When working from home, it can be all too easy to slip into a rut of unproductivity. It can be hard to separate your focused work headspace from your relaxed home mentality, especially if you haven’t got a dedicated home office space. Fortunately, here at Brightside Home Insurance for Business Use we have put together some advice on how to make a home office in a small space, as well as some home office design ideas. Hopefully, these tips and tricks will help you create your ideal home workspace from scratch and find ways to boost your mood and productivity simultaneously.
1. Choose the right space to work in
First thing’s first, you’ll need to make sure you’ve found the right area in your home to set up your workspace in. For example, if you live with other people you should avoid setting up your home office where they congregate the most, such as your kitchen or living room. Ideally, you should try to find somewhere quieter and more secluded.
If you have a garage, it may be a good area to consider partly converting into an office space. Alternatively, try to identify other small areas in your home that could be rearranged into a functional home office area. You may be able to free up wall space in your bedroom by decluttering, for example. A built-in cupboard or wardrobe that could be emptied and have a desk fitted in can also be a good candidate for office conversion, particularly if it has a sliding door. That way, the office space can be put out of view when it’s time to clock out for the day, making it easier to mentally switch off.
2. Try to work near windows and sunlight
Working in a dingy corner is unlikely to help you stay productive. It will also quickly have a negative impact on your mood. Try to set up your office space near a good source of natural sunlight to keep your vitamin D levels up throughout the day. This will also maintain your body’s circadian rhythm which keeps you feeling awake. If there is no space to work near sunlight, at the very least ensure that your chosen space is well lit with plenty of lamps.
3. Utilise all the space available
When you have chosen the area to set up your home office in, space management is key. If you have plenty of space above you, put up shelving to keep all your work-related items in one place. Get creative to maximise storage space. Building your home workspace vertically will naturally help you to organise the space more efficiently. If your space is easy to organise, this will also encourage you to keep it tidy. This includes any cables that come as part of your work equipment. Tidying laptop charging cables and the like together with cable ties or even bread ties will make your life much easier when time comes to clean your home work area.
4. Think about ergonomics
The last thing you want after setting up your home office space is to find that after a while you end up with back pain. Make sure that you have a chair that provides good back support and set it to a height where your eyes are level with your computer screen. This will help to keep your back straight and improve oxygen and blood flow, which will help you think as well as preventing back and shoulder problems.
If you have the space, consider a standing desk. This will help you avoid having to sit down all day, which can also be a detriment to your long-term health.
5. Boost productivity with the right colour scheme
Colours can have a significant psychological effect on a person’s mood, so knowing which colours can help to improve mood and productivity on a subconscious level may influence your home office design choices.
Blue is generally known as a great colour for office spaces as it is generally calming and stable, helping workers to focus on the tasks at hand. Light greens can have a similar effect and do not cause eye fatigue, so may be preferred by those working long hours. Yellow can stimulate creativity and red invokes emotion and passion, so those with creative and physical work-from-home jobs may want to consider these respectively.
Pick colours that you associate with warmth, calmness and happiness to encourage creativity and provide a sense of comfort. Avoid colour clashes and chaotic mix-matches between environmental and accent colours as this can psychologically suggest hostility and slow down your productivity.
With these tips, you should be able to start creating the home workspace of your dreams while also staying productive. For further advice on how to stay productive working from home, our guide on Mental Health and Working From Home has plenty of tips for staying focused and maintaining mental health.