When you work in a cubicle, your options for changing your space are limited. However, when you work from home, you have full control and have no excuse not to make your workplace beautiful.
Whether it’s a full home office or just a corner of a room, making it an inviting space means waking up every day to a space you love. Easy changes can increase productivity, improve your mindset and set you up for success every single day.
It may sound like weird advice: Do more cleaning and you’ll get more work done. But it’s actually true according to research.
Princeton University researchers found that a cluttered environment can make you distracted and make it difficult to process information. Instead of focusing solely on your work, the clutter in your visual field is now screaming for your attention, too.
If you’re someone who is usually neat but lacks organization in your workspace, clutter could affect you even more. Every time you look up from your screen, you’re reminded of the mess that some day you will have to clean. However, if your workspace was clean and beautiful, you might feel calmer and more focused on the task at hand.
Just think about it, which of the following pictures makes you feel happier and more motivated to work?
Make it a habit every week (perhaps a Friday or Monday) to clean your workspace. Organize your files and items and make sure to put things back in the proper place. If it’s too hard to keep organized, you may want to rearrange your space.
Add Small, Beautiful Touches
When your space looks good, you will feel good and will look forward to working. If your space is dull and boring, you won’t find much inspiration, especially if your work requires creativity.
A beautiful space looks different to everyone. It could be as simple as displaying a few photos of your family or your dream vacation.
Imagine in your head what your dream office would look like. Even though you may not have enough money to build that exact office now, you can incorporate some ideas. For example, you can pick up a few items or pieces of furniture that follow the look you desire. A simple way to add a bit of magic to your workspace is to purchase beautifully designed stationary, feather pens or keyboard stickers. Paperweights are also an easy way to make your desk more welcoming. Little touches can go a long way.
Add a Plant
If you work alone in your home office, you need to add a little bit of life! It sounds crazy that adding a plant to your workspace can help you get stuff done — but it can. According to researchers, adding a few houseplants to workplaces increased productivity by 15%.
You can purchase yourself a lovely bouquet of flowers every week, or you can stick with more traditional houseplants such as cactuses or English ivy. If you need to add more character to the room, consider a larger leafy plant, such as a dieffenbachia plant.
Make the Space Smell Good
Filling the room with your favourite scent or a scent that helps you focus can make the space more inviting.
A quick aromatherapy lesson: Scents like peppermint, rosemary and grapefruit are said to make people more alert. Some people believe scents like ylang-ylang, patchouli and frankincense will be helpful to those who have trouble focusing.
Keep it Well-Lit
Let’s face it — working alone can sometimes feel depressing. Even worse is working in a dimly lit place. Remember: Working from home is a luxury; so don’t make it feel like a prison!
If your home office area is not already by a window, consider relocating your desk. If moving to a room with a window is impossible, consider purchasing floor or desk lamps that go with your style. Another reason to add some light is because some of us struggle with seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
This means that during certain times of the year, usually fall and winter, we can become depressed because of the lack of light. But there’s a simple solution: Mayo Clinic considers light therapy boxes to be an effective SAD treatment.