office can’t do without some indoor plants. Regardless of if you’re a nature lover or not, you have to admit that plants make a lovely sight in any home. They make the place look cozier and simply tie all your decor pieces together. As well as that, though, plants can be very practical- especially for a home office.
As we all know, they create clean oxygen while taking in monoxide. This means that the air around you will be fresh and clean. Breathing such air improves your blood flow and carries more oxygen to your brain. This is imperative for improving your cognitive function and getting work done more easily and much faster.
Luckily, there are plenty of home plants you can choose from. You can opt for the larger potted plants which can stay next to your desk or in the corners of your office. Remember how we said that you need a clear barrier between your office and the rest of the room? Potted plants are brilliant for such use.
Those who have a whole room to decorate can play with smaller plants as well. Having a set of lovely flowers right beneath the window is always a calming and refreshing sight. Don’t be a stranger to desk plants and cute cacti either.
If you want to introduce an air of Zen and relaxation to the office as well as clean oxygen, choose more greenery. Bamboo sticks are easy to take care of and would look ravishing against a plain white wall. Bonsai trees are cute, give you something pleasant to rest your eyes on, and are a fun project for any plant lover.
Whatever you decide, you’ll greatly benefit from some plants in any way and form that they come. Not only will the environment be friendlier, cozier, and more comfortable, but you’ll also be much more productive.
Building your home office may take some time and money but it’s surely going to be worth it. You’re going to love having a place in your home tailored to you and your needs. Each home office is different and unique when it comes to the details, colours, patterns, and other smaller aspects of the design, but they all work to help you reach the peak of your productivity and efficiency.
Remember that the first draft of your design doesn’t have to be final. Don’t be afraid to experiment and add or remove different features. Only in this way will you find out what design suits you most and which patterns and colours have the best effect on your productivity.
The perfect home office is only a few steps away.