Oh the joy of getting to work from home! Whether your home office is your primary place of work or just your own private refuge where you can work on hobbies and other interests, we all know that some areas are more conducive for productivity than others.
While a home office may be a place that few others rarely see, comfort and aesthetics are still important. You want your space to be comfortable, but not so comfortable that you never get anything done. You also want your work space to be beautiful, but not a distraction from your primary objective. Work spaces and offices are areas that require finesse and balance in order to achieve optimal functionality.
In this article, we are going to talk about some of the best ways to make your home office a place of productivity and efficiency while also creating a comfortable environment that is visually appealing.
Tip 1: Create A Layout That Stimulates Productivity
The size and shape of your office will determine quite a bit about what you can and can not do with your office space.
Unfortunately, unless you are currently in the process of building your own house and can personally design your own office, you are at the mercy of the space that you have. But all is not lost. There are still some great ways to make the most of the space you have.
Here are some things to consider when you are organizing the layout of your office:
- Consider what furniture is absolutely necessary and what pieces might be optional. Tables, desks, chairs, and shelving are great pieces of furniture to include, but be careful not to overcrowd your work space.
- Make your space easy to move through from the doorway to your desk. Consider the flow of your day. Do you have extra seating for clients or coworkers? Is there enough space between couches, end tables, and other pieces of furniture to facilitate a comfortable environment?
- Take into account the direction your windows face. This will determine what time of day you will be receiving direct sunlight. Place lighting in areas that may not get natural sunlight from windows, and use window coverings to help block any harsh glare.
The layout of your office should promote efficiency and make you want to get your work done. Dysfunctional layouts or lack of a clear design choice will make it unpleasant to be in your office. This will deter you from wanting to spend time in your workplace and inhibit the amount of work you can complete effectively.
Tip 2: Make Space For Collaboration
Just because you work from home does not necessarily mean you are working alone. Many projects require collaboration and team participation.
Whether you have co-workers, team members, or clients physically coming into your office or you are meeting with them virtually, there are ways to promote collaboration and ways to hinder it.
Here are some suggestions that will help to encourage an atmosphere of encouragement and support:
- Arrange your furniture to allow people to sit comfortably in your office. Have enough seating when you know more people will be joining you. No one wants to feel left out.
- Choose furniture that is comfortable! No one will care what your office looks like if they are not comfortable. Of course, you don’t want anyone falling asleep on the job, but considering how much time you might spend in a certain chair or at a desk, you owe it to yourself to be mindful of your furniture choices. There are several options for ergonomically correct office furniture that will help you stay healthy and happy while working.
- Include tables or hard surface areas for people to set up computers, notebooks, papers, or other work materials. There is nothing more awkward than trying to take notes on your lap.
- Having a virtual meeting? Consider the placement of your computer. What will be seen behind you? Is there a window that might prevent you from seeing clearly or being seen? What is the angle of the camera? Does it look up at you or down? Is it too close to your face or does it cut off part of you? All of these will factor into whether your meeting is productive or full of distractions.
- Include window treatments to block any harsh sunlight that may make your space unpleasant, but be sure these window treatments are functional and can also allow warm, natural light to come in. No one wants to work in the dark!
- Have some decor in your office. You do not have to spend a lot of time or money to make this place visually appealing. Little additions such as wall hangings, plants, and window treatments are enough to make a big difference.
- The color of your walls should be soothing and enjoyable. Or keep your walls neutral and add splashes of a color that you enjoy. When your space is visually appealing, you will enjoy being in your office and will end up being more productive. Looking for some pointers on picking out colors? Check out our article that talks about the 5 Secrets To Simplifying Color Selection.
- Consider adding beverages or refreshments that can be close at hand for your clients or coworkers. A mini fridge for chilled water bottles, or a coffee maker that can be ready to go at a moment's notice will go a long way to keeping your team members and customers alert and happy!
While you may work remotely, chances are you do not work completely alone. There are staff meetings, virtual collaborations, meetings with clients, and other activities that will be taking place in your home office throughout the work week.
An unappealing space will make it uncomfortable to invite others in to work with you. Your space should be inviting because when you feel at ease, others will feel it too.
