Working from home can have a negative impact on your productivity. There are too many distractions and if you are the type of person that can always find something to do, the home is the place to do it.
Discipline is what you need. A well-designed office that inspires productivity and creativity also helps. No matter what size workspace you have to earn your daily bread, a well-designed home office can help you reach your targets.
Organise Your Workspace
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A tidy workspace helps to keep the mind free from distractions. Researchers in the field of psychology have discovered that the “clutter effect” can disrupt your flow of thought. Clutter has also been linked with an increase in stress.
Whilst you may need notepads, files, post-it notes and other work utensils, remember that your concentration levels are affected if your workspace is unorganized. Incorporate sufficient storage space into your home office design and make sure everything is given its place.
Personalise Your Home Office
Creating a workspace that is personal to you helps to kickstart motivation in a morning and keep productivity levels up throughout the day. Designing a room, you can call your own gives you a sense of purpose so choose decorative items you love and that inspire you.
Adding a personal touch to your home office does not have to be expensive. You may already have items in another part of the house that are particularly special to you. Make your home office reflect your personality and you will love spending your time in the room.
Art and Color
It is well established that color affects mood. Inspirational artwork can also give you a moment of reverie the brain needs before launching into another stretch of concentrated focus.
Ideally, the colors you choose for your home office should be energizing, but subtle. Bright colors can overwhelm the senses and impair your cognitive ability. Color psychologists say the best shades for increasing productivity are light blue, green, off-white and pastel colors.
Don’t Forget Your Greens
A study by Norwegian researchers found plants positioned in an office environment helps lower stress and increases attention. Incorporating nature into a home office prompts momentary breaks that help to reinvigorate the cognitive function.
Desk plants, in particular, were found to be effective in increasing productivity because they fall into your line of vision more often without being a distraction. Just take a moment to pause for thought and your eyes fall on a desk plant gives the brain a boost.
Lighting is Important
It’s common knowledge that natural sunlight is good for your health. Conversely, artificial lighting can damage your eyes and make you feel lethargic. If possible, arrange your home office so that your seating position exposes you to natural life without interfering with your ability to see the computer screen or other reading material.
When the night’s kick in, opt for task lighting on your desk and ambient wall lights rather than overhead lighting. Research shows “cool white lighting” gives the mind more clarity, increases alertness and offers better comfort levels.
Control the Temperature
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Being too hot or too cold can quickly zap your concentration levels and motivation. Consequently, productivity levels go out the window. Being able to control the temperature of your home office, especially if you live in a varied climate, helps to stabilize your body’s natural thermometer so you can relax and focus.
Invest in an air-conditioning unit that has both hot and cool settings so that you can regulate the temperature all year round. An all-in-one unit helps reduce the cost and clutter of buying a heater and a portable fan. Air-con units can also be fitted to the wall so don’t take up any floor space.