Many people dream of working from home, but while the freedom that this entails is undeniably appealing, ditching the office can put a massive dent in your productivity. For one thing, there’ll be no boss looking over your shoulder to make sure you’re getting on with things – this might sound like a perk, but if you’re not especially self-motivated then you could find that a good chunk of your 8 hours gets wasted on all the websites you couldn’t look at in the office.
There’s also the issue of your environment. As dull and soulless as offices often are, it’s much harder to focus on the task at hand when you’re sat in your lounge/kitchen/bedroom. After all, these spaces were designed for living, not for working, and being surrounded by the comforts of home has a tendency to drive a great big wedge between one and one’s assignments. It’s far better, if possible, to grind your daily grind in a room that you’ve dedicated to work; a study, or home office.
And yet even this can backfire. Type ‘home study’ into Google Images and you’ll be rewarded with a medly of meticulously-manicured offices, most of which are kitted out with sumptuous teak furniture and none of which actually look like the sort of place where work has ever been done. The average home office is cluttered and cramped, with coffee stains all over the desk and piles of paperwork that stop just shy of the ceiling. This, if anything, makes an even worse working environment than the other rooms – at least in the kitchen you’re never short of a snack!
Thankfully, it isn’t too hard to turn this around. The first thing to do is sort through all of that paperwork; set a couple of hours aside, make yourself a brew, and decide what is and isn’t worth hanging on to. If you need to keep it, file it away neatly rather than cluttering up your desktop, and if you can get rid of it, then do so post-haste.
This simple tidying process is often enough to turn an awful office into an appealing one, but if it still doesn’t feel like a particularly productive place to be, it might just be time for an overhaul. The key is to create a feeling of breezy openness, rather than suffocating confinement. Don’t worry if you haven’t got much space to work with, because a bit of interior design wizardry can make even the most cramped of rooms feel open.
Light colours are always a good choice. It doesn’t have to be that bland, beige-y colour that was all over your old office; light blue, light grey, and even light green can work just as well as reliable old white. The floor is also an important factor, so why not pull up your nasty, stuffy carpet and replace it with some contemporary-looking laminate flooring? A dark-coloured wood, like walnut or maple, creates a very professional look when combined with a neutral-coloured wall, and you’ll be amazed at what these two simple changes can do for your frame of mind.
Creating a good space in which to knuckle down is half the battle. You don’t have to read a dozen books on feng shui to get your room working for you; just try to keep it airy and modern, and you’ll be twice as productive as you ever were in that stifling old office.
About the Author – This article was written by Joel Dear. Joel works as a blogger for Floormaker.co.uk, who supply all kinds of attractive and affordable laminate flooring products.