Working from home can be both a blessing and a curse. It’s tough for some of us to keep ourselves motivated when we’re at home and within walking distance of our beds all day long. However, there are major benefits to being able to work remotely, one of which is being able to take complete control over your workspace.
Since the pandemic, some of us have gone from zero to hero in a matter of months, designing a home office that fulfils every need, blocks out every noise and keeps us motivated and inspired from 9 to 5 every day. However, some of us are still dragging our laptops to our bed and hoping that our pyjamas aren’t visible for that first video meeting.
Creating and optimising the perfect place for your remote job is a crucial part of actually getting stuff done and feeling like you have the energy to work every day. Here are some tips to help you improve your work-from-home space.
First of all, you need to be comfortable. No, this isn’t your cue to hop back into bed, as this is typically counterproductive. However, working at a rickety table in a chair that doesn’t quite reach the right height isn’t going to help you either. If you want to learn how to upgrade your WFH setup in the blink of an eye, the answer is to make it as comfortable for yourself as possible whilst still feeling like a workplace.
A sizable desk or even a standing desk is your first priority. Feeling cramped and as though you don’t have enough space is frustrating. You’ll also want to make sure your desk chair is well-designed and comfortable. Some other comfort factors to consider are lighting, temperature and distracting noises in the room.
Keep it Simple
When we’re telling you to put some effort in and design yourself a home office, it doesn’t mean that you should be investing in an entire art gallery and hundreds of trinkets to place on your desk.
Home office design, and office design in general, should be kept simple, minimal, and pretty basic. You can include a few splashes of colour, something nice on the walls to inspire you and a vase of flowers nearby, but watch out for overly busy décor. When a room is decorated to the nines, it can be distracting and will probably detract from your work. Save the major interior design for the living room.
Work With Colours
Artists and designers will know the power of colour to set the mood in a room. While a mostly neutral palette will be the best for a simple and sleek design to keep you focused during work hours, using a little colour here and there can be beneficial too.
Exposure to certain colours can elicit different moods and emotions, and you can use this to your advantage. For example. A blue colour palette in your office could have a calming effect for someone prone to stress. Similarly, purple tones can spike confidence and yellow can energise you and lift your mood. Consider your needs when you’re on the job and let your colour scheme work for you.
When you’re setting up a home office, you might get carried away with fancy desks, luxurious chairs, and aesthetically pleasing storage solutions… but remember that it needs to be functional. Your office is where you make your magic happen, and the furniture and other items you have in there need to make that as easy for you as possible.
Prioritise functionality over aesthetics and make sure that everything in your office serves you when you’re working.
Make it Tidy
Office organisation is a key point when it comes to designing your space and making the most of it. A cluttered space is a cluttered mind, and an office overflowing with junk and trinkets is going to distract and frustrate you.
Be sure to invest in and make space for the office storage solutions you need – shelves, filing cabinets, drawers, baskets, etc. Avoid leaving stationery, books, papers and other random items lying around and ensure that they have a ‘home’ to be packed away into.
Stock it Up
Aside from furniture and storage space, it’s important that your office is stocked up and filled with the things you need for your day to run smoothly. You might want to keep a drawer full of notebooks, extra pens, paper for printing, binders, highlighters or whatever other items you use on a regular basis.
Another good idea is to keep stock of a couple of healthy snacks right there in your office – protein bars, nuts and dried fruit are some good options to keep around that you can eat in a rush and stop yourself from heading to the kitchen to make your third sandwich for the day.
Treat Your Eyes
In an office space, comfort, functionality and simplicity are your top priorities, as we have discussed. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t decorate the room to make it more inviting and fun to spend time in.
Decorate the room in a way that inspires you and sparks creativity and innovation. Vases of flowers, indoor plants, an artwork that you really love, books on display, framed qualifications on the wall… whatever decorative pieces really bring you joy and liven up your workspace without being too distracting.
Remember the Purpose
Finally, remember the purpose of your office (or workspace) when you’re designing and setting it up, and make that purpose evident in the way you plan things. Naturally, avoid bringing distractions like TVs or a comfy couch with a reading nook into your home office.
Keep it functional and optimised to get you through your workday – with good lighting, a pair of noise-cancelling headphones, and a daily planner on your desk. Remember that your environment can play a huge role in your productivity, so do everything you can to make your workday easy and obstacle-free.