Whether you’re a long-time proponent of the home office space, or you’re a recent convert to working from home, you’ve probably realized how important comfort and functionality in your space can be to your productivity. As the end of the summer approaches and you take a bit of a pause before starting on the rush of the fall season, make a redesign of your home office part of your planning. You’ll be amazed by how much it helps your productivity as you get back into your busy season. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Move to a new location.
If your home office is currently tucked away in a closet or shoved off in a corner, you’ve probably realized how easy it is to get distracted and wander off to a more interesting or inviting part of the house. If you don’t choose a nice area for your workspace, it’s only natural that you won’t want to stay in it. So first and foremost, choose a new and better area for your workspace that gives you plenty of room to spread out and lots of natural light. And don’t be afraid to multi-purpose your rooms. If the best option is to use your bedroom or guest room for the office, you can use it for both things. You might just have to accept giving up your office space if guests come to town. If you have a young child at home, it might make sense to do a nursery/office combo to minimize the time you spend running back and forth between rooms.
- Make your space comfortable.
If you’re uncomfortable, mentally or physically, you’re going to find it much harder to stay focused. Figure out what exactly makes you feel focused and comfortable by browsing through some pictures of nicely designed office spaces online. Choose an office that looks like your dream office and do your best to replicate it in the space you have. Furthermore, choose a comfortable chair and desk that you will actually enjoy using. Uncomfortable furniture is a thing for traditional offices, and you get to leave all that behind when you switch to a home-based office.
- Have a general theme.
For example, you might choose a comfortable, rustic look as lots of people are able to work better if they are in a place that feels homey and comfortable. However, other people feel more comfortable at work if the space feels very modern and sharp as it makes them feel awake and inspired. Figure out what works for you and design accordingly. Check thrift stores for interesting pieces for a rustic chic office, or try a place like Touch of Modern for some small modern office decorations to help make a small space more interesting.
Don’t force yourself to stare all day at a boring white wall until you want to scream. This is the very reason you work from home and not in a boring office, remember? Choose at least one accent wall and repaint it in a strong color, or paper it with an interestingly patterned wallpaper. Make this the starting point for your office redesign by buying decorations and little items that complement the colors or patterns of your accent wall.
- Get a plant or two.
There’s good evidence to suggest that people are happier when they live in neighborhoods with lots of parks and trees. The same psychology applies within the home, too. Having living things in your work area can improve your mood and help you feel calm. Get a little window box, some hanging plants, or plants to put right on your desk to keep them right in your immediate work space and in your direct line of vision. If you’re worried you’re going to neglect the plants to death, get something resilient like a cactus. They stay alive easily and add a lot of character to your space right away.
- Find ways to accentuate the light in the room.
If you don’t have a lot of natural light in the space you’ve chosen, play up the light you do have. Get a decorative mirror for your desk or the wall behind you. Add a new coat of paint to your furniture in a bright and shiny color that will reflect the light. Get some shiny fixtures for the cabinets or some metallic pots for your plants. These items will reflect the light, giving your space a little bit of natural extra brightness.
It can be hard at first to adjust to working from home, but with a well-designed office space, you’ll find that you cut down on distractions and improve your efficiency over that which you were experiencing in a traditional office.