Whether you use your home office to pay the bills once a week, or you work their full time, it can be difficult to stay productive from inside your own home. Staying isolated in your home office can often cause a big drop in productivity from even the most ambitious workers. There are ways to help prevent this from happening however; these five tips will help you make the most of your home office design so you can get as much work done there as possible.
- Start with Color
Color has a major impact on a person’s mood, emotions, and on their productivity. Certain colors have been linked to an uptick in productivity in certain fields. Red, for example, is thought to be a power color and associated with those that want to get ahead, while green is considered the color of money and therefore a good color for those who need monetary motivation.
That said, people can respond very differently to similar colors and tones. So think about what colors inspire you and make you feel energized – these are the colors you want to surround yourself with on a daily basis.
Stay away from shades that are linked to calmness or serenity, such as pastels and shades of blue; you want the color of the room itself to set the stage for a productive atmosphere.
- Light It Up
Lighting is crucial to any design, regardless of what else is going on in the room. This is particularly true for working areas and in situations where you need to feel focused and alert.
Overhaul the lighting in your office to include not only ambient light – the kind that illuminates the whole room – but also task lighting, or lighting that focuses on your desk or work area. Make sure that it’s a full spectrum, white light or daylight bulb; these types of bulbs can help you feel alert and more like you’re outdoors than inside your home office. If your office gets natural light, be sure to take advantage of that as well by using sheer curtains or blinds that will let the light in without the outdoor distraction.
- Get Comfortable
Stop and think about the type of work that you do, how long you do it for, and how you perform it. Now think about your ideal desk set up. A desk and chair that aren’t a good fit for you and the type of work that you’re doing could mean that you’re putting unnecessary strain on your neck, back, or wrists. And if this is the case, then you may find yourself slowing down or even avoiding work to prevent this strain from happening.
Invest in a good quality desk chair that has good support for your back. If at all possible, get a chair that can adjust in height as well. If your chair is unable to adjust, consider modifying your desk by either raising your computer up on a stand or attaching a slide out tray that can lower it for you until you get to a comfortable position. Once you’re comfortable, you may find that you’re more likely to stay at your desk and get the work done that you were avoiding before.
- Get Organized
If you spend a large part of your day looking for things or maneuvering around unnecessary programs and other system slow-downs, then you’re wasting valuable time. So getting organized – not only in the office itself, but also at your computer or workstation – can really have a big impact on your productivity levels.
Invest in storage and organizational solutions for everything you have and need in your office. This doesn’t just mean filing systems; it means everything you use each day. For example, instead of keeping your printer on the end of your desk and your spare paper and ink in a closet, invest in a printer cart where you can keep everything you need right where you need it.
Remember that your office doesn’t have to be large to be organized. Make use of the walls by installing hanging cabinets and shelves, or look into desks that can wrap around a corner of the room to make the best use of the available space.
A lot of people will spend time and money on what they view to be the functional pieces of the room’s design. But that doesn’t always translate into a space you want to spend time in. Remember that a home office is often filled with distractions and temptations just steps outside the door. So it’s up to you to create a space that you don’t want to leave, thereby increasing your productivity for the day.
Therefore, taking the time to accessorize the area can have a positive impact on your day. Include things like plants, wall art, personal photographs, books, and other items that make you happy to be there. The more time you want to spend in the space, the more you’re likely to get done there, so accessorize until it’s right.
Create the Perfect Set Up
By focusing on the design of your home office, you may find that it’s possible to be much more productive there than you are in more commercial environments simply because it’s your own. Invest in your space to create the perfect working area for you.