How to Set Up a Productive Home Office
1. HAVE A DEVOTED SPACE FOR WORKLook we can’t promise you that we’re not writing this in our pyjamas but just keep an open mind. Although you may now be working from home, it is more important than ever to have a “work-life” and a “home life” balance. Letting these lines blur is when we start to lose productivity and become stressed. Not everyone has the space to devote an entire room to an office. However, you should still have a dedicated space for working. Mark out the space for getting work done and maintain that boundary. Having separate spaces for work and play will help you get yourself into the routine of working from home and will motivate efficiency whilst you are sitting at your workstation. This is more than just setting up a desk and chair in a particular location and claiming that as your station. Create a space that is yours and let everyone in the house know that whilst you are in this space, you are working. Do not do other tasks in this space. Leave the puzzles and painting for somewhere else. Most importantly, have a space that you don’t have to pack away each night.
2. artificial light is the enemyOk, the use of the word ‘enemy’ may be a little strong, but you get the idea. Natural light is so important for our health and yet so underrated. Natural light improves performance and boosts vitamin D, it even helps you sleep better at night. Not only is this good for your physical health, but it will also put you in a better mood, making you more productive. How’s that for a chain reaction? Where possible avoid working in an environment that has harsh artificial lighting. Too much artificial lighting may cause fatigue, back pain and a bad mood. Now you understand how powerful a window is, try placing your desk in front or next to a window that has plenty of natural light coming in. Not only will the natural light benefit you, but it will also make your space feel bigger and you’ll have a better view whilst you are working.
3. FUNCTION IS KEYSo, you’ve been thinking about setting up your home office for a while, you have done your research and saved more Pinterest photos than you can count. Before you go any further be mindful that home offices are made to be functional. It is important to always remember that it is function over aesthetics. Whilst the thought of an eye-catching office is nice, these pictures can often not have any functionality about them. When planning a home office fit out, evaluate your needs; what do you use regularly? How much storage do you need? Is it set up to ensure good posture? Do you have enough room? Will you be able to have a video meeting with this set up? Would a second monitor make working easier? Make sure you layout your needs before your wants. We aren’t saying that your office can’t look nice, it can! Just be sure that you have set up your office for YOU. You will know what you need to successfully do your job better than anyone else.
4. not just a desk and chairThis may sound like we are contradicting our last point but hear us out. Your home office should be more than just a chair and a desk. You need to make it a space that you want to sit at. Ensure that you are comfortable as you may be sitting there for a long period of time. You may even want to add a second chair or seating space that is more comfortable than your office chair. Personalising your office space will make you more likely to enjoy sitting in it. Add items that will inspire you or help you with your goal setting. Sitting on our Marketing Assistant (Madisen’s) desk right now is two pictures of starfish, why? Because the work she puts in now will allow her to go visit Ningaloo Reef again, her favourite place in the world. We all have something that pushes us to work and some form of goal we are working towards. Make this a way of motivating yourself. If not, an item that will help you set goals, add your favourite art piece or sculpture, anything that will give you those warm, happy feelings.
5. A SPLASH OF COLOURIf you don’t have something to motivate you, just try adding some colour. Dull grey tones can dampen our moods. Colours have a psychological impact on our moods, cooler colours are more calming, helping us to relax whilst warm colours trigger feels of warmth, energy and excitement. Adding colour to your space through paint or accessories is an easy way to bring your workstation to life and trigger emotions to make you more productive. White may trigger cleanliness and a sense of space, but we are just crazy for more colour! We could go on and on about this but instead, we will just let you explore the world of colour psychology; we can’t be the only ones geeking out over this, right?
6. If all else fails, PLANTS!If you are struggling with every other aspect of your home office fit-out add some plants. Plants are almost supernatural (not really) with all the benefits they provide. They reduce stress, increase productivity, reduce sickness, clean the air, reduce noise, boost creativity and well they just look cool! If you only take away one thing from this article let it be that plants are crazy good for adding life to any room of your house.
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Andy is the Director and Registered Builder for Perway Construction Services. He commenced his career in the construction industry almost 20 years ago as a Carpenter. He offers clients his specialized advice and knowledge on their project, what’s best for their long term return on investment and how to achieve their home renovation dreams. He leads his team of tradespeople to complete successful, quality home renovations.