Working from home may present different challenges than working outside the home; however, just like the latter, it requires a work environment conducive to being productive and creative. Setting aside space for your home office is most important, and so is the way you decorate your home office. Décor can influence the way you work, productivity, mood, creativity, and organization. When decorating your home office consider these issues so you can function day to day with easy flow and work tasks can be accomplished much better.
Here are a few tips to make the best of your office décor:
1. Choose Your Own Space
Select a space that provides enough privacy and minimizes interruptions. A space in the family room is an obvious invitation to many visual and auditory interruptions. The ideal is a separate room for an office, however, not everyone has an extra room, and in that case, the best choice would be an area with less traffic and good illumination.
2. Discourage Family From Using Your Area
Make that area yours and discourage other members of the family to use it or leave their things around it. Be very strict about this rule, otherwise, you will end up with everyone’s mess in your working space. Outline your working space creating a furniture arrangement that conveys the message “I work here.” If you have a separate room for your office, this becomes easier as you can lock the door.
3. Choose a color scheme for the area.
In a separate room, you can paint the room a color that will energize you, such as yellow or orange. Green is also refreshing to the eye. Avoid colors that will soothe you and send you straight to bed such as lavenders and soft blues. These may rob you of much needed energy to accomplish your daily tasks. Neutrals work well and match furnishings and accessories. In the case of an area on another room, select accessories for your desk that will energize you. You can also use a room screen or room divider in those colors for more privacy.
Limit your accessories to necessary items to accomplish your work if you have a very small area to work with; however, if you have a separate room as your office, include some personal accessories that will make your day more pleasant. To liven up your small work area, so it does not feel like a sterile work environment, place a plant or flower pot, and one or two objects that are special to you and bring you pleasure. The idea is to create a comfortable and pleasurable working space that is also conducive to being productive and has all the necessary working items at hand, without having much clutter. A great idea is to bring the outside in as part of your décor. You can accomplish this with plants, an aquarium (however, this requires a lot of cleaning), a small waterfall (requires maintenance as well – but you can opt for a mini waterfall to place amongst the plants), or pictures and paintings that evoke nature.
To become more productive in your line of work, whatever that might be, you need to follow some method of organization that makes sense to you. If you have an assistant, it should also make sense to him or her. A filing system is of the essence, as well as space dedicated to working supplies and gadgets. This will prevent wasted time – when looking for misplaced items and materials, as well as client files or other important and relevant information necessary to do your job. Choose a file system or filing furniture that is pleasant to the eye and if possible coordinates with the rest of the office furnishings. If working in a small area or room corner, you can use a tall cabinet that will hide working essentials and includes a space for your filing.
No matter how well decorated your office is, when working from home, you must learn about managing interruptions. This will apply to friends, family, neighbors, but also to you. Distractions and interruptions are everywhere when you work from home – from the pile of laundry that is waiting, to the playful kid or pet, the friendly neighbor, or the aunt that wants to chat with you since you are home anyway. Make clear to everyone your working hours without being rude and if necessary hang a professional looking sign in the front of your entrance door. This will communicate your point. If in need to answer the phone, limit your call to the point, and excuse yourself saying that you need to continue your work – eventually, people will get the hint and respect your dedication to your work. A recording message and an attractive sign will handle many interruptions. If you are not serious about your working hours, do not expect others to be.
James is a writer and a reviewer of ink cartridges for CartridgeSave, who provides things like HP toner cartridges to the British Isles.