A harmonious home-working environment is essential if you’re one of the many people who now work from home. While it seems something of a treat not to have to battle through bustling commuters early in the morning, working from home can pose its own distractions and frustrations. Aside from the postman, the dog looking at you longingly, hanging the washing out, not having anything in the fridge for lunch and making copious cups of tea, the biggest distraction is often found at your own desk.
The common saying – tidy house, tidy mind – springs to mind here. If your desk is scattered with papers and dated receipts, tea-stained mugs and sandwich crumbs, old box files and unnecessary clutter, it is not an environment conducive to hard work and productivity.
So, what’s the secret? What can you do to encourage an office that is both a mindful and productive environment in which to work? One that you can leave at the end of the day, shut the door, and feel as though you’ve done a hard day’s work?
Keep it light & bright
Having a light and airy room is certainly something to consider when you’re deciding where to have your home office.
While you may not be able to spare a whole room, a secluded spot in the corner of the dining room or guest bedroom to pop a desk and laptop work just as well. Ensuring it’s a spot where there’s plenty of natural light (a beautiful view goes a long way too!) is important – no-one wants to work under dark and gloomy conditions.
Even on a cloudy day (a frequent occurrence for us Brits!), a beautiful table lamp will help to illuminate the long day ahead.
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Make it personal
If you’re going to be spending a large proportion of your week sitting at your desk, it needs to be inviting as well as practical. Surround yourself with a few of your favourite things – prints, flowers, a fragrance or pretty stationery – you’ll be surprised how much of a difference these can make. Just because you work from home, it needn’t be a plain and uninspiring space!
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Think of those who run crafting or haberdashery businesses from home – their desks are habitually filled with colourful ribbons, vintage fabrics and pastel-coloured sugar paper slotted into old apothecary drawers. While you may be a freelance writer or work remotely for a PR agency – there’s no reason why your desk can’t be an inspiring and personal space too.
Solid storage solutions
Of course, together with a personal space, it needs to be an organised one too. Think about the items you need on a daily basis – books, paperwork, folders – and how to organise these on your desk. Rather than piles of papers, treat yourself to some suitable storage solutions or invest in a desk with plenty of drawers for stowing away important paperwork – there’s nothing better than having everything filed in the correct order for easy access and peace of mind.
Working long hours from your desk at home can become tiresome and uncomfortable. Taking regular breaks and making a cup of tea will of course help with this, but it’s important to feel comfortable from the moment you sit down too. Don’t underestimate the power of comfort and motivation – the two go hand in hand!
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While everyone is different and what works well for one may not work well for another, the general consensus when you’re planning out a new office space is good lighting, noise levels and the potential it holds for productivity. Invest time and energy into making it a personal, creative and welcoming space to sit down in – you’re the one who must work from it so fill it with things you love and find inspiring. Monday mornings will never be the same again!
Create your dream Home Office