Five tips for a home office that will make you feel good.
Do you belong to the lucky people who get to work in their pyjamas from time to time? If so, then you are part of the (almost) majority of professionals allowed to work from home these days, or maybe you work as an independent contractor. In any case, working from home, at least partially, has been a rising trend throughout the last decade. According to a study undertaken by the digital association Bitkom including more than 800 managing directors and HR managers, four out of ten employers give their employees the freedom to work outside of the classic office space. Meanwhile, location-independent work is gaining acceptance in more and more companies. In 2016, just under a third of companies allowed home offices whereas in 2014 that was even only 20 percent. Moreover, the vast majority expects this trend to continue into the future. And that was before recent events which can be assumed to accelerate this trend even further.
The corporate workspace itself has been in full transformation as well. More and more, companies and their leaders have come to understand the importance of creating a pleasant work environment in order to engage their employees and increase productivity. The clever ones started experimenting with the right office design formulas for years, including experiments relating to office layout, design, lighting, technology, adding leisure functions to the space, and much more. Companies that invest in creating the right work ambience have seen more collaboration among employees, a stronger flow of creative ideas, a boost in productivity and increased revenues.
So what does this mean for the hours you work from home? If the office layout has such an impact on people’s focus, creative juices, and productivity, does it also matter as much while doing home office? The answer is; UNDENIABLY YES!
The way the space around us looks determines how we feel. And how we feel impacts … just about everything we do. A properly designed workspace can have a very big effect on how we function and perform. Why? Well for starters because the more the environment we live and work in matches our own personality and style, the more it sets us at ease, the better we connect to it, and the higher the likelihood that we actually appreciate spending time in that space. But when it comes to the home offices there is much more to take into account than aesthetics when it comes to designing the ideal setting. Here are some tips Raumtastik has set out for you.
1 . Choose the right spot!
If you are lucky you might have a dedicated office space in your home. Not your case? Don’t worry! Everyone can create a fully functional home office. Whether you create a dedicated working space in your bedroom, living room, or anywhere else in the house, a few things are best taken into account from the start when choosing the ideal space. A first and often underestimated factor to consider is light. While coffee might be the remedy for many people to solve a bad morning temper, light is actually the most important factor (besides a good night rest of course) that regulates our hormonal balance and decides whether we feel wide awake or get sleepy.
To compliment the abundance of (preferably natural) light, make sure there is a good flow of air as well as the brain doesn’t function well with shortage of it. Having a window close is always a good idea. Concerning noise and other distracting factors; perhaps you don’t need a space that is entirely free of any and all distractions, however keep the distractions to the right minimum. Lastly, you don’t need a lot of space but a minimum of a few square meters is advisable if your living space permits it.
Think ‘teamwork’, even at home. Nowadays every professional working from home is able to collaborate with his or her team using modern communications technologies. If you do teleconferences, assure that the setting around you is suitable to avoid awkward moments when your video-calls start.
Moreover, by choosing a spot that does not cross the flow of your other daily activities or that of the family or friends you live with you can significantly reduce the distraction levels and save yourself and your fellow housemates from a bundle of irritations. Nothing as annoying as being in the middle of a meeting and the kids storming in or having to make you flatmates wait to warm up their lunch in the microwave cause you’re working and have a work-related video call in the kitchen. Make sure teamwork runs smooth and doesn’t obstruct the team spirit in your household or home.
2 . Balance space and functionality, declutter
You don’t need a huge amount of space to create a very effective, comfortable and appealing home office. What you do need however is the right organisation in order to work efficiently and keep the positive vibes. Avoiding clutter through smart organisation like document classifiers and office equipment storage space is essential. The right furniture and foreseeing enough storage for paperwork, books, office supplies are a great starting point. Make sure the layout of your home working space is also well thought of so that everything you need can be easily within reach and you don’t need to get up every 5 minutes and interrupt what you were doing.
3 . Stay true to yourself
Just like with the rest of your home, your office should reflect your personality and make you feel good. You should feel 100% at home and yourself in it, even while working. Use colours, decoration, personal items, and other ways to make the space exhume who you are and match who you are and how you function. It can however be tricky to find our what your personal style is when it comes to interior design and what that means in terms of what your actual home office should look like. But fear not, take our style test at raumtastik.com and in just a few minutes you will find out which style is right for you!
4 . Get really comfortable
Given the vast amount of time in our lives we spend working, it is important to feel comfortable in our working space. That means a few things. For starters taking into account ergonomic aspects can have huge benefits as you grow older. You don’t need to spend a fortune but the right chair and desk go a long way in making you feel at ease. From a damaged back to multiple other health conditions: taking a wrong posture can have long term consequences. But we don’t even need to think long term. Even in the present moment, the degree to which you feel physically comfortable will determine how concentrated you are throughout every moment of every day.
5 . Set boundaries
According to psychologists it is crucial to set boundaries, also when it comes to you working-from-home habit. Try to create a clear physical and visual distinction between ‘living space’ and ‘working space’. This helps to keep a mental balance and avoid the feeling of ‘always being at work’. The way you organise and decorate your home office spot, including the furniture you use and how you create a clear division with the rest of the house, can go far in creating a space within a space and giving you that clear mental distinction in a natural effortless way. One more on boundaries: give yourself clear breaks, have a decent lunchtime and set yourself reasonably fixed and healthy working hours. With no need to commute it’s easy to get stuck in work. No one likes to see their partner, parent, housemate, friend be a raging workaholic. Know when to start, and when to stop.
Finally... Have fun with it!
Creating your ideal home office isn’t rocket science! Sure there are some aspects to take into account, many of which we covered in this article. But it is crucial that it remains a fun exercise. Try out new things like office setups, experiment with 3D interior designs like those provided by Raumtastik to find out the ideas interior design and where to get the perfect furniture, and much more. If it’s not perfect from the start, don’t worry. Over time you will have a clearer and clearer view on what works best specifically for you. Think functional but not too functional. That funny picture you took with your bestie and that funny Chinese cat figurine your colleague gave you can bring a personal touch and keep the joy in it all, no matter how sophisticated your office is. Professional does not mean dull.
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