Given the current dramatic shift to working from home, increasing productivity in home offices is more important than ever. With many people working from home for the first time, interior design can help avoid the common distractions of partners, children, or a perceived lack of formality when working at home. A properly designed home office will lend itself to a more productive workday and maintenance of a sense of normalcy. Below, we’ve outlined our favorite interior design ideas to increase efficiency in a home office
When identifying where to set up a home office, look for spaces with natural light. Ideally, a home office will have plenty of glass and windows, with the work desk facing the window, looking out. Studies have proven time and time again that natural light boosts productivity and aids overall wellness and mental health. If you are converting a room in your home into a home office, opting for glass office walls will increase natural light and keep the space feeling open rather than confining.
Having plants and greenery is a must for any home office. Research consistently finds that plants in a workplace increases productivity, and when combined with natural light, can improve overall mental health.
Keep a Simple Desk
A well-organized desk is a must for productivity. A cluttered workspace leads to a cluttered mind, and it is essential that everything has a place so that you are not procrastinating by looking for items or organizing.
Play with Color
Color has measured effects on the brain, influencing mood and bringing psychological reactions. This is an important consideration in designing a color palette that is both aesthetically pleasing and functional. Blue brings calmness, yellow brings warmth and energy, and purples and pinks bring kindness and wisdom. These colors can be incorporated into the office through accents with pillows, curtains, a rug, or desk accessories. Another way to incorporate color is through polished concrete floors, which can help turn a garage or more industrial space into a warm, inviting, and productive home office.
Identifying all possible storage spaces will keep the desk and work areas uncluttered, and will ensure that everything has a place. File cabinets can be purchased as can desk drawer organizers. Magazine racks, desk tidies, and paper trays are essential desk accessories, as this will improve productivity by allowing you to focus on what’s important rather than spend time sifting through papers.
Minimize External Noise
Working from home undoubtedly has challenges in noise control. With children home from school, kitchen pots clinking, and the TV on in the background, it can be hard to achieve the quiet work environment that many of us need. Thus, acoustic architecture can be incredibly helpful. Acoustic absorbing materials can be placed on nonparallel walls to reduce reverberation and increase privacy and therefore productivity in a home office. Noise-canceling headphones can also be a great investment, and many are quite compact and comfortable so they are suitable for all-day wear.
While working in a home office can be challenging at times, interior design can undoubtedly be utilized to combat these challenges. By paying mind to natural light, greenery, color, and simplicity, a 9-5 can be just as productive at home as it is in the office.
Matt Lee is the owner of the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.