As more and more people are sent to work from home, they struggle to maintain productivity levels they had back at the office. There are so many distractions when you work from home and the décor of the provisional office doesn’t help either. Luckily, there are subtle hacks you can use to boost home office productivity.
The importance of the color scheme
Since office spaces are designed (often by professional interior designers), the color insides them match. On the other side, a home office is usually an unstylish patchwork that mixes all shades and hues imaginable.
For better concentration, you should look to reduce the number of colors and create a signature color pattern that differs from the rest of the apartment/house. Once your brain starts associating these colors with a working environment, you‘ll have better chances of focusing on the tasks ahead.
Regardless of the size of your home office (a single desk is more than enough), it’s the location that influences productivity levels. Placing the work desk under a large windowpane is the best way to get enough natural light during the day.
At nighttime, the lighting levels need to remain perfectly balanced, as you wish to avoid eye strain. In this sense, the quality of the LED lamps you select is quite important. The color of natural light is around 3000K, so choose light bulbs near that figure.
What about the furniture?
One of the biggest mistakes people who have never worked from home is to commandeer a chair from the kitchen dining table and turn it into an office chair. Quite the contrary, office furniture needs to be office furniture even if you work from home.
Namely, furniture which is not ergonomic should be used in the home office. Otherwise, you risk chronic back pain and various other health issues. A simple backrest can be a real-life saver or you might want to get a standing desk if you don’t like to sit for hours at a time.
A green home office
There is hardly an office that doesn’t feature flower pots full of verdant plants. This design feature, if we can call it as such, should definitely find its way inside your home office. Namely, you should relocate the existing pots and plant stands you already have inside the house to the newly established office space.
This way, you won’t spend a dime and you’ll enjoy all the benefits plant life offers. For starts, we all know that plants pump in oxygen that is essential for us to think clearly. In addition, the colors green is among the hues that soothe our mind the best.
Motivation and (inspiration for the creative industry) can be problematic when working from home. Apart from plenty of natural light and verdant plants around you, you need to find additional ways to stay inspired.
For some, inspirational quotes and posters do the trick, while others like to keep a book or a magazine they like nearby it’s important to motivate yourself during the breaks, as doing the dishes does get your mind off work but it doesn’t act as a motivator.
Organization is key
Just like your home’s storage space is its greatest asset, so is a good organization of space essential for establishing an adequate workflow. You should start arranging the office by making sure all important documents and files are with the reach of your hand that they are neatly organized.
Secondly, the desk should come with shelves where you will keep the rest of the files catalogs. Every time you take down something from the shelf be sure to return it to its place. After the workday is over, take at least 10 minutes to clean the desk, so it’s ready for tomorrow.
Getting rid of clutter
The reason why we insist you put everything back into its place is clutter. Office clutter has the potential to decrease productivity and it’s right-out annoying. The home office isn’t spared from clutter; in fact, this is where home and office clutter converge.
You will struggle with children’s stuffed toys and piles of documents at the same time. That’s why it’s essential you have plenty of storage space in and around the office.
Establishing a perimeter
Your office back at work probably had a door you could close to keep the outside world out. Home offices usually don’t come with this luxury, unless you own a study. However, you can still delineate the boundaries of the office other people living in the house shouldn’t transgress.
Since oral warnings usually fail, you might consider hauling in a portable screen that would allow you at least some privacy. On the other side (literally), the windows need to be resealed to ensure they are 100% soundproof.
Boosting productivity in a home office is associated with numerous factors. From choosing ergonomic furniture to surrounding yourself with plants, there are certain hacks on how to motivate yourself to work harder, even with all the familiar (pun intended) distractions involved.
Mike is an Australian business consulting specialist. He’s working with companies that outsource their IT maintenance. He often writes about technology, business and marketing and is a regular contributor on several sites.