There are plenty of studies that show that our physical environment has a huge impact on our productivity. While a lot of companies design their offices with this in mind, at home, you’re on your own.
Whether you’re one of the millions who are now working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic or you simply want to optimize your home office, the following home office design ideas might just be what you need to boost your work efficiency and mood.
1. Install Floor-to-Ceiling Glass Walls
If you have the budget, why not install floor-to-ceiling glass walls or windows? A sliding glass door is another option. Though it can get expensive, there are many perks.
You’re able to block outside noise while also making your office look airy and spacious.
Natural light can come in to make you happier, calmer, and more resistant to the effects of stress. It can also improve your sleep quality which translates to better work focus and efficiency.
You can have your fill of vitamin D too. This is essential in regulating your immune system, maintaining a healthy body weight, and ensuring optimal cognitive function.
Natural light is also much easier on the eyes. You’ll have less eye strain and migraines compared to harsh artificial lighting.
2. Use Standing Desk and Active Sitting Chairs
A sedentary lifestyle is linked to a higher death rate and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and certain types of cancer. If you’re sick or in pain, work is affected.
Swapping your standard desk and chair with a standing desk and active sitting chair can add more physical activity to your workday. A standing desk can be adjusted up and down so you can switch between sitting and standing throughout the day.
Compared to sitting, standing burns more calories, lowers blood sugar levels, prevents heart disease, reduces back pain, and improves your mood and energy levels. It’s also been proven to boost productivity.
On the other hand, you can also sit and still remain active. Called active sitting, this type of sitting comes with many benefits, such as a stronger core and better sitting posture. Use an active sitting chair such as a balance ball from time to time to get the benefits.
3. Apply Color Psychology
Colors can influence our behavior and even affect our physical condition. When skillfully applied, it can stimulate your mind and boost our productivity.
Light blues are the best if you often have to do repetitive tasks since it can reduce mental strain and help you stay focused. To help you retain information from the documents you’re studying, yellow is the best.
Meanwhile, if you often find yourself dozing off in the afternoons, some splashes of orange can boost your energy levels. To get your creative juices going, reds and yellows are great choices.
Finally, yellow, orange, and pink are all happy colors that can lift up your spirits and help you stay optimistic.
4. Harness the Power of Scents
Aside from your sense of sight, stimulating your sense of smell can boost your productivity and keep you in a good mood.
Use a diffuser to fill your space with your favorite essential oils. You can also put some fragrance sachets in your drawer for a burst of amazing aroma upon opening. Incense, scented candles, and gel air fresheners work too.
Here are some scents you can try:
- Citrus – Keeps you focused and lifts up your spirits
- Lavender and Jasmine – Relieves emotional stress
- Rosemary – Improves memory retention, fights physical exhaustion and mental fatigue
- Cinnamon – Stimulates the mind
- Peppermint – Invigorating and promotes concentration
5. Embrace Nature
There’s a reason why the natural world is called Mother Nature – it’s nurturing and life-giving. This is why bringing in nature to your home office can affect your psychological and physiological functioning and ultimately, your ability to work.
The easy way to bring fresh air and sunshine in is by opening the windows. Natural sounds are soothing and have been proven to improve the mood and cognitive abilities.
If you have the space and budget, you can try installing a small tabletop fountain. Otherwise, you can find them on Spotify and YouTube and play them in the background.
Research also shows that having plants in your workspace can make you more productive, happier, and stress-free.
6. Get Creative with Your Storage
Messy workspace, messy mind. Declutter your home office to give yourself the clear state of mind you need to work efficiently. Every item should have a home.
If you have a small office, you can get creative with your storage by using free-floating shelves, peg boards, wall grids, corner shelves, and hidden storages.