If you’re thinking of working from home, or your current home office needs an upgrade, there are certain things you need to keep in mind to ensure maximum productivity and efficiency during your working hours.
From children and pets, to noisy neighbours and the general hum of human activity, the home can be a challenging place to work in, but it is possible, with a few adjustments and amendments to your office space. Here are four tips for How to create a home office that helps you focus.
Choosing a space for your office within the home is the first big decision to make; it should be a space that affords you privacy, allows little noise in and is as far removed as possible from foot traffic. While background noise is one thing, no one can work with constant interruptions or very loud noises.
Choose a separate room far away from the most sociable areas in the house such as the kitchen or lounge, and demarcate it as your office. If a separate room is not available, invest in room dividers that will mark a space out as an office, and limit the continuous distractions you could face. This not only defines your office space, but also lets others know that the space is to be respected and not entered into without permission.
A disorganised office space can be hugely distracting if nothing is stored away or has a place, and a large amount of time can be wasted if you can’t find a piece of office equipment or that important document you need to complete your work. While not everything has to have a dedicated storage space, it helps to group things so that, the next time you’re looking for that stapler or that all-important form, you know exactly where to find it.
An organised space is also known to help your brain focus, and provide a cleaner environment for full concentration. But one doesn’t have to go overboard; organisation can be a simple task. Keep a desk drawer free for small office stationery, place a pencil case on your desk for small items such as pens and sharpeners, invest in a bookshelf or filing cabinet for important documents, and ensure your desk space only holds necessary items such as your computer, diary and essential papers. Once your office is organised, don’t hesitate to declutter on a regular basis to avoid unwanted items piling up.
Decorating your office can bring a sense of motivation and calm to a work space. An empty room or white wall can be rather uninspiring and dull. Coloured walls and a few plants to liven up the space is a great way to add some detail to your office and create some visually stimulating areas. But be sure not to add too much to the space, or paint it a harsh colour that could be distracting.
Small plants that need little attention such as cacti or other succulents are a great way to add some natural green colours to the room without creating too much variety. Also, these plants need little care and are resilient against heat or dry spells. You can also paint your walls a stimulating colour, but be sure to choose the right colour as specific colours can elicit certain emotions. Blues, greens and violets are said to provoke relaxation, while white, ivory, gray and tan are said to provoke feelings of comfort and warmth.
Natural light is one of the most important features of a conducive working environment, as it enhances feelings of wellbeing. Placing your desk near or next to a north facing window will ensure you get as much natural light as possible, limiting the need for a lamp and therefore the amount of energy you use.
Being near natural light usually means being near a window, and so your access to fresh air and sunlight is increased. Fresh air is vital to keep your brain healthy, happy and energised, increasing your chances of a more productive day. And not only does a window offer you fresh air and sunlight, but also a view. Try choose a room in the house that has a view of the garden or scenic view from upstairs, where you can take regular eye breaks from your computer.
Your home office should be a space in which you feel comfortable, relaxed and focused. Whether you’re selling your home and looking for ways to create your new home office, or just looking to redesign your current one, these tips, written in collaboration with Private Property, will help you on your way to creating your dream work space.