More and more people are working from home, either full-time or part-time and therefore having to adapt their home surroundings to accommodate their work.
Creating the right work environment, which broadens your creativity and frees you from distractions is key to maximum productivity. Research actually shows that clutter can decrease productivity, which is not ideal for a space with is meant to be dedicated to working.
Whether you have a home office or are simply watching in the living room or kitchen table, we offer some tips to help you spruce up your home environment to get to motivated, even on those days where you feel you have fallen into a slump.
We spoke to interior design experts at The Wood Works to answer all your office-based décor questions!
Lighting has a direct correlation with productivity. It can be extremely hard to concentrate in a dark and dingy room. The right lighting can keep you alert and focussed as well as inspired to get creative, but the wrong lighting can give you eye-strain, headaches and reduce your output.
In fact, the Hawthorne Effect carried out in Chicago between 1924 and 1932 showed that employee productivity improved in brighter rooms over darker rooms.
If you work in a company office you probably do not have that much control over the lighting situation. However, at home, you can adjust your desk to suit the best light, whether it is overhead lights, near a window or additional lamps.
If you work during set hours during the day you should make use of the natural light as much as possible. On dark, cloudy or stormy days make use of lamps in a variety of different areas around the room.
Colours can have a powerful effect on our mood and how we feel in general. A study from The University of Texas showed that white, grey and beige lead to depression and boredom for employees, whereas blue and green are said to be stimulants and encourage productivity.
If working from an office, put a few things on your desk that are a particular colour which inspires you and puts you in the right mood such as light blue, pink or purple.
In a home office, you will obviously have more control over the colours which are around you. As an office design can impact your mood, and colour can make a big difference between a successful day and hours spent browsing Facebook or daydreaming, consider repainting a wall, adding artwork or changing up the colour of your furniture.
To get the creative juices flowing, you need to have a clean and clear working environment. “A cluttered room is a cluttered mind,” your mother or father may have said to you at one point. Avoid stress and poor mental health by cleaning up the mess.
Start by making sure your designated space is clear from wrappers, old coffee cups and unnecessary paperwork. File things which are most important so that you have them at arm’s length and not cluttered under lots of junk.
When working from a home office, there is a potential for your whole house or flat to be a distraction. If you can afford to, consider hiring a professional cleaning service to help keep your home clean.
If you cannot or would rather save money, you should aim to dedicate a specific day and time to clean your home – that way, the clutter won’t be an excuse to procrastinate. You could spend just 10 minutes each day decluttering your area – sometimes first thing in the morning is best and this will help you get into a good routine.
The pros of designated rooms
If you can have a specific room to work in every day at home, this can help mirror the office feel. It also becomes your work space and is separate from home distractions. Having a door which you can open or close and put a sign on, can highlight to other family members that you should not be distracted – you are essentially putting boundaries into place.
Similarly, you need that cut off between work and home. For some people, it’s the hour commute on TFL to help them separate working life and home life. By having a room just for work, changing your clothes or even walking around the block at the end of a working day, can help your unwind and maximise your work space.