4 Ways To Improve Your Home Office
It’s a workforce revolution. Millions of people each year are ditching their cubicles, annoying coworkers, micromanaging bosses, and their tiresome and stressful daily commutes to work from home.
Fueled by an increasingly accessible Internet and the proliferation of mobile devices and apps, the trend is growing exponentially, with the number of workers worldwide working outside of a traditional office expected to reach 1.3 billion in 2015.
That means a lot of people are suddenly finding out that working from home is not all pajamas and bon-bons. It’s a significant life change that brings its own set of unique challenges, not the least of which is setting up a home office space. This isn’t a place to sit down once a month to pay bills, it’s a place that needs to be designed for comfort, creativity, and maximum productivity.
Whether one is just beginning to create a home office, or has one that could use some improvement, here are four ways to enhance the domestic workplace.
Most home offices will have limited workspace, which can easily and quickly lead to clutter and disorganization, a hindrance to productivity both psychologically and practically. Efficient use of storage space and ample room for everything is a must. Modular shelving and closets that can be adapted to fit into existing spaces, and rearranged according to need, are incredibly useful. There are many solutions on the market intended for the home office that are practical, affordable, and attractive too. Sites like Pinterest and Tumblr are a great resource for finding clever storage ideas.
It’s important to resist the temptation to skimp on an office chair just because it’s a home office. A quality, well-designed chair might seem expensive, but it’s a sound investment. Sitting for hours in a chair that’s uncomfortable and that encourages bad posture is one of the best ways to destroy productivity. A good office chair should be fully adjustable for lumbar support, height and arm rest position, and be well padded. And be easy to clean and durable as well.
Insufficient and incorrect lighting can not only lead to eyestrain and fatigue, it can also alter the mood. Harsh, bright lights have been shown to cause irritability and distractedness, while softer and more diffused lighting can increase cheerfulness and focus. If at all possible a home office should have a window to admit natural lighting. There should also be at least two light sources, one of them overhead and another for the desk. Adjustable lighting is a plus. Glare should be avoided by choosing matte-finished office furniture and accessories when possible, and using a glare screen on the computer terminal.
Most people don’t give it much thought, but office decor can have a big impact on performance and attitude. Colors are known to have a psychological influence, for instance blue and green are soothing, red can cause an aggressive reaction, and yellow can enhance creativity. A neutral shade like white or tan is a good choice, and most people should probably avoid loud and distracting colors. Plants are of course a welcome addition, as long as they don’t take up too much space, and inspirational pictures and quotes can be quite effective.