How to design your home office for maximum productivity

23 Jul, 2019

Working from home comes with many benefits – you can avoid the exhausting commute, you have everything you need within hand’s reach and you can design the space how you want.

However, there are some downsides to this career choice as well.

If you don’t live alone, you might be bothered by your family members or roommates. Your environment might be noisy and distracting. And, above all, there's no boss around to make sure you are not procrastinating.

So, to ensure maximum productivity, you need to make the most of the design of your home office. Take a look.

Decide on the Right Space

When you decide to work from home, it’s important to designate a space for this activity. Depending on your housing situation, you could have a completely separate room to use as your home office.

If you’re lucky enough, this room should be as far as possible from all social hubs of the house, such as the kitchen and living room. If, on the other hand, your office cannot be a separate space, transform a corner of your living room or bedroom into an area that will be your work station.

Limit Distractions

Other than the location of the office, other factors play a crucial role in limiting your distractions. For instance, if possible, look for a room with windows facing the backyard and not the street so that cars and passersby don’t draw your attention.

Furthermore, if you’re easily distracted by sounds, you should probably invest in sound proof windows. Alternatively, if you don’t have a separate office, get a noise-canceling headset. Most importantly, though, it’s vital to tell your roommates that you should not be disturbed during work hours unless it’s a real emergency.

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Left: This Resene Wild Thing study has design, furniture, home, interior design, office, room, table, white
Left: This Resene Wild Thing study has a gridded blackboard wall as well as a filing cabinet and plant pot in Resene Blackboard Paint; the upper wall is in Resene Black White. Right: Resene Smitten in study and living room.

Choose the Right Colors

The choice of color for your office can also help boost your focus and motivation. Depending on the type of work you do, you might need different shades for the space.

You can consult the color wheel and see which hues are suitable for which activities. For a creative kind of job, you can consider yellow as it brightens the mood.

On the other hand, blues are stimulating and keep you focused while greens bring calmness and balance.

It’s also good to know that painting the walls in these colors is not your only option, as you can introduce some details that will incorporate these shades into your space. This is especially convenient if you’re renting a place or work from a corner in the living room.

Add Pleasant Smells

Just like visuals, smells can also be quite motivating. So, think about adding some scented candles, oil diffusers and air fresheners to liven up the space.

Certain scents are known to increase productivity, such as rosemary which contributes to lower stress levels and relieves fatigue.

Other smells include lemon, cinnamon and lavender. Try several different types and you might find one that works for you.

Introduce plants

Another way to have pleasant smells is to introduce plants into your office. Fresh flowers bring both a nice scent and a pop of color. Plus, plants abound with health benefits, from providing us with fresh air to boosting our mood and improving our mental health. It’s easy to find some low-maintenance plants which will not distract you from your work.

What was once a dining room has now ceiling, interior design, real estate, gray
What was once a dining room has now been reconfigured as a large home office next to the living room in this home. Sliding glass panels can close off the office from when required.

Rely on your equipment

The technology you use could also be detrimental to your productivity if it’s slow. While it might be a bit expensive, try to get the latest version of the software you use the most and make sure the hardware is functioning properly.

Other than that, invest in ergonomic equipment like desks and chairs as well as computer peripherals.

Declutter the Space

Last but certainly not least, your space should be well organized.

Make sure to remove all the things you don’t need and declutter regularly. Invest in clever storage solutions to keep track of everything. Furthermore, organize your digital environment as well to stay on top of your tasks.

Being productive when working from home is quite challenging for a lot of people. To ensure you get everything done on time, you should put some effort into creating an office that will boost your focus and motivation. From colors and smells to limiting distractions and making the most of your gadgets, these tips are sure to help you.

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Patrick Adams is a freelance writer and rock-blues fan. When he is not writing about home improvement, he loves to play chess, watch basketball, and play his guitar. More than anything, he loves to spend his time in his garage, repairing appliances and creating stuff from wood.