Whether working from home (WFH) was ever your dream or not, we are all still taking business calls from the spare bedroom that we are now calling the home office. What felt like a temporary measure is beginning to look like a more permanent fixture, so it’s important to look after yourself and your space. In the same way that we feel more “together” by getting dressed for a day working from home, even though no one will see us, we should invest in the space where we make this work happen.
Here are our best tips for revitalising that home office and giving yourself a space that motivates you to do your most incredible work.
While you may have shoved a desk in the spare room, pushing the bed to the side, you cannot hope to maintain motivation in such a space. Consequently, you need to invest in decorating your home office, so that it promotes work.
You can do a lot with furniture, but the colours of the walls are going to do more for you. A bedroom requires mooted colours that promote sleep. An office needs vibrant walls, which reflects the sunshine, and encourages inspiration. Therefore, revitalising your home office could be as simple as buying a pot of paint to brighten your room. This can be done quickly and easily, and immediately change up the feel of your room.
Add small touches of chic.
A couple of hundred years ago, there was this philosophy called utilitarianism. Basically, people thought they didn’t need anything more than was practical. Soon, there was a consensus that such a philosophy made people miserable. Work doesn’t have to be sad. Consequently, you are allowed to invest in some elegance or cosiness that gives you pleasure in this room. You should do all you can to personalise the space to inspire you and help you relax into your daily grind.
Reposition your desk.
We thrive best when we get some sunlight. We also need to give ourselves a view to look out on, especially if we are using a computer or undertaking a lot of close work. Therefore, you should move your desk to allow you to look out of a window. If this isn’t possible, put a notice board in front of your desk with lots of art, children’s pictures or bright fabrics. Whatever your preference, you should give yourself something inspiring to look at as you work.
Get the basics in place.
Plenty of storage, a comfortable chair, and the right lighting are essentials for your wellbeing.
Let’s face it – life is far too short to spend your day in an uncomfortable chair. However, this is much more than just the pleasure of a cushion under your butt. Being in an ergonomic position while working is essential. You need to avoid back pain, wrist pain and other aches from sitting in the wrong seat.
Equally, an appropriate light will keep your eyes fresher and your head free from pain. You shouldn’t really rely on a room light when you are doing hour upon hour of work. Therefore, complement the overhead light with a bright desk lamp to focus on the task at hand. There are some beautiful retro lights that can give you the feeling of offices of the past.
Then, there is the simple pleasure of colour coded folders and organisers to make you feel like a grown-up – why wouldn’t you? There are no health benefits to raiding the stationery shop, but there is a lot of geeky joy to be had from buying office equipment.
Get yourself a plant.
So, buying a plant such as a cactus, peace lily, spider plant or rubber plant might seem like small fry, but it can make a significant difference to the quality of air in the room and your sense of wellbeing. Plants have proven physiological and psychological effects on humans. Some studies demonstrate that they can improve productivity and creativity and reduce the chances of sickness.
Make sure your space is a positive place to sit. You may hate those posters with affirmations in your workplace, but they do have a proven effect. Pin an inspirational quotation on that cork board and remind yourself to read it each day.
Laura McLoughlin is a Digital PR with past experience as a website editor and writer. Away from the keyboard, you can find her binging nature documentaries and dreaming up travel plans. Laura works with Glaze Digital in Northern Ireland.