As work-from-home setups become part of the norm in a post-COVID-19 world, you’re probably realizing all the more the importance of having a designated workspace to carry out your tasks. After all, your physical work environment can significantly affect your mood, concentration, and overall work performance. Just observe how you often struggle to get things done when you work near your bed, with fluffy pillows and comfy sheets beckoning you to come to lie down, or in the dining area of your house, where other members of your family are more likely to disturb you.
If you want your mind and body to transition into “work mode” effortlessly when working from home, you need to create a separate workspace that’s conducive to productivity. Don’t worry because setting up an office doesn’t typically require considerable home renovation. With proper lighting, the right furniture, and a few other tweaks, you can readily create an environment where you can focus and get into the zone. To help you get started in your home office project, consider the following tips:
Invest in Comfortable and Ergonomic Furniture
Sitting in front of the computer and doing paperwork for hours can be taxing, uncomfortable, and stressful. You can even hurt your spine or posture if you use a poorly designed office chair or a table with an incorrect height. As such, it’s prudent to invest in ergonomic furniture as they afford adjustable features to ensure maximum comfort, support, and functionality. Make sure to check online marketplaces offering second hand office furniture, where you might be able to find affordable but useful ergonomic home office chairs and desks.
Choose an Area with Natural Lighting
When looking for a space to set up your home office, you may want to select an area that receives plenty of daylight. Perhaps, a spot near a large window or under a skylight. Besides helping you save money on electricity bills, working in a daylit area can help boost your mood, increase your energy, and make you more productive. One study presented at the International Conference on Health, Biological and Life Science in Turkey revealed how natural light helps improve concentration, cognitive functioning, and alertness—all of which are critical to optimal work performance.
Add Plants to Your Workspace
Did you know that decorating your space with indoor plants could also help boost productivity? A study on the long-term impacts of incorporating plants in an office environment published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology revealed that test subjects showed a 15% increase in productivity after their offices were adorned with greenery. If you’d like to partake of the same benefits, consider sprucing up your work area with mood-boosting and stress-reducing houseplants.
Try positioning a potted ZZ plant or snake plant on greenery stand beside your work desk to make your office more aesthetically pleasing. Another option is to put a large vase of fresh flowers on your side table to brighten up your workstation. You can also dress up your work table with succulents or hang a few baskets of string-of-pearls, English ivy, or other hanging plants on your walls if you have limited space on your desk.
Make Your Home Office Inviting
Because you’ll probably spend most of your waking hours working, you should exert effort to make your home office inviting. Transform it into a comfortable and inspiring area where you can work happily and perform at your best. This could mean painting the walls with your favorite colors, framing and hanging your favorite motivational quote in a visible spot, or decorating your office in a way that showcases your unique personality.
If you find it challenging to concentrate on your tasks, you may want to adorn your desk with items that make you happy. A brightly colored mouse pad, a desk calendar with pictures of adorable puppies, or a pen holder made by your child are just a few examples. Besides boosting your mood and making you smile, seeing things that bring you joy while working can trigger positive emotions that can help you stay focused on whatever task you’re doing.
Play Some Music
You’re probably already aware of the many wellness benefits of listening to music, which include everything from relieving anxiety and reducing stress levels to improving mood and managing pain. But did you know that it can also help you become more motivated and productive? According to a study published in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, listening to background music while doing another activity tends to improve mental performance and productivity, especially among adults.
That said, you may want to place a speaker on your home office desk or wear headphones so you can listen to songs that can make you feel good and inspired as you work. Classical music is a genre that’s often recommended to enhance one’s concentration, but you can also go with jazz, pop, ballad, or other music genres that you like but wouldn’t get in the way of you getting things done. Create your work-from-home playlist by experimenting with different tunes to create repertoires that work for you.
These are just some of the things you should bear in mind when you want to create a home office setup that will boost your productivity and keep you more focused and engaged while working. See how you can use or modify them according to your needs and preferences. Ultimately, you want a workspace that will make you feel happy and inspired to do your job, since happy people tend to work harder and better.