10 Office Design Tips That Will Make Working from Home Less Dull

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From freelance writers and web developers to architects and even customer support specialists, more and more people have said goodbye to the stress of commutes and 9-to-5 routines and started working from home. Financially and practically, working from home is a great idea: you get to make your own schedule, you no longer have to keep part of your paycheck to cover transportation costs, and you can spend more quality time with your family.

Working from your home office is definitely better than sitting in a cubicle all day, but if there’s one thing that all people who work from home complain about is that, after a while, your home office tends to become a bit dull and lower productivity levels.

If your office no longer inspires you to be creative and do your best, try these 10 design tips to transform it into a place that motives you and fills you with positive energy.

Office Design Tips That Will Make Working from Home Less Dull

Keep It Minimal

Work and clutter don’t get along so well. According to psychologists, the more clutter surrounds you, the more you will feel anxious, distracted and won’t be able to focus on your task. So, the first rule to furnishing a home office is not to go overboard with furniture and decorations and follow the “less is more” principle. Don’t try to fill every empty space. Choose clean lines over intricate designs, choose aesthetically pleasing decorations that are also functional, and structure your office in several mini-areas, each with its own purpose. There are so many beautiful office decorations out there that it’s easy to go overboard and overspend because they look so adorable, but try to only buy what you need.

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Just Add Green

When most people add plants in their homes, they usually do it because plants look nice or because they want to have their own little gardening project. However, there is more to plants than aesthetics. In an office, plants not only liven things up and add a splash of color, but also reduce stress and increase air quality, which in turn give you a creativity boost and increase your productivity. Succulents such as aloe and cacti make great office plants because they require little care, little space, and thrive even in darker rooms.

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Make Room for Light

Good lighting is essential in the workplace, because it reduces the symptoms of eye strain by up to 84%. The average home already has better natural light compared to office buildings, so all you need to do is place your desk at the right angle, so that the light comes from the side. If you work in the evenings and you simply must use artificial light, steer clear of neon or cold lighting, because it’s very tiresome and lowers productivity. Even though it costs more, invest in energy-saving, natural LED lights which are comfortable for the eye and creates a better indoor experience.

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Inspirational Posters

Sometimes, you need that little extra push when all you want to do is open Facebook or go downstairs for a snack. Inspirational posters or office signs are a great way to get back on track when you hit a low point, but don’t rush to buy the generic, impersonal ones in stores. Instead, print out a quote that you love and that inspires you. It only takes a few minutes to download a nice font or a creative template and make your own poster that isn’t mass produced and that actually means something to you.

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Invest in a Functional Desk

The desk in your office isn’t just a piece of furniture where you place your laptop. It’s the centerpiece of the room, the place where you keep your essential supplies and you do all the work, so it needs to be optimized for your needs. From the designs you love, choose the ones that are just the right size and that are laid out in such a way to keep all your essentials. The perfect functional desk should have just enough drawers to fit everything in, as well as a space to hide computer cables. If you’re low on space, choose a desk that can be placed against the wall and that has a separate space for the keyboard underneath.

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Get an Ergonomic Chair

You’ve probably heard this a hundred times before, but the office chair is essential for your health and productivity. Spending eight hours sitting down on a rough chair that doesn’t provide lumbar support is bad for your spine and your productivity will suffer as well, because you won’t be able to find a comfortable position and focus on your work.

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Set Up a Creative Area

Where do brilliant ideas come from? From a place that inspires you and ignites your creativity. If you have a creative job that requires you to constantly think outside the box or come up with ingenious concepts, such as a designer or writer, you might not get them just by looking at a computer screen. A separate creative area such as a post-it board can help you see things from a different perspective, come up with creative solutions and regain your inspiration. You can design your own signs online to place them above the board and use cute pins and post-its to organize your thoughts. If you need a place to catch your breath and refocus, you can always add some incense sticks or scented candles in that corner.

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The Power of Colors

The colors you see while you work have a great influence on your mood and attitude, so you might want to repaint your walls to set the right atmosphere:

  • White is a neutral color that works for all work-related activities, but too much white empty space is not recommended, because it can look austere and unwelcoming.
  • Avoid earthy shades such as brown or beige. Used in the bedroom, they are calming and soothing, but in an office, they aren’t recommended because they inspire you to slack and relax.
  • Red and orange are warm, bright colors that inspire energy and action. Use them if you have a job that requires you to be positive, proactive and friendly, such as phone sales or online customer support.
  • Blue and green are also calming colors, but unlike brown, they boost intellectual activity, helping you stay focused and relaxed. Soothing shades of blue and green are also recommended in creative fields, such as writing and design.

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The Refreshment Corner

To stay productive while working, you need to fuel your body with healthy drinks and snacks. The problem with working from home, however, is that you might be tempted to make frequent trips to the kitchen to find something to nibble on, and end up wasting to much time there. To avoid this, set up a refreshment corner (it can include a mini-fridge) and refill it every evening with the right amount snacks and drinks you need the next day. Not only will this prevent you from overeating, but also from getting up too often.

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Know When to Change Things Up

No matter how much time you invest in setting up the perfect home office, there will come a time when it no longer inspires you. When that time comes, you don’t necessarily have to throw everything out and start from scratch. A few simple changes, such a moving the desk in a different corner, rearranging the decorations, changing the curtains or replacing the wall art can make feel new and uplifting once again.

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What do you think about the ideas expressed above? Would these help your home practice?

We would love to hear from you in the comment section below!

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