The digital age has allowed for more and more people to shift their jobs from corporate office buildings to the comfort and ease of working from home, but is it still possible to be productive when your designated work area is also the place you like to relax and play?
Temptation lies within every cupboard (those cookies are calling), and procrastination can become king if you become too relaxed and allow distraction into your work zone. Often the home office is an after thought. Sometimes a spare bedroom, or a desk under the stairs or perhaps your dining table has a split personality and masquerades as an office once the plates are cleared. If you’re serious about making your home a work haven then a little forward planning can help you on your road to productivity.
Before setting up your office it’s important to think about how and what you’re going to use your office for. Will you have clients visiting you? Do you need a lot of space to get your tasks completed? Does it need to be quiet? By planning out what you real requirements are you will be able to create a cohesive and functional space.
Clean your space
A cluttered space leads to a cluttered mind. If the space you are working from is full of ‘stuff’ and is unorganised then it will send your brain into overdrive. Scientists at Princeton University have found that when your environment is cluttered it limits your brain’s ability to process information. You become distracted and unable to focus because the clutter is competing for your attention. They concluded that if you want to focus and process information efficiently then you need to have a clean and clutter free environment.
There is nothing worse than sitting at a desk all day and being uncomfortable and sore because of your chair. Finding the right chair for you is crucial to your productivity. Opt for something which can be adjusted in multiple ways to suit your body. We specialise in task chairs which are ergonomically designed to support your health while at your desk. If you are spending hours a day in your chair then it’s an investment well spent.
A big desk with ample leg room will help make the time spent at your desk much more comfortable. Your desk should be wide enough so that your computer keyboard is within an arm’s length, to avoid overstraining. You also want to make sure you have enough room for the essentials like coffee, pens, notepads and to spread out your work.
Be set up with the right equipment
Invest in the right kind of equipment for your needs. If you need a large computer screen then don’t just get the small one because it’s cheaper. Be realistic about your needs. This will save you many headaches down the track, especially when you’re battling a deadline and your printer or computer is being very slow because you vetoed the upgrade.
Perfect your lighting
Good lighting is a non-negotiable when setting up a home office. It’s essential that the space you are working from is well lit so that you can not only see what you’re working on but so you’re inspired to actually be in the room. Lot’s of natural light is desirable when setting up your space, however if windows are limited then opt for lighting that is high quality with a yellow-cast to enhance brain activity.
The saying “a place for everything and everything in it’s place” really does ring true for a home office. Have a neat and organised storage system will not only make your brain happier (chaos free) but will help keep everything you need within arm’s reach. Consider bookshelves and storage cabinets to hold books and files and use pencil pots and trays to keep your stationery tidy. If you’re stuck for creativity in storage solutions then check out Pinterest for a huge range of DIY inspiration.
Limit access to distractions
The mind loves to wander and it’s very easy to get caught up in a plethora of procrastinations. Get ahead of the ball by avoiding placing distracting items like TV’s and gaming consoles in your office area. Allocate time for breaks during your work hours where you are free to Google whatever you like and attend to your social media.
It’s impossible to get any work done if you’re constantly being interrupted or surrounded by unfiltered loud noise. Using headphones and music can help by blocking out unwanted noise, allowing you to focus.
Tambors are a great way to create privacy in an open plan space, they also offer a handy storage solution and decorative feature. Screen dividers are also another way to create a safe and comfortable space to get some serious work done.
The aesthetics of your room will also come into play. Choosing colours like blue, ivory and tan will keep your mind stimulated without becoming too distracting. Plants and greenery also help to bring more oxygen into the room which will also assist with brain activity and help avoid the 3pm yawning.
The temperature of your room should also be maintained at a comfortable level. When the room becomes too hot or too cold it becomes distracting. Research suggests that the ideal room temperature should be between 21 and 23 degrees celsius.
Don’t be afraid to give your office space a special smell with an invigorating scented candle or reed diffuser. Essential oils such as rosemary, grapefruit, eucalyptus and lavender are great for improving focus, concentration and controlling stress.
Creating a productive home office doesn’t need to cost a fortune and with this guide you will be able to turn even the nookiest-of-Harry-Potter-nooks into a well functioning home office. We offer a huge range of office solutions in our showroom and are happy to help you design the right space for you.