As the COVID-19 crisis lingers across the world, and millions of people are forced to work from home, a silver lining is revealed: people feel more productive working from home,1 and many companies are moving to permanent work-from-home models as a result.2
With home working becoming permanent for many of us, it’s about time we designed a home office that looks great, and enhances our productivity even more. In this article, we’ll explain how to design your home office in a way that will ensure you get the most out of your day.
Design for productivity
When it comes to home office design, beauty is important, but function even more so. Smart home office designs consider usability first—how can you design the space in the most important efficient way possible? You should consider what you constantly need access to, whether it’s paperwork, stationary, or anything else.
If you use a lot of paperwork, design a system that offers easy access, such as shelves or well-organised cabinets, Consider your workflow for a typical day, and design your home office space based around that.
The best home office layout design is one that puts functionality first. This is the most important tip for getting the most out of your workday.
Pick a quiet spot
Knuckling down can be hard at the best of times, let alone without your kids, dog, cat, or guinea pig throwing themselves into your midst. Picking a quiet spot for your office will make it easier to focus, and you’ll be much more productive.
If possible, set up your home office in a separate room, where you can close the door if you need to. If you live in a small apartment and have no choice but to set up your office in a noisy area, consider purchasing some noise-cancelling headphones, and combine them with an awesome background noise app such as mynoise.net (link at the end of the article).
Set up close to a window
Our species evolved in the open air, which is why so many of us love being outdoors. When you’re setting up your home office, if possible, pick a spot close to a window, so that you can take the odd break from your screen and stare aimlessly at the sky. Daydreaming can significantly boost your creativity,3 so time spent staring out of the window isn’t necessarily time lost.
Add photos of the things you love
Create some personal touches such as photos of your family, pets, or happy memories, as a reminder that despite being a consistent struggle for most of us, life isn’t so bad. Every one of us can find something to be grateful for, and photographs can be a reminder of the things in our life we love the most, which is especially important when you’re labouring through a challenging piece of work.
Don’t skimp on a good chair
With at least eight hours spent at our home office desk every day, an ergonomic chair is vital for maintaining good physical health. Without one, you might find yourself with back pain, neck pain, or a rear that feels like it’s been squished with a factory press.
Working from home is one of many new realities to come out of the COVID-19 crisis, and while we’re already claiming to be more productive from home, we can push it even further by redesigning our home office.
- myNoise—a superb collection of background noises, to help you focus.
- Natasha Boddy, 2020, It’s more productive to work from home, Financial Review
- Jack Kelly, 2020, Here Are The Companies Leading The Work-From-Home Revolution, Forbes
- Peter Economy, 2018, Science: Daydreaming Can Significantly Boost Your Creativity and Ability to Problem-Solve, inc.com