Since the start of the pandemic, home offices have fast become the norm. In the last year and a bit, we’ve swapped boardrooms for dining room tables and cubicles for kitchen countertops.
Our work-life balance has changed completely, and we’ve had to adjust to several new challenges.
Whether the move to working from home was by choice or necessity, it’s essential that you put a little thought and effort into your working space. You’re going to be spending a lot of time in it, so you might as well make sure that it’s an area you enjoy being in. If not, it’ll be harder and harder to motivate yourself to “go to work” each day.
Look at the smart design tips that will turn your home office into a productive space you want to spend time in.
1. Give Yourself Something To Look At
So often, a home office is really just a desk or table placed in a corner or a small room that isn’t really used. People want it to be out of the way so that it doesn’t affect home life. This is especially the case in smaller homes, where there isn’t space for a dedicated office or study. The problem is, this doesn’t make for a hugely enticing work environment.
Think about what you’re going to be looking at every time you sit at your desk. A blank wall is no good. The ideal placement of a desk is in front of a window with a nice view. If you have a wall in front of you, decorate it with paint, pattern, photographs—anything to bring life to the space.
2. Ensure You Have Plenty Of Light
Another reason a window placement for your desk is optimal is because you get plenty of natural light. You need good lighting for optimal working conditions. Natural light is great because it helps to keep your brain awake and active through sparking natural hormones in the body.
If natural light isn’t an option, or if you know you tend to sit at your desk at night, then you need to think about the artificial lighting you use. Try not to go for cold, harsh lighting. Warm tones are better, but the bulb must be high wattage to give you enough bright light to work by, so you aren’t straining to see your work.
3. Invest In Your Chair
The next thing to consider is the fact that you’re going to be spending a lot of time sitting at your desk.
A good chair is something that you don’t want to skimp on. Do your research into ergonomics and comfort and determine what’s best for your body and your working style. Then, save up and get the best-quality chair you can afford. Definitely go for function over looks, but if you can find a chair that has both.
4. Form And Function Must Work Together
Storage and organization are critical for any office space. You need to have places to store files, paperwork, and folders, and you need to be able to get to those items with ease. However, that usually translates into an array of unattractive plastic or metal trays or drawers on the side of the desk, or on the floor. This is not conducive to a happy workspace.
When thinking about your storage needs, work out how best you can fit them into the space you have available, as well as how you can make them look attractive.
Spending a bit of time and money on this will definitely make your home office space far more appealing to work in. It will make you feel more organized too, and that will boost your productivity.
5. Organize Your Tech
A quick killer of a happy workspace is the number of power cords that end up lying across a desk, or hanging unattractively down the back of it.
The best way to deal with a cable jumble is to bring a multi-plug adapter as close to your desk as possible so that there’s only one cord going to the power outlet. Then, you can gather all the cables on the desk into one place.
Finally, get yourself a cable box, cord covers or cord winders to hide the jumble of wires and plugs. Just be sure to do this carefully so that none of the power cords have tension on them, or nothing could get damaged and short—this is potentially highly dangerous.
For device charger cords that aren’t always in use, look at getting some cable clips that you can stick onto the wall or the side of your desk. This way, the cables are easy to reach when you need them, but they aren’t lying about on the desk or getting tangled up in a drawer.
6. Get Creative With Décor
Now that you have the functional aspects of your home office in place, it’s time to inject your personality into the space. If you’re looking for inspiration, consider what you envy about other people’s houses. Do you love their color schemes? Their sleek, minimalist look? Or the amazing way they’ve made their office look inviting?
Now, work out how you can do the same.
Think about the cup or pencil holder you have on your desk, the trash on the floor next to you, and the papers and notebooks you have on the shelves. These can be completely utilitarian, or they can be creative, inspiring and decorative too.
Give your office a makeover and add your personal touch. You’ll feel more inspired, and you’ll enjoy being in there all the more.
7. Make The Space Alive
Finally, a little bit of greenery will bring a wonderful dimension to your home office space. It’ll make the space feel a lot more alive, and you have the added bonus of extra oxygen from the plants.
Of course, you can’t always have real plants in a home office (perhaps there is no source of natural light). In that case, consider getting some good-quality fake plants to bring the illusion of life into the space.
Key Take Aways
These seven tips are easy to implement, and they’ll make a world of difference to your home office. You can transfer your space with ease, and you’ll find that going to work at home just got a lot easier.
About The Author: Alex Neil is a homebuying, interior design, and home remodeling expert. Starting her career as a real estate agent in 2012, she decided to switch careers into the more visual aspects of housing and started her own interior coaching business. As a part time editor she writes for various outlets on home renovation, home repair and décor.
Photo by Francesca Tosolini on Unsplash
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