By Samantha Acuna
Working from home has become increasingly popular in recent years. Consequently, the need for home offices has drastically increased, as many remote workers struggle to remain focused and productive in the same place in which they live, eat, and sleep. Creating a work-friendly space at home can change the way you work and enhance your productivity. On that note, here are some tips on how to design the perfect workspace in your own home.
When it comes to designing a home office, choosing the right location is the first and most important step. It should be separated from the rest of the house as much as possible to avoid distractions. It would be ideal if you could dedicate an entire room for it, but even if it’s a corner workspace, choose it wisely. This will help you separate your home life from your professional life and allow you to keep things organized instead of having your important documents mixed with magazines and take-out boxes!
What you choose to have in your working space can highly affect your focus and productivity. The most important pieces are, of course, the desk and chair you will be working from. Try to invest in high-quality pieces that make you comfortable, help you maintain good posture, and keep you attentive all at the same time. Think of what the nature of your work requires, whether it’s storage space for files or a whiteboard for jotting down ideas and notes. Choosing the right workspace design doesn’t come naturally for most people, so you can look at online options for inspiration. The process can be overwhelming and stressful, so don’t hesitate to get some professional input for a more stylish workspace.
The colors that surround you can affect your productivity, so it’s an important aspect to consider while designing your workspace. It’s important to choose colors that you like but make sure that they also boost your energy. The brighter the color, the better; adding hints of orange around the space, for example, will help enhance your focus. Incorporating shades of green also helps in creating a peaceful atmosphere because it’s the color of nature. You can have a neutral shade for the walls and add pops of color with paintings and decorations.
The average time we spend working in front of a screen ranges between 7-8 hours. Without the right lighting, this can strain your eyes and cause annoying headaches. So when choosing a location for your home office, pick a space that gets a good amount of natural light during the day. If you’re a night owl, having a well-lit desk lamp is essential. Make sure the room or light bulbs are white since they are better for focus, while yellow bulbs typically give a warm light that can make you groggy. Make sure your screen is positioned in a way that doesn’t cause a glare from the window or the lights as this can hurt your eyes.
Working from home makes you susceptible to distractions from family members, roommates, or pets. Eliminating these distractions should be a priority when you’re setting up a work-friendly space. The location you chose should ideally be away from the living room or family room, and it should have a door to keep noise and pets out. Make sure the place doesn’t have anything distracting like a TV or video games. If having a window in front of you is affecting your attention span, position your desk so that it is facing away from it, or install shutters.
Paying attention to the little details in your workspace can go a long way when you actually start using it. For example, being too hot or cold can affect your productivity, so make sure the room temperature is comfortable for you. Something as simple as having a plant or two can dramatically change the setting, making it vibrant and lively. Decorate your desk with your favorite office accessories and consider getting a trendy mug just for your desk.
At the end of the day, the most important thing when you’re creating the perfect home office is to make it your own. Don’t get caught up with the numerous design trends or ideas out there; instead, choose a design that suits both your personality and work style. Make it homier by adding a family picture or a drawing made by your kids. You can also add your favorite inspirational quotes to a mood board and set it in front of you for an extra boost of motivation. Keep making as many changes as you see fit until you feel like you have created a productive space that you like spending most of the day in.
Samantha Acuna is a writer based in San Francisco, CA. Her work has been featured in The Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, and Yahoo Small Business.