Home office décor can have just as much as effect on your work as getting the right technology set up. Here are a few tips and tricks that experienced entrepreneurs and telecommuters swear by to create a more pleasant, productive and business-boosting home office experience.
The best lighting for your home office
If you can’t see, you can’t work. OK, it’s a little more complicated than that, but let’s start with the idea that more natural light is better. For work in the office by day, open curtains or blinds and let light in. Be sure to arrange your desk and computer in a way to take advantage of natural light without affecting your ability to read your monitor.
If you tend to work when it’s dark outside, lighting in your home office should be adequate and layered. Just the light from your monitor is not enough and you’re bound to get headaches if you try to read by it. Place a few lamps in different positions and elevations around the office and be sure to have light that is behind you if you’re working on a computer during night hours.
Stylish surroundings that energize
Just because you work from home, doesn’t mean your office doesn’t deserve corporate-level comfort. Invest in ergonomic seating for your desk, but also splurge in a comfortable reading type chair for times when you want to read a book, go over a presentation, or just take a break with a cup of tea. Choose paint colors that make you feel energized. Add wall art and decorative items that fit your style and inspire creativity. If you can’t work without coffee or tea, splurge on a fancy setup so you can indulge without breaking your routine.
If you spend a lot of time in your home office, making sure the air you breathe is clean should be a top priority. Indoor air pollutants such as formaldehyde, VOCs, and carbon monoxide can cause headaches, fatigue, and brain fog – all productivity killers. Studies have shown however, that common houseplants work like nature’s air filters to absorb harmful gases and remove toxins from the air we breathe. Houseplants are inexpensive and easy to care for, so next time you are at a garden center, pick up a few of these proven air-cleaners for your home office: Rubber Plant, Boston Fern, Philodendron, Sansevieria (’Mother-in-Law’s Tongue’), Dracaena, Ficus or Spider Plants.
Work can be stressful, but the beauty of working from home is that you can take a quick break whenever you need it without feeling guilty. Create a relaxing space in your home office you can retreat to when you need to disconnect and recharge. Remember the comfy chair we talked about earlier? Settle in with a non-business-related book for 10 minutes. Studies have shown that just 10 minutes of sustained reading can reduce stress by 68 percent. Or have a yoga mat rolled up in a corner you can pull out and use the next time you need to relax, refocus and refresh for whatever challenge comes next.
Set the Stage
If you have the space, try to dedicate a corner of your office as a studio for YouTube videos, Facebook Live, Instagram Stories, tele-summits, conference calls and anything video so you don’t have to keep setting up and breaking down backdrops and lighting.
If you don’t have enough space to do this, think about setting up your main working area to be video friendly. Even though people in videos often look like their desks are floating in the middle of the room with sophisticated art and lots of room behind them, don’t be tempted to try this. Putting your desk that far out from a wall means you’ll have power-source dilemmas for your computer, lighting, etc. Instead, set your desk just far enough away from the wall to give it that floating look, hang some great art, but still be able to run cords and plug everything in. Be careful with your cords, of course, and incorporate safety covers, strips, or any solution that keeps them from being tripping hazards. Office supply stores have lots of great ideas for this.
You might also be surprised at one other thing that will benefit from having a desk that looks into a room – your eyes. Staring at a computer all day is stressful for hardworking eyes. By facing into a room, or even toward a window with a view, you can look up from the screen regularly and focus on objects at varying distances to help your eyes refocus and relax.