Blinding lights with a sickly green hue. Furniture with a color best described as “sad gray.” A pitifully empty room. Aren’t these the unpleasant images your mind conjures up when you think of a workspace? While we know offices and schools to be strangely obsessed with neutral palettes, this type of design doesn’t really translate to higher efficiency. With work and school shifting online, it has become a necessity to have productive spaces in our homes. But, there’s a lot more to a home office than setting up a desk in some corner. Now that you can control your work environment, take this opportunity to set up a home office tailored to your comfort!
Arm Yourself with Color
We have been falsely led to believe that dull and earthy palettes limit distraction, helping you get your work done in a timely manner. In reality, this idea can be counterintuitive, as beige and grey themes may create a demotivating environment. Allow yourself to fearlessly play with bright colors and add a splash wherever you want.
Also, consider optimizing your color theme to complement the type of work you do. Without getting too sciencey, cool colors such as blue, purple, and green have a calming effect and are beneficial if you work long hours. If you have a creative career such as graphic design, throw in a bit of yellow or red to boost your imagination. Don’t worry though, all this color talk doesn’t mean you have to renovate your whole room. You can incorporate colorful accessories to your wall or furniture to create the same effect as getting a wall painted.
If you find yourself stealing glances at the clock, or are tired of fiddling with spreadsheets and paperwork, add a blue accent to your room to aid focus:
If your work involves long hours of screen time, make it easy on your eyes by choosing a green accent for your workspace:
To help get your creative juices flowing, explore yellow or red designs to add to your room:
Value Your Comfort
Remember: you are only as productive as you are comfortable in your environment. Look around your home office. Does it make you feel excited to start work? If it doesn’t, find out what makes it unwelcoming.
Oftentimes, we end up ignoring micro-distractions such as a stuffy room, a desk that’s too high, or maybe a creaky chair. The first step to boosting productivity is examining your room for any nuisances. See if there’s anything that makes you constantly wish for a break. This could be neck pain because your desk isn’t set up ergonomically, or excessive sweating if your room doesn’t have proper ventilation.
Next, abandon the idea that professional means minimalistic—unless that’s your thing. You don’t have to stick to the bare-room-with-lone-plant aesthetic. Add pillows, rugs, and frames to your liking. Making your office cozy also gives you room for personalization. This can help ease work stress by giving you a sense of control.
Drape a throw blanket with your favorite design over your office chair for added comfort and style:
Infuse some personality into the room with tapestries and framed art prints. Choose a design with a motivational quote to help you keep going during a particularly rough day:
Don’t Forget Your Desk!
In the frenzy of optimizing your room for productivity, it’s easy to forget the most important part of your home office: your desk! But what does a desk even do beyond serve as a storage unit for vaguely work-related items?
If you spend most of your work day sitting at your desk, it’s important to set up your workstation in a way that’s well-organized and brings out your best performance. A cluttered desk dissolves your focus and draws attention away from the task at hand. Only have items you expect to use every day on your desktop, and invest in organization supplies such as file sorters and pen holders. Or, you can use a mug or zip pouch as an easy and cost-effective way to store your writing implements. Practices like these will keep you disciplined and prevent you from fumbling around to find what you need at a moment’s notice.
Select desktop accessories with quotes that affirm your mantras and help you get through the day.
Another organizational tip is to always keep sticky notes or a notebook on hand. We underestimate the impact that writing our goals down can have on our work efficiency. Once you write your tasks down, you’ll be able to visualize what your day is supposed to look like. You’ll know exactly what to prioritize and how “busy” you should expect yourself to be.
Develop a habit of writing down stray thoughts and goals to always stay on top of things:
Most importantly, pay attention to what your mind and body feel most comfortable and happy doing. Make your home office reflect your personality and goals to channel productivity from within!