5 Tips for Designing a Home Office You’ll Be Productive In
Is your current home office design draining and boring? Are you’re not feeling very productive when working from home? Whatever the case, you probably feel like you’re not being as productive as you can be, and that’s just bad for business.
Luckily there are certain key stress points that can help you envision and design a home office that you’ll actually be productive in. Some of these are obvious, some are not so obvious, and of course, some are easier said than done.
Let’s take a look at what may be your problem areas and figure out how you can make some modifications to improve your home office space so that it enhances your productivity and work style.
1. Vacate or Recreate Your Current Location
Let’s face it: location is everything. If you’re regularly setting up shop in your bed or your couch, no wonder you’re not getting much done — you have turned areas of rest and relaxation to one of work and focus. Not the best idea.
Similarly, if your home office setting is a dark basement or dank alcove it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be motivated or inspired to work. But never fear, there are always solutions.
Get a Desk
If you’re working from home, try getting a desk specifically for work. Ikea offers some great, inexpensive options. Stop slumming it on the couch. The idea here is that you’ll want to set a boundary between where work begins and ends.
Unless you’re super effective at multi-tasking, remove the television and any other multi-media devices that take away your focus. Say goodbye to text messages! It’s a distraction while you’re working. There’s time for that later. For now, work is calling.
Light It Up
Natural light is most conducive for working — however, if you can’t relocate to a setting with windows and natural light, try LED lights. There are options that can “recreate” the feeling of natural lighting. Stop working in the dark.
Change and Rearrange
If your options are limited in your current space, you could always just rearrange your current layout. Sometimes a simple change or modification could be the answer if your space and budget are limited. Try turning your desk a different direction. The space arrangement could be a deterrent to productivity, so a simple switcheroo could do the trick. Little adjustments can yield big results.
2. Get Organized
All the rearranging in the world isn’t going to help you if your current set up isn’t organized. There’s no sense in having papers, files, and other work-related items littered around your workspace. Organize that desk. Invest in a small filing cabinet and file folders. Take a few hours to clearly label files and store them neatly where you can locate them easily.
Or simply shred them. According to the Small Business Administration, we never go back to 80 percent of the papers we file away so caringly. Stop hoarding clutter for the sake of saving things. Since you’re so addicted to your phone anyway — download an app like TurboScan, snap a quick pic and store those files digitally. Clutter cleared.
Also, invest in containers to store miscellaneous items, so that you’re not hunting for them later. Newsweek reports that the average American wastes 55 minutes per day looking for lost items. Who has that kind of time to waste? Certainly not you, so let’s get that office organized so that you can enhance your productivity.
3. Add Inspiration
Let’s face it — the workday can be draining. It’s likely that your home office is where you’ll be spending quite a bit of time throughout your days or nights. Perhaps your productivity suffers because the current set up is just plain boring. It’s possible that there’s nothing to keep you motivated throughout the day.
Chances are you’ve haven’t thought of your workspace as a creative space. Maybe you’ve set up your home office space to resemble the typical office cubicle. B-O-R-I-N-G!
Here’s the thing, in order to maximize both productivity and creativity, you’re going to want to curate a home office setting that prompts feelings of excitement for work. Think about the colors and adding inspirational mood boards or pictures that will remind you of the things you’re working towards each day.
Pictures can evoke feelings of excitement or calm and colors can do the same. Greens are great for fostering creativity and concentration. Yellows can evoke feelings of excitement or happiness, but they can also become too bright and distracting. Reds often portray intense energy. Whatever you choose, ensure that it fits your persona and incorporate that into your home office design.
4. Have a Seat…A Comfortable One
Have a seat. No really. Have a very comfortable chair. Earlier we mentioned not working from the couch — and while it’s undoubtedly cozy — we’ve already established that it’s not the best option for creating a productive workspace. A great option is to purchase an ergonomically designed chair to ensure optimal comfort for your back, particularly for those extra long hours seated in front of your computer.
Currently, about 90 percent of adults experience back pain at some point in their lives, and 50 percent of the working population has back pain every year in the U.S. according to the Academy of Family Physicians. Don’t let this happen to you! Even if you can’t purchase the best ergonomic design, think about purchasing a cushion for back support for your chair.
Don’t let back pain hinder your productivity!
5. Now Take A Stand
Don’t sit on the couch.
Have a seat.
Find an ergonomically comfortable chair.
Now take a stand? Really?
Yes. Stand up.
Here’s where we insert a bit of unconventional wisdom. Chances are you’re going to be spending loads of time seated in front of your computer, plugging away, crunching numbers, designing mood boards, creating excel files, writing blog posts and paying bills. That’s a lot of time on your buns!
You’ll also want to think about taking a stand every now and again to break the monotony. You could even install a tall table/desk in one corner of the space or purchase a stand-up desk, which is becoming increasingly popular. According to a study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, people who sit for most of the day were 54 percent more likely to die of heart attacks.
That’s definitely something to think about. Either give yourself room to walk around every few hours, or take a break from the chair and move your laptop over to the stand up desk for a few hours each day. Regardless, give your butt cheeks a break every now and again. Sitting also decreases your body’s blood flow — walking around helps reinvigorate your insides!
The main idea is to create an environment that doesn’t drain or fatigue you.
Now Go Be Productive!
Adopting these tips will definitely increase your productivity and help you establish a work style that maximizes comfort, style, and the most important thing of all: You.