Four ways you can improve your home office – and make it more productive
Working from home brings with it numerous rewards – not least the ability to take commutes out of the equation and remain closer to your ‘real’ life.
And given the world’s current situation, we wanted to explore some ways that a home office can be strategically designed to complement the rest of the home, both in terms of aesthetic and functionality.
Trendy Floors share four ways you can streamline your daily routines, and improve your work-life balance as a result.
1) Declutter with productivity in mind
Home offices tend to use the smallest room in your home, which often means you’re not blessed with an abundance of space. And, while there will be some equipment you need in order to effectively carry out your job from home, you might also be hoarding more than is actually necessary.
Before you begin any sort of design update, it’s good to sort the clutter from the necessities, so that what you’re left with is the things you actually need to do your job well.
If your desk is overrun with grocery lists or utility bills you keep meaning to look at, it’s time to be brutal and get rid of these personal distractions. (Not sure where to start? Just follow this system.)
With what you need to hand and a clean and clear work station, you’ll be that much more prepared to carry out a day’s work and deal with “life admin” once the working day is officially over.
2) Invest in ergonomic furniture
There’s no denying that working from home comes with temptations – with one of these being lounging around on the sofa or bringing the big reading chair into the office.
But as anyone who has worked from a home office for a significant period of time will be able to tell you, this is not a smart solution and will almost certainly cause you problems further down the line.
In terms of the most important furniture items, we’re of course thinking of your desk and chair. Both of these need to be comfortable enough for you to utilise on a daily basis while causing as little damage as possible to your back and eyes.
With this in mind, it’s well worth investing in ergonomic solutions that are designed to do just that – and whether you’re a leather lover or fabric fan, it shouldn’t be too tricky to keep in mind your home’s overall aesthetic when making your purchases.
To take this one step further, you can also factor in suitable lighting options. While overhead lighting will help keep the room well lit, you might also need to consider an adjustable desk lamp that will minimise strain on your eyes.
With so many options now available, you won’t need to search too hard to find styles and colours that fit with the design of your home.
3) Spruce up walls and floors
Increasingly, interior designers are favouring a blank canvas that can then be updated with wall hangings and picture frames. And in your quest for a space that allows you to be creative without becoming too visually busy, this could be the perfect solution for you too.
Whether this is a business quote or images of some of your goals, try to decorate with things you know will help you stay focused.
Distraction and procrastination will be your enemies when you’re working remotely, so you’ll want to make sure that there’s not so much going on that your mind wanders from the job at hand.
Keeping your decluttering in mind, you could use wall space for magnetic whiteboards and blown up calendars or weekly planners. These will serve a functional purpose and won’t divert your attention away from the job.
With your walls taken care of, it’s time to turn your attention to flooring. There’s no reason why your office flooring has to be different to the rest of the home, so if you’re a lover of laminate, extend this from the hall into the office area. It’s recommended that you hire a flooring company to install the laminate for you, but if you’re handy around the house you could give it a try on your own.
Alternatively, light grey tiled flooring can work beautifully in a reception area and then flow through to the office, helping the home stay streamlined. Wherever your office is based within your house, there’s no reason why your flooring options can’t take the lead from the rest of the home. To make your office cozier, try adding a rug that complements the size of your desk.
4) Get smart with accessories
When accessorising your home office, you’ll want to think about the difference between the nice-to-haves and the things that will genuinely be beneficial.
Plants can be a great way to breathe life and character into a space, and they also have added health benefits – helping to improve the air quality of your office and positively impact your mental health. Don’t be tempted to buy a whole garden’s worth though, as your small work space will quickly become overwhelmed.
To stay focused on the job during your working hours, you could consider keeping family pictures and holiday memorabilia in a different room in the home to keep the office solely focused on work.
This way, once you close that office door, you can enter back into family life knowing you’ve stayed on task and you can enjoy your evening without guilt.
So, be it modern and minimalist or rustic and chic, whatever the vibe of your home interior, you’re now armed with the know-how to set about updating various elements of your office to better complement your home as a whole and enhance your work-life balance as a result.
Alex Jones is a content creator for Trendy Floors, the home of discount flooring products with all the hallmarks of luxury – from affordable luxury vinyl tile to engineered parquet.
Photo by Ella Jardim