When you work from home there can be so many distractions. For most there are pets, children, television, a comfy place to read a book and gardening that always needs doing. These can drag you away from your work but having a really inspirational office can make a huge difference to your productivity.
Your own space
If at all possible you should have a place in your home where you can go and work. A room that’s a dedicated office, a heated shed at the bottom of the garden, or a quiet corner of your bedroom.
It should be a place where your family knows not to bother you. When you are in that room it means that work is happening and you are not to be disturbed.
Fill it with things you love
A home office might be all about work but you don’t want to go in there dreading it. It should also be a place to relax and be productive. Have photographs of your family on your desk, figurines that remind you of someone special or inspirational books relating to your field.
The place in which you work should promote a calm atmosphere so decorate it how you want. Don’t think that because it’s a workplace you should keep it sparse and militant.
Think about colour
There are certain colours that can help or hinder our productivity. Blue is said to be the most calming and can stimulate you to work harder. Green will keep you calm too so if you work in a very high-stress job then a green office full of plants will keep your stress levels down.
Red should be avoided as it can make your heart beat faster and increase your breathing, which can make you feel more stressed.
Yellow provokes a sense of concentration but it’s said that people can lose their tempers more easily in a yellow room.
If you have a small office then you should paint it white (or perhaps a very pale cream) to enhance the natural light and make it appear larger. The last place you want to be working is in a dark, stuffy office. If you find white a little boring then you can always brighten up the walls with art or photographs.
Create an inspiration wall
Above your workspace you should have things that inspire to get on with you day’s work, or make a difference in your field.
The most simple way to do this would be to hang a cork board above your desk and pin keepsakes and motivational words to it. This way it can be changed depending on your moods or what work you have ahead of you.
Beautiful stationary might be more exciting for some women than others but there’s something about a pretty notebook that just makes you want to keep it looking tidy. If you consider stationary a treat then get some of the best, it’ll help you keep your office more organised.
If you have post-it notes, highlighters, different coloured pens and notebooks on hand then you have no excuses not to be organised. Use your notebook to keep a to-do list and rewrite it every day.
Check something off when you get it done. This sort of visual progress helps to keep you motivated (and, if you are so inclined, there are plenty of opportunities for colour coding too).
Make it just about work
Most of us who work from home have a hard time differentiating between the work environment and the home environment. This leads to longer working hours and, ultimately, more stress.
When you take a lunch break, take it in the living room. Relax for an hour then go back to the office when your time is up. If you need to get away for ten minutes then switch your monitor off and go into the kitchen to make a drink, don’t aimlessly browse the internet.
On your days off, the office is out of bounds. Just as it would be if you worked away from home.
About the Author
Jess Shanahan is a writer working with Global Synthetic Grass. She is a stationary geek with a love for beautiful, organised spaces.