There are many excellent reasons to work from home. There is no commute, access to de-stress areas such as the living room and kitchen are just a few steps away, and there is no dealing with inclement weather.
Perhaps the best part of working from a home office is that space can be customized to match each individual’s unique needs. A perfectly designed workroom can be comfortable and calm, providing the ultimate chance for productivity. Here are seven tips for designing the best work at home office.
Tip #1: Natural Lighting
If possible, choose a room with a lot of natural lighting. Sunlight has been proven to have a positive impact on mental state and alertness. According to a Forbes article, moderate sunlight exposure can improve mood and focus by boosting serotonin levels in the body. So, make sure to make the most of natural light by placing a desk or workstation facing a window that receives natural light.
Tip #2: Privacy
Working at home is great, as long as work can get done at home. Noisy distractions may seriously eat into productivity. Privacy is key. Make sure to choose a room that has a door which shuts tightly or even locks. Consider getting an under-the-door runner to block noise from the rest of the house. Additionally, soft fabrics like blankets, pillows, and rugs can help soften any noise that does make it into the room.
Tip #3: Speedy Connection
Nothing is more aggravating than trying to work when the internet connection is slow. Make sure a fast internet connection is a norm in order to work as efficiently, and calmly, as possible. Also, consider investing in a wireless hub for the office so work can be done anywhere from desk to chair to standing.
Tip #4: Comfort & Support
For anyone looking to work from home in the long-term, designing the space with an eye to ergonomics is a must. Otherwise, workers may suffer neck and back problems, eyestrain or carpal tunnel syndrome. Buying the right equipment and furniture can save a lot of pain later on. Consider buying a specific chair designed for computer users which take into account the biomechanics of sitting. A work chair should protect the back and spine. Also, consider footrests, ergonomic mouse instruments and soft keyboard pads to rest wrists on. Every piece of furniture and tool that the body uses (other than the keyboard), should take into account the comfort and support of the body.
Tip #5: Customize the Space
Staring at white walls all day may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Instead, consider painting the walls or putting up pictures or images which either relax or invigorate. Some people prefer their workspace calm and may prefer everything aligned and in a similar colour. Others may want a more lively space and go with brighter accent colours to invigorate.
Also, make sure to have enough storage where most things are out of sight. According to an article in Psychology Today, clutter can distract and work the mind over time, by providing too many stimuli. So, keep the clutter at a minimum.
Tip #6: Get Creative with Color
According to an Entrepreneur article, colours can elicit emotional and physical reactions from people. Some colours are better for office spaces than others. Consider using neon signs or other accent pieces in the following colours in order to engage helpful emotional responses:
Green: fresh feeling, fosters concentration
Yellow: grabs attention, evokes optimism
Red: energetic, create excitement
Purple: stimulates the imagination
Also, consider using white, ivory, grey or tan. They are all neutral colours which can balance any louder colour choices.
Tip #7: Make a De-Stress Haven
Every at-home worker needs a place to de-stress. Having a nook or small space to sit and relax can be very beneficial to regaining peace of mind and momentum when stress levels are rising. Make it comfortable and soothing, like a mini-retreat at home.