With flexible working becoming increasingly popular, telecommuters need to find productive ways of working from home. Designing a home office that inspires creativity and productivity should be a priority.
Whilst your home office should suit your personal tastes, it’s important that you take into account various design features that influence cognitive function and lower stress levels. The environment you work in has a positive or negative effect on your concentration levels and can affect your mental health.
Let’s take a closer look.
Clutter-Free Storage Space
Researchers in the field of psychology shows how the “clutter effect” can disrupt your thought process. Clutter can increase stress levels so organising your workspace to keep it neat and tidy also helps you organise your thoughts.
No matter what size your home office is, storage units, shelves and tall bookcases provide a home for everything in the room. A desk tidy, filing tray and wastepaper bin under the desk means loose paper, pads and pens won’t create a mess.
If you only have a small room, consider investing in corner furniture to maximise your space.
Art and Colour
It is well established in psychology circles that colour affects mood. What’s more, it’s important that you get the colour right. The colours you choose should naturally suit your personal taste. However, you should also be careful not to inhibit your senses.
Bright colours, on one hand, stimulate the senses and keep the mind active. However, they can also overwhelm cognitive function and cause confusion. Colours that work best for home offices are pastel colours, blues, greens and cream.
Professional office designers, Office Principles, suggest making neutral colours the dominant colour, but throw in splashes of reds, yellows and oranges to keep your mind active.
Install Stress-Reducing Nature
Even though you may feel comfortable and at ease in your own home, stress is still bubbling under the surface. Adding features that help to reduce stress has been shown to increase work productivity.
Researchers have found that incorporating natural elements into an office setting helps to lower stress levels and reinvigorate the cognitive function. Humans have a built-in tendency to feel relaxed around nature.
Let in the Light
Speaking of nature, sunlight is proven to be conducive to health and wellbeing. The sun’s natural rays contain vitamin D which is shown to have significant benefits on body and mind including lowering blood pressure, helping to ease muscles and improving brain function.
Ideally, your chair should be positioned where you can receive direct sunlight. If you’re working once the sun goes down, you can still benefit from task lighting fitted with “cool white” LED bulbs.
Cool white lighting is believed to provide the mind with more clarity and they’re also environmentally friendly and energy-efficient.
Hanging thought-provoking artwork or inspirational quotes can provide a welcome boost to your imagination and creativity. Researchers found that artwork in an office setting helps to inspire, motivate and reduces stress.
It’s well-known that visual images evoke emotions. However, art also provides your mind with a moments respite that can trigger inspirational thoughts or spur you on when you’re starting to tire.
Whether you work for yourself or take advantage of your company’s flexible working policy, designing a home office that helps maintain your productivity levels plays a role in ensuring you have a successful career.