When I came across this article on helpful habits for working more productively from home, I was not at all surprised to see “Create a Dedicated Work Space” at the top of the list. As someone who has worked from home part- or full-time for almost a decade, I learned firsthand how much better I work from a designated office space in the home, rather than sitting at the dining room table or on the couch. Whether your home office space is a full room or just a desk and shelf in a corner of a hallway, having this space signals to your brain to get into the work mindset and tune out some of the distractions and to-do list items in the home.
I recently learned, however, that there are ways you can set up and decorate your home work space to even further enhance your at-home work experience! I am very excited to introduce a friend of mine, home decorator extraordinaire Valerie Navarre of Take 2 Decorating, to share some of her tips and ideas for creating the most productive, functional, and comfortable work area in your home!
Delight All 5 Senses! This simple act of making decisions about how to organize and decorate your workspace has an empowering effect and has been linked with improved productivity. Finding small ways to delight all 5 senses keeps you happy and focused, and can minimize distractions! Tips for each sense include:
- Vision: Decorate with pictures, inspiring images and objects, a view of the outdoors or your own room.
- Hearing: Whether it’s background music or noise cancellation headphones, create your ideal audial surroundings.
- Smell: Add fresh flowers, a scented candle or scented sticks to surround yourself with pleasant and inspiring aromas.
- Taste: Keep a tiny tray close by to set your favorite drink and healthy snacks within reach, so you don’t need to disrupt your workflow when you need refreshments.
- Touch: Treat yourself by adding a soft back pillow, a cozy throw, or a plush rug under your feet to keep you comfortable.
Add Plants! If you only do one thing to optimize your workspace, invest in a green plant or two. Research has repeatedly shown that the presence of plants in a workspace has a range of benefits, including lowering stress! Who doesn’t need that?
As a bonus, plants can reduce pollution levels. And remember that plants don’t necessarily take any desk or floor space: you can hang them from the ceiling or on the wall.
Be Healthy: Think Ergonomics! If your knees, ankles and elbows make right angles and your neck and wrists are straight when you are working, congratulations, your posture is right! This becomes tricky if you mostly use a laptop or a tablet for your work. In this case, you must consider adding a separate monitor or a separate keyboard and mouse. There are now many affordable options that will help you keep aches and pain at bay!
For more useful tips on maximizing your home work space, check out this helpful infographic.