7 Tips for Designing A Productive Home Office Space
With many of us recently faced with the dilemma of staying productive working while from home, we've all had to find new ways to do things. Working from home can be difficult if you don't have a dedicated work space. You need an area in your home that encourages productivity. You want to be comfortable, but not too comfortable. You want a desk or table with a chair versus your couch and coffee table. Whether you have a room to dedicate to a home office, or you're going to be transforming a current space, you want to be sure you set-up in a way that maximizes your efficiency.
1) Separate the Space
Your home office should be separate from your living spaces, especially if you have children or family members at home. You need to be able to transfer from work mode to home mode and back again. Having a physical separation will help you focus on your work. This doesn't mean you need an entire room dedicated to work. Get a small desk and create a working nook in your kitchen, office or living room. Face the wall or looking out a window to avoid in-home distractions.
2) Be Near Power
Make sure the space you choose has outlets available for charging your laptop / computer or phone throughout the day. We all need a fully battery to work! You wouldn't want to be disconnected from a Zoom call due to lack of laptop battery. Be sure a power outlet is nearby, or get an extension cord to have outlets available to you directly in your space.
3) Eliminate Distractions
What distracts you? The television? Choose a space without a TV available. Snacking or eating throughout the day? Don't set up in your kitchen! Does looking out a window distract you? Set up facing a wall instead. If you're not getting things done, chances are, the space is too distracting. Try to find a new location where you won't be as disturbed. Be sure to let your family know when they shouldn't interrupt, and when might be okay to be disturbed.
Decorate however you want! Add some photos, plants, motivational canvas prints or whatever else will help you feel comfortable in your space all day. Pay attention to the colors you're choosing to decorate with. Certain colors elicit different responses, impacting your mood and energy levels.
Blues are considered cool colors and evoke feelings of peace and relaxation. Probably not the ideal color if you're looking to be awake and productive.
Greens evokes natural, fresh feelings and can foster concentration. Green will add freshness, balance and life into your space.
Yellow is a happy color and grabs attention. It evokes optimism, but its bright hue could also be distracting in a office space
Orange represents focus, organization and productivity. Desk or wall decor in orange is sure to inspire energy and concentration.
White, Ivory, Gray and Tan are neutrals that do not distract and can be combined with other accent colors to create the energy you're looking for.
Purple is said to stimulate imagination, evoking a positive response if trying to focus or concentrate.
5) Have Storage
Make sure you have space to keep your laptop, paperwork and supplies so you don't have to keep your things in different places. Having an organized, dedicated space will make it easier to transition into "work" mode.
6) Light the Space
You need enough lighting so you can easily see the work you're doing. You can never have too much light! Although we tend to choose "warm" lighting for living spaces, it's recommended that "cool" (white bulb) lighting is better for an office space. It helps you to concentrate. You don't need to change your overhead bulbs if it's not realistic, instead, get a desk or floor lamp.
7) Have a To-Do List
Organize your daily schedule the same way you would at work. Have a to-do list, with all of the tasks you need to complete in that day and be sure everything gets done. Having it written down gives you the satisfaction of checking or crossing it off once completed and makes sure you don't miss anything.