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Tips to Create the Perfect Home Office

Friday, January 31, 2020

As technology advances, more workers can work from home. Many companies have embraced remote working, allowing employees the flexibility to work where they want. While many employees greatly appreciate the option to work from home, their home environment is not always prepared to become a home office. A home office should be more than just a room to work in and a poor home office can negatively affect your work. Before you switch to remote work, it is a good idea to set up a home office that works for you. Here are a few tips and tricks you can use to create the perfect home office.

Just How You Like It
The beauty of working from home is that you can work in whatever environment you want. You are no longer bound by cubicles or fluorescent lighting. Take advantage of this freedom and build a workspace that works for you. Take a moment to consider what your ideal working environment looks like as no two people will have the same vision of home office perfection. Do you prefer sitting or standing while you work? Do you want a quiet environment or would you want to listen to music while working? Which direction do you want your desk to face, towards the window so you can look outside or towards a wall to avoid distractions? These questions and more are all important to consider when creating your perfect home office.

The Right Color
Research into color psychology has shown that the color of our environment can affect our productivity. For a home office, you are striving for a color that isn’t agitating but also isn’t depressing. Grays are a modern design staple, but gray walls can lead to a dreary atmosphere. White walls are a good default, but the stark color can be unpleasant over long periods. Blues, greens, and yellows are common paint colors for home offices as many people report those colors help them be more productive.

It is also a good idea to use colors in your home office that are different than the colors in the rest of your house. Separating your home office from the rest of your house helps establish the office as a place for work. Using different colors creates an unconscious boundary that helps you distinguish between and balance work life from home life.

Regardless of the paint color, you choose, look for paints without high levels of VOCs or volatile organic compounds. VOCs are partly responsible for that fresh paint smell as VOCs release gasses that are harmful to inhale. Thankfully, VOCs are being regulated more consistently, but it is better to find paint with organic pigments or low levels of VOCs.

Good Lighting
Lighting plays a large role in creating a home office you enjoy using. Poor lighting can alter colors, make a room feel smaller, and decrease your productivity. Avoid working in spaces that are dark as it will make staying awake more difficult and put unnecessary strain on your eyes. Natural light is ideal, so make use of any windows in your office to let sunlight in. When it comes to lightbulbs, consider swapping old incandescents for CFL or LED bulbs. CFL and LED bulbs shine brighter, last longer, and are more energy-efficient than incandescent bulbs.

The Right Temperature
It can be hard to focus on work when the room is too hot or too cold. It is worth stashing a sweater or blanket in your home office so that a cold day won’t interrupt your work and you won’t need to turn on the heat. A small desk fan can help you cool off during hot days without running the air conditioning.

Everything You Need
Keep everything you need for work in your office as getting up to fetch something in a different part of the house can lead to distractions. When you get up to grab a pen from the kitchen, you might end up doing the dishes or wiping down the counters simply because you are already there. Ensure everything you need is in your home office to limit distractions and excuses to put off your work.

Take the time to build your perfect home office that bolsters your productivity and allows you to work unhindered. Paint your office a color that you enjoy and is stimulating, but choose a color that is different from the other colors in your house to distinguish your office as a place for work. Use natural light when possible and swap old incandescent bulbs for CFL or LED lights. Keep a sweater and a fan in your office so you are prepared for any weather changes. Stock your office with everything you need for work to limit distractions from other parts of your house.

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