Over the last year, our houses have become so much more than just the place we call home. They’ve become our gyms, our schools, our home offices and our places of work. Having dedicated space in our homes to work, no matter how big or small, is essential to our productivity levels and focus. But there’s no "one-size-fits-all” approach when it comes to the design of your home office. At the end of the day, it has to work for you.
Michelle Lynne, President of ML Interiors Group and Founder of Designed For The Creative Mind comments, “When it all comes down to it, every design rule in the book doesn’t matter if it’s not comfortable for you. Period. So, as you design a home office space, the thoughts at the forefront of your mind should constantly be your work style, what you need to be most productive, and what will make you happy.”
So what are elements of a home office design that can promote motivation, inspiration and creativity? Take a read below as we’ve wrapped up 7 home office ideas and designs to help maximise your productivity.
1. Personalised palettes
For some, a splash of colour here and a dash of texture there is what gets them through the day. For others, a neutral palette with subtle tones allows them to fully concentrate on the task at hand. Regardless of what works for you, the important thing is in knowing what does. And equally, what doesn’t. Make use of these insights when it comes to your home office design, and it’ll help you get down to business no matter what day of the week.
2. Comfortable home office furniture
It goes without saying; this one is important. And boy can it make a real difference to your productivity levels. From your home office chairs to your home office desk, finding the perfect balance between practicality and style is where it’s at. This design below from Elizabeth Metcalfe Interiors & Design Inc. includes a custom-made desk which is a feature in this home office condo renovation project. Whether you prefer a classic full-length, executive chair or a more informal and contemporary swivel chair, make sure your home office furniture is ergonomically set up to ensure your maximum comfort and well-being throughout the day.
3. Keep things organised
You know what they say, a tidy desk equals a tidy mind! Keeping your home office spick and span will help you to focus and stay on task (even if the children are bickering down the hallway or your partner is doing their home gym session in the next room). Having adequate storage is key along with designated places for all your office things. You’ll end up being more efficient with your time during the day as you spend less time wondering where you put something.
4. Create your happy space
Research conducted by Oxford University's Saïd Business School found a definite link between happiness levels and productivity. In fact, they found that people are 13% more productive when they’re happy. So, what makes you happy? Do you love being outdoors in nature? Well then bring the outside inside. Adorn your space with plants and greenery to help you stress-less and stay relaxed throughout your workday. Oil burners and diffusers are also a great help at creating a calming atmosphere.
5. Make it work for you
For most of us, working from home wasn’t something that we’d thought we’d be doing for so long. And having a spare room available to be fully transformed into an office really is a luxury. If you're short on space at home, stealing the under-stairway space or that unused kitchen nook might be the only thing feasible right now, and that's okay. This clever little home office is neatly tucked away behind a living room sliding door. But it just goes to show that with the right home office furniture, you can still make it work for you.
6. Natural light
Ensuring that you have enough natural light in your home office space is paramount. In fact, numerous studies have shown that when we get enough natural light, not only does it help with our productivity levels throughout the day, but it also helps us to sleep deeper during the night. If it’s not possible however for beautiful big streams of natural light to come into your home office, consider the colour and temperature of the lighting that you choose for your space. Cooler blue and white lights are a good go-to for working and concentrating, whereas warmer yellow lights promote relaxation. And if you’re relying on artificial lights, then ensure you take a break and go outside to top up on your natural light reserves. Which takes us to our final point.
7. Take a break
And lastly, but definitely not least - take a break! When we’re working from home the boundaries between our work and home lives are blurred. Routines can seem like they’ve been thrown out the window. “Lunch break? What’s a lunch break? I’ll just keep working through and finish up a little early.” This might be your work-style, but taking a break is crucial to keeping your mind fresh and firing on all cylinders. Step away from the computer, read a book, brew a cup of tea, or get outside for some fresh air. No matter how you do it, just make sure you do.