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Home Office Ideas for An Inspired Environment

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With coronavirus driving most people into their homes for the majority of 2020, it comes as no surprise that more people have done at least some work from home in the last 12 months. In fact, 46.6% of people in the U.K worked from home at some point last year, and a whopping 86% of these people did so due to the pandemic,[1] so the lines between our work and home lives have become quite blurred.

As many people are continuing to work from home, it is essential for productivity and peace of mind that your work time remains separate from your down time, and the best way to do this is to make yourself a home office, an area where you can close the door on all your work assignments, stresses and challenges at clock out time until the following day.

To help you put together an efficient, professional home office that will boost your productivity and innovation, we’ve put together some tips and ideas on designing an office space your employer would be proud of.

 

Before You Start

Before you even think about new equipment, there are a few things you’ll need to consider to get yourself started. Ask yourself these important questions before you start designing your office space so you can optimise it and ensure that it will be the best space for you.

  1. Where in the house will it be?
  2. What kind of work will you be using your space for?
  3. What will you need in there for this kind of work?
  4. When will you be working?
  5. What will a typical day look like for you?
  6. Will you be bringing clients or colleagues in there?
  7. Do you have children or pets that may distract you?

If you keep these questions in mind, you will be on your way to creating an office space that will be perfectly tailored to your needs both for work and for home.

 

Creating Your Home Office

You don’t necessarily need a large space to design a home office, but it must remain tidy and well-organised to lessen distractions. As this will be where you spend a large amount of your time, it’s in your best interest to personalise the space and make it right for you. Below, we have some advice to help you design a productive office space.

 

 

1) Things to Avoid

Although designing your own office can be fun, there are certain things you may be tempted to do that won’t help you in the long run. Knowing these common mistakes in advance will help you avoid the frustration and stay focused on you work.

  1. Allowing obvious distractions and technology into your office. Things like phones, televisions and radios can draw your attention without you even realising, so it’s best to keep these out of your office space unless you’re going to need them for your work
  2. Neglecting storage space. If you don’t have enough space to store everything, your home office will get cluttered quickly, which will become a distraction and an annoyance
  3. Choosing an area that’s too small. If you set up your office in a space that’s already too small, you’re going to struggle with space and storage from the beginning
  4. Not having the most efficient technology for your job. It’s a good idea to invest in the tools you will be using the most in your job as the last thing you want is for them to break midway through an important piece of work
  5. Letting your wires run free. If you have a lot of technology in your office, it’s best to keep your wires tidy and tucked away so there aren’t any tripping hazards if you’re running around

2) The Essentials

Although a home office is entirely personalisable, there are some essentials that you are going to need to allow you to work to the best of your ability. These things are likely to be the items that you use the most, so it’s a good idea to invest some money in them to make sure they are long lasting and function well.

  • Desk – A strong, roomy desk that will fit in your space and fits your needs
  • Chair – An ergonomic chair that will support you properly throughout the day. Traditional wingback chairs are a beautiful, comfortable option
  • Laptop or PC – A laptop or PC with good specs that does what you need it to
  • Computer stand – A computer stand will make it easier to work comfortably
  • Extra monitor – Two screens can help you organise your tasks and see everything better
  • Keyboard and mouse – A good quality keyboard and mouse optimized for comfort and speed.
  • Fast WiFi – Working means you’ll move quicker, so your Wi-Fi needs to keep up with this
  • Notepad and pen – It’s always a good idea to keep a notepad and pen handy in case you ever need to make notes
  • Printer – A reliable printer in case you need hard copies of work
  • Filing cabinet – A place to put away any pieces of paper or hard copies safely and easily

3) Optimize for Efficiency

Now you’re clued up on what to consider before you start and the essentials you’ll need, it’s time to start designing your home office! Your space has to be optimised for its function, so it’s important to consider the efficiency of everything you put in there as well as the space itself. To ensure you are setting up an adept office space, it’s a good idea to:

  • Make a list of everything you’ll need to put in your office before you start
  • Make sure that the area you’re planning to use is big enough to accommodate what you will need it to
  • Install good storage and give everything a place to be put away so your office will remain clean and organised
  • Establish a schedule, so you know when to switch on and turn off the computer
  • Make your office a space that you’ll enjoy working in, so you won’t grow to resent it every time you go in

Keeping your home office an efficient and focused space will help boost your productivity and work ethic, so it’s important that these needs are met for you to be able to utilise it to the best of your ability.

 

4) Lighting

Lighting is important when you’re working, especially if you’re going to be on a computer for the majority of your day. Having too much or not enough light can cause eye strain, which will lead to loss of focus and make you tired, so having the right level of light is essential. Plenty of natural light in your office space is best to boost productivity, but if this isn’t possible you could consider using dimmable lights to adjust throughout the day. Position your desk and computer away from direct light to avoid screen glare, which can give bad headaches and hurt the eyes. Learn more about avoiding eye strain here.

 

 

5) Décor

Chances are that you’re going to be spending a lot of time in this space, so personalising it and choosing a style that is good for you is important. Although the décor is up to you, some ideas to consider when you’re designing are:

  • Put in a clock – Having a clock that you can see easily will help you stick to schedule and will let you know when it’s time to stop and relax
  • Don’t overcomplicate – You want a home office that is accessible and easy to clean so keep the design and décor simple
  • Consider function – Although personalising your space is important, keep in mind what you will be using your office for and make sure that your décor will assist the function rather than hinder it
  • Don’t cram – Don’t fill your office with things, especially if it’s only a small space, as it will make it feel cramped when you are trying to work

 

6) Make Use of Colour

Colour plays a vital role in productivity, as certain colours inspire creativity while others lessen it. Colour psychology suggests that certain colours affect how we think or behave, like blue inspires calmness and productivity whereas yellow evokes anxiety and tiredness[2], so choose your shades carefully to ensure you will get the most out of your working space. Here are some good colours you could use to create a constructive environment:

  • Neutral shades like beige, taupe or ivory – These kinds of colours create a comfortable feel without providing too much of a distraction
  • Calming colours like light greys or pastel shades – Cooler colours are good for focus and tranquillity, so working won’t feel so stressful
  • Bright colours like yellow, green, red or orange – Brighter colours will make you feel more awake and are said to inspire creativity, enthusiasm, imagination and inspiration
  • Personal colours – Colours based on relevant personal experiences and preferences can put you in a creative, working mood, but make sure you choose colours you associate with good things.

The best advice is to choose a colour that you like and will encourage you rather than bother you. Make clever use of colour when choosing décor and furniture too – if the office fits together aesthetically, you will enjoy going into it more in the mornings.

 

Summary

A home office that meets your needs and therefore helps you reach your work aims is vital for you to excel in your field, and since you’ll be spending around 40 hours a week there, it will pay off for you to customise the design in line with your own personal tastes and habits.

Designed your own home office over lockdown? Let us know any tips you have below!

Sources

[1]https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/bulletins/coronavirusandhomeworkingintheuk/april2020

[2] https://www.verywellmind.com/color-psychology-2795824

Anna Sharples

Office and marketing manager for Sloane & Sons Stylish Chairs, who sell a range of high-quality tub chairs, accent chairs and more.

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