While there are plenty of ideas about how to design a home office, many of them contradict each other, and everyone has different tastes and styles. However, there are certain tips that will stimulate your mind and boost your productivity.
Aside from the major elements—like color and furniture—other aspects of your home office will also affect you as you work from home. For instance, consider things like noise, lighting, temperature, and how you occupy your breaks. Also, if you’re renting an apartment, you probably won’t have an entire room to dedicate to a home office, so you’ll need to evaluate the layout before anything else. Taking the time to think about these details will enable you to create an oasis of productivity in your own home.
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First, it’s important to know what type of person you are. If you’re someone who loves order and cleanliness, choose a style like minimalism, which promotes a clutter-free space. This is typical for offices because many people believe that an organized desk is better for focus and productivity.
However, if you work best when surrounded by an abundance of papers, documents, books, and more, then you might not only be intimidated by minimalism, but it could also cause you to lose focus. Or, if you’re someone who feels comfortable amid chaos and who knows where everything is in a sea of clutter, try implementing a shabby chic or even a boho style. These will make you comfortable and help boost your creativity.
The safest colors are always neutral tones, which are light and easy on the eyes. Yet, when it comes to your productivity, that safety net might turn into your enemy. Instead, surround yourself with colors that stimulate you. For example, a dark gray background will likely help you stay focused, while the color scheme could include a dark, rich green and gold or brass accents, as well as deep purples or crimson reds. Browse the web for color schemes that you find stimulating and use them in your office.
Studies have shown that taking frequent, short breaks increases efficiency and productivity. As such, consider placing several focal points in your office; this way, you can take even a one-minute break and have somewhere to rest your eyes. Plants are a common solution because green is natural and calming. Or, decorate with art or other items that you find pleasant and inspiring.
Along the same lines, boost productivity by keeping a couple of things on hand for your breaks. Don’t get into something that will make you lose your focus and distract you, though, such as social media. Instead, have a guitar next to your desk, a couple of weights, a coloring book, or a picture book; anything that inspires you can work. The idea of a break is to help take some tension off of your brain, so do something—preferably using your hands or standing up—that will relax you and stimulate your creativity.
Lighting & Heat
Your comfort level in your office dictates your productivity, and this is one of the most crucial aspects of setting up your office. For instance, when you’re considering lighting, determine whether you work better in warm or cold lighting. Additionally, natural light will lessen fatigue, so try to get as much of it as possible. As for the lighting system, invest in high-quality, energy-efficient lights that mimic natural light and allow for intensity and color changes. Then, you can adapt it to the time of day, your mood, and your tasks.
The same applies to how warm or cold you want your office to be. Some people work better in colder rooms, while others find it distracting. Conversely, some people prefer warm environments, while others become sleepy and mellow when it’s too warm in a room. Find the right temperature for you and keep it consistent. If you’re attentive, you’ll figure it out after two or three days of trial and error.
Select a style, color, and texture for your furniture that will fit with your bigger design plan; consider what will go well with your style, lighting, and décor. But, never compromise when it comes to furniture ergonomics. If you work at a desk all day, invest in a high-quality chair with lumbar support and adjustable settings, as well as a quality desk—perhaps even a standing desk if it works for you. Then, narrow it down to a few options and go test them out.
You might also want to have a sofa or an armchair, as well as a coffee table, in case you have meetings with clients. Don’t forget about storage options, either; invest in storage cubes or shelves where you can keep your projects and office space organized.
These details will help you decide what kind of space you need to feel good and work properly. Although this office is at home, separate the space and yourself when working by dressing accordingly and keeping the lunch hour clear. It’s tricky to keep a healthy work-life balance when working from home, but it becomes a lot easier when you have a clearly defined space.
About the author: Mihaela Buzec is a passionate reader and writer, with an affinity for language and linguistics, as well as the latest technological developments. She discovered her passion for real estate at RENTCafé, and you can read more of her articles on their blog.