Tip 3: Control Light And Sound
The right amount of light and ambient sound will increase productivity and limit distractions. Here are some ideas of how to help add light and sounds that will be helpful and ways to limit the ones that can be problematic.
- Windows are nice, but don’t limit yourself to just natural light. Be sure you have plenty of overhead lights as well as lamps strategically placed where you will need them. If you have a designated area set up for a project that requires close attention to detail, you may want a special light source that you can position exactly where you will need it to help prevent eye strain.
- Consider having a sound system or white noise machine in your office to help block out excess noise and keep you focused and on task.
- Music can be a wonderful stimulant for your own work, and can also create a wonderful environment for meeting with potential customers. You do not want the music to be distracting or overpowering, so be aware of the volume level and be sure you can control it right from your desk.
- The right window treatments can provide light control and help dampen noise. Some are specifically designed for these purposes, so it is important to know the functionality of each window treatment option you are considering before installing. Talking to a Gotcha Covered Design Expert for recommendations is a great way to get started finding the best window treatments to fit your needs.
The right amount of light and sound is crucial for a comfortable work environment. Unless you are working in an isolation chamber, some light and sound will naturally enter your work space. You can use this to your advantage by letting it stimulate your work, but you also need to know how best to control it.
Tip 4: Keep Clutter Elsewhere
As important as it is to have everything you need in your office, it is just as important to intentionally keep some stuff out. The temptation might be to use your extra office space for additional storage. Don’t give in! Here are some reasons why it is important to keep your home and office separate.
- In order to maintain the proper layout and professional atmosphere that you have worked so hard to create, keep household items and storage somewhere else.
- A home office should be treated as an actual office space. When you are at work, be at work and when at home, be fully present. Storing household items in your office space may start to blur the lines between the two.
- Miscellaneous items that find their way into your office space may actually distract you from your work by reminding you of all the things you have on your to-do list at home. This can take your attention away from what you are trying to accomplish.
It is important to keep your work life and personal life separate in order to be effective at both. Keeping your office strictly a place for work will help keep you on task and efficient.
Looking for some more pointers on how to stay productive when you are working from home? Here are some handy tips from Inc.com!
Tip 5: Use Connected Technology
Technology today is part of the reason why more people than ever before have the option to work from home. We have phones that are mini supercomputers, laptops that can become design boards, and multiple ways of connecting with people from all over the world within moments.
Advancements in home automation technology have added convenience to our everyday lives at home and in our places of work.
Here are some ways that connected technology can increase your productivity in your office:
- Automated systems can be programmed to respond to voice control or by remote so you can have total control right from your desk.
- Lights can be set to timers, sensors, and dimmers so your office can be properly lit without having to constantly get up and re-adjust the lighting.
- Motorized window treatments can be pre-programmed to open and close as needed throughout the day. Set your schedule to certain hours of the day or use sensors for seasonal and weather related changes and let your window treatments do the rest.
- Voice reminders can help you stay on task as well as keep track of your to-do list throughout the day without pulling your attention away from what you are working on.
- Smart home thermostats can be programmed to keep your office at just the right temperature all day long to keep you comfortable and alert.
Productivity can definitely be enhanced by having automated systems set up in your office. The less time you have to be away from your desk, the more efficient you will be during work hours. This will also add to the overall comfort of your home office.
There are some wonderful motorized and automated window treatment options available. If you are interested in learning more about some of these exciting new technological advancements, be sure to check out this article and talk to your Gotcha Covered Design Expert.
A home office can be a wonderful place for productivity and efficiency when set up for success. A work space should be comfortable and stimulating to promote and encourage your best efforts. Finding this balance is the key.
If you are looking to add some comfort and style to your home office, we have just the right window treatments for you. Reach out to your Gotcha Covered Design Expert and we will be able to help you reinvent your space to enhance your productivity and efficiency while also making it a place you love to be!
Call us at (888) 650-6187 or schedule a free design consultation today and let us help you create a place that will stimulate creativity and optimize performance in a peaceful environment.
About the Author: Brooke Carr, Gotcha Covered
Brooke joined the Gotcha Covered family in 2018 as the Social Media Coordinator. She works closely with our corporate teams and our Gotcha Covered franchisees to develop insightful and helpful content for our brand.