Take a look around – is your home office in need of a refresh?
Whether you work from home or use your home office space on the weekends, the space you create reflects how much you respect your work and how much you value yourself. Refreshing your home office can motivate you to reach new goals and be intentional with your time, especially at the start of a new year or season.
Productivity is always the top priority when our clients share their home office design goals. 46% of professionals feel their existing workspace affects their productivity. While you don’t need to be productive 24 hours a day, maximizing your time when you are working gives you the freedom to relax and enjoy your hobbies in your free time.
If you’re looking to design a more productive home office, check out our suggestions to keep you working in the “flow state”.
How do you create a productive office space?
When designing a productive home office, consider the work you do. If you create products or review important documents you’ll need plenty of desk space. If your work is all digital or requires hours of video calls, you’ll want the technology to support it. Your workspace will be the most used area so find a size and style that works for you.
Guide Your Style With Standout Pieces
Focus on one to three specific pieces to inform the style of the room. This could be a unique desk, an inspiring piece of art, or a collection of plants.
As you bring in lamps, rugs, and decor, revisit these pieces to see if they complement each other. An ultra-modern rug may not showcase your antique writing desk the way you hope. Having a few pieces to reference will help cut down on design decisions and create a cohesive space.
Include Your “Why”
You want to strike a balance of productivity and purpose so be sure to include something that reminds you of your “why”.
Do you have a photo of your kids that reminds you to stay hyper-focused so you never have to miss a soccer game? Or maybe a prestigious award that motivates you to stay at the top of your field?
These can help you stay productive on your most disrupted days.
Whether you use an entire room as your office or work from a desk in a corner, choose a quiet place in your home with minimal traffic. Remove any clutter from your line of sight. This includes hiding computer cords when possible. Keep only the essentials in your workspace and return everything to its home at the end of the day.
Use Natural Light
We all need vitamin D so positioning yourself near a window during the workday provides much-needed sunshine when you can’t make it outside. Natural light reduces eyestrain and helps your body regulate energy levels so you stay productive.
For later nights, include adjustable lamp light to take you from day to evening. If the 4:00 sunsets have you down, consider investing in a sun light for brighter light until the end of the workday.
Keep It Clean – Literally
Keep your home office clean by resetting it at the end of each day. Having a tidy space allows for better concentration and minimizes procrastination. You’ll spend less time searching for lost items and keep your stress in check because you’ll always be able to find what you need.
Giving your home office a regular deep clean is another way to care for yourself and cut down on sick days by getting rid of germs and allergens.
Items We Recommend for Every Home Office We Design
While every productive home office design is unique, there are a few key items we include in every office for maximum productivity.
- An ergonomic and comfortable chair to boost productivity and support posture. It’s difficult to feel productive if you’re slouched over your keyboard. Make sure your feet can touch the floor to save yourself from lower back pain.
- A standing desk to improve mood and energy levels. With any desk, remember your eyes should be 24 to 36 inches from a computer screen.
- A sustainable wool rug to cut down on echoes and bring warmth to a space. Wool is a natural fiber and makes rugs easier to clean than other materials. You likely spend a lot of time in your office so be sure to choose a rug or carpet with low or no VOC.
- Potted plants to reduce stress and improve air quality. While you need live plants to clean indoor air, even faux plants have been shown to improve mood and focus.
- Natural light and soft lighting for late nights to reduce eye strain. Position your computer to the side of the light to avoid staring into the sun or getting a harsh glare on screens. Add a soft window shade and darker shades if needed for really bright days.
- Office drawers for things you don’t need every day to keep your space clutter-free. Too much visual clutter overloads our brains and creates distractions.
- A humidifier to regulate moisture levels and soothe dry skin in the winter months. This is especially important for our Colorado folks as the seasons change!
- An additional comfortable chair to give you a change in scenery. If you have the space, another place to sit can help inspire new ideas or give you a cozy spot for a much-needed break.
- Your favorite candle to help transition your mind to work time. Scent is powerful and some, like cinnamon and citrus, can impact productivity. If scented candles aren’t your thing, try a diffuser for the same impact.
- A place for snacks and drinks. Too many trips to the kitchen can increase distractions. You may find yourself sweeping up last night’s crumbs instead of finishing your report. Keeping a small stash of snacks and a 36+ ounce water bottle to keep you from wandering. Store them on the other side of the room to make sure you still step away from your computer during the day.
Your Home Office Design Should Match Your Business
While you may want to include all your favorite things in your space, your home office should match your business. A graphic designer might add a fun, colorful mural to their office wall. But a lawyer may not want something so bright that could distract or feel insincere to clients.
Consider your business on a scale from playful to professional and choose colors and items that reflect that. Luxury jeweler Tiffany is a great example of a sophisticated brand that brings in a playful design through its signature blue box. Whether you also love TIffany blue or prefer a more neutral tone, the color you choose will affect your mood and productivity.
Create an Intentional Home Office Background
With so much business taking place virtually, it’s important to consider how your home office looks when on video calls. A well-designed backdrop will inspire trust with your colleagues. It will make them feel like you’re put together ready to tackle the business at hand. It shows you take pride in creating a space where work gets done.
Office backgrounds are also a great place to infuse your personality. Use color, art, or collectibles to showcase your style. Having items of interest in the background of your video can break the ice in any conversation by giving people something to ask you about. Have a bit of fun with a “World’s Best Boss” mug or candid family photo. We recommend eco-friendly Crane Bird Wallpaper for a bolder home office backdrop.
Home Office Write Offs: What can you get money back on?
According to the IRS website, employees aren’t eligible to claim a home office deduction. But for self-employed folks, there’s a handful of things that can be written off. To maximize your deductions, you need to have a specific space in your home that’s your principal place for conducting business. Write-offs may include:
- Mortgage interest
- Homeowners Insurance
- Utilities like heat and electricity
- Repairs and maintenance of the office space
- Depreciation over time
This doesn’t mean all your mortgage interest or every repair will be deductible, but likely a limited amount will go back into your pocket.
We’re not lawyers or tax experts, but we do know it’s worthwhile to look into these savings opportunities and make the most of your home office fund.
Get Started Creating a Productive Home Office
Ready to take the plunge and rework your office on your own? Check out the cost of renovations before you get started.
Or, if you’re ready for an interior designer to come in and make a big impact on your productivity and office workspace, fill out a contact form now. There’s no bad time to invest in your business.