It’s no secret that our environment largely impacts our morale and productivity.
It’s hard to operate at your highest potential in a space with dull colours, poor lighting, and too much clutter.
For this reason, it’s imperative to master home office design tips that can make all the difference.
When you do, you’ll no doubt see an immediate improvement in productivity, quality of work, and enthusiasm for your job. Just as importantly, you’ll be contributing to your mental health and emotional wellness, which in and of itself can positively impact your morale significantly.
Here are 3 key office design elements to consider as you strive to improve your home office:
Working under poor lighting day-in and day-out (such as fluorescent lighting) has been linked with a number of negative health effects, including:
- Symptoms of seasonal affective disorder or depression
- Stress/anxiety (due to cortisol suppression)
Since fluorescent lights also flicker (to most, the flicker is unnoticeable, but there are those who can perceive it), some individuals can additionally suffer from constant headaches and eye strain.
Another problem? The lack of sunlight in some home offices can throw off a peron’s circadian rhythms, which affects body function, often leading to sleep difficulty at night. Ultimately, this will impact your mood and productivity, while also increasing stress.
One solution is to opt for incandescent lighting, which provides a better spectrum of light. Light therapy can also counteract a lack of sunlight exposure and improve a person’s quality of sleep. And the light box lamps on the market today are small enough to fit right on a person’s desk.
Of course, nothing beats natural sunlight. According to an article from Psychology Today, “Employees who sit near a window are better at staying on task, show greater interest in their work, and report more loyalty to their company. A 2003 study found that when call center employees—who often rotate seats—are placed near a window, they generate an additional $3,000 of productivity per year. Research even suggests that the amount of direct sunlight entering an office can reliably predict the level of employee satisfaction in a workplace.”
So if you want happier and more productive, ensure your work space at home has as many windows as possible with as much natural light filtering in as can be managed.
Ron Friedman, Ph.D., author of The Best Place to Work, writes this: “Studies show that the mere presence of plants [in a workspace] can also provide surprisingly large benefits. Office workers report feeling healthier and more energized when their workplace features live plants and fresh flowers. A 2011 study found that randomly assigning participants to rooms with indoor plants led to significantly better performance on tasks requiring sustained attention and concentration.”
Why is this? “A number of researchers argue that natural settings are cognitively rejuvenating and help us restore our mental resources,” Friedman goes on. “We have the freedom to let our minds wander, noticing as much or as little as we like, entering a state that psychologists term ‘soft fascination.’ The result is an elevation in mood as well as replenished mental energy that improves our memory and enhances creativity.”
Not sure where to start when it comes to selecting the best indoor plants for your home office? Refer to this article, which shares 20 plants that improve indoor air quality along with information on how to care for them.
Arts & Accents
If you live in the city or suburbs, chances are you don’t have many views of the type of natural settings that can lead to ‘soft fascination.’
Fortunately, that doesn’t have to work against you. There are alternatives you can consider. Aquariums, for instance, put us at ease. Consider setting one up with beautifully colored fish inside to give your mind something to enjoy when you need a visual break from the computer screen.
Even pictures and artworks of landscapes can positively impact our mood, decreasing stress and anxiety, particularly if they’re rich in blues and greens (which we naturally associate with fertile environments). What’s more, such colours give our creativity a boost, which no doubt leads to better productivity and engagement.
With a good number of the global workforce still working out of home offices in light of the pandemic, remote work is more popular than ever. However, not having the proper home office design in place can negatively affect your productivity and morale. Using the design tips above, however, you can rejuvenate your workspace and start feeling more motivated than ever!