The pandemic made working from home the new normal for a lot of adults. While, in the past year, most people used their living rooms and dining tables as their home offices. As the current public health is prolonged by vaccine hesitancy and new variants, people will need to design a designated spot for working and becoming productive.
The remote setup has benefited a lot of people. It led to higher job satisfaction. In fact, even after the pandemic, more than half of all American workers want to continue working from home.
It is not perfect. Some factors make working from home not ideal. If there are other people in the house, they can cause distraction. Pets, no matter how cute, can disrupt your focus. Noises outside, such as beeping cars and ringing doorbells, can also prevent you from getting in the zone.
When designing a home office, incorporate features that will boost your concentration. Aside from asking a reputable general contractor for additional lighting and electrical plugs, here are the elements that you should add to your home office.
Choose the Right Colors
Colors affect people more deeply. It is not just aesthetics. Although people choose colors based on what appeals to them personally, colors evoke certain moods and emotions. Red, for example, is conducive to energy. Blue, on the other hand, is calming.
Neutrals like beige and gray, which are often used in offices, are basic but dependable. They are soothing and relaxing. Using block colors and strong lines is known to help with concentration. Meanwhile, neutral colors and abstract patterns tend to promote tranquility. Choose bright colors if you want to be creative or feel inspired.
It all depends on your preference. Now that you make the decisions, you can customize your home office based on your own needs and working style.
Choose the Appropriate Lighting
Office workers are used to fluorescent lighting but, to boost productivity, what you need is daylight. Previous studies have found that exposure to daylight versus fluorescent light can boost employee health and wellness, resulting in better productivity. In one research, the researchers analyzed the impact of auto-tinting windows that adapt to the sun’s brightness to reduce glare during the daytime.
They found that employees were less likely to experience headaches, eyestrain, and blurred vision, which can disrupt focus and productivity. The natural light also made workers feel more awake and alert. Moreover, those seated near a window and got more daylight showed a 2 percent increase in productivity.
Go High with Windows and Ceilings
Windows can be nice to get natural daylight, but they can also be a source of distraction. It would be nice if it opens to a view of your garden. Seeing nature will refresh tired eyes and lower levels of stress. However, if in front of the window is the street, concentration will be impossible to achieve. Opt for high clerestory windows that can still brighten up the room with daylight without distraction.
Meanwhile, high ceilings can boost creativity. The brain works best with vertical visual space. Set up your home office in an area with high ceilings if your work requires you to be innovative.
Set a Clear Boundary Between Work and Personal Life
When working at home, it can be easy to carry your professional responsibilities into your personal life and vice versa. Doing so will destroy the work-life balance that you are supposed to achieve by working from home.
Moreover, it can stop you from entering “work mode” every morning when you have to be productive. The doors of your home office serve as the physical boundary between work and home. As soon as you enter, you must do only work. You should not read or play with your kids in the room. As soon as you get out of your home office, you must stop working.
After you log out of your work computer, stop answering work-related phone calls and emails. You and your team must discuss and agree on having a “dark time,” a time when you are not expected to give a response. Create a work calendar to show everyone’s availability or decide to avoid work-related correspondences after 5 p.m.
Working from home is great because you eliminate certain aspects of what makes going to the office an unpleasant experience. There is no road traffic to contend daily, and employees would not have to spend money on food or coffee.
However, for many employees, it is a new experience. They need to adjust to the new setup, which means they may not feel their most productive yet. Having a home office will enable them to focus and boost productivity.