By Kaelin Sanchez
1. Strategic Layout and Desktop Clutter
The first step for a productive home office is to determine its location. Find the quietest area of your home and work from there. An area where you can receive plenty of natural sunlight will work best; we’ll talk more about this in a later tip. Experiment with where you work best. Some people prefer to work with white noise while others require absolute silence. Consider a room with a door if a busy area in your home is nearby.
Organization is key in productivity. Shuffling through papers or cluttered distractions can decrease your efficiency and mood. Keep your desk distraction-free by creating a place for everything – books in shelves, folders in drawers, paperwork in folders, etc. While you should keep your desk clean, make sure it is not empty. Have a few motivational possessions or a plant to add a breath of fresh air to keep you focused and productive at home.
Color has been proven to affect your behavior, so deciding a color for your work area is essential.
“A study by the University of Texas found that neutral colors - grey, beige or white - in office spaces induce negative emotions, such as sadness and depression.”
For focus, efficiency and tranquility, stick to Mother Nature’s color palette – calm blues and relaxing greens. If you wish to draw attention to something in your office, red colors are known to stimulate your heartrate and blood flow right upon sight. This explains why firetrucks, fire extinguishers and valentines’ gifts are red. Yellow is the shade of optimism and induces a fresh mood and mind. It can trigger innovations and is most seen in artists, designers, and developers’ offices. Depending on your situation, try to experiment which color works best with your needs. Place color palette samples from your local hardware store near your desk and keep in mind the effect it creates when you glance at it.
3. Invest in the Best Lighting
Lighting in our homes is often neglected and overlooked. Ideally, you should have your desk exposed to as much natural sunlight as possible.
“Due to the lack of sunlight during the winter season, research has shown that people tend feel more lethargic which proves to slow productivity.”
Place your desk near a window that receives an ample amount of sunlight. If there is no window available for your home office, it is time to invest in a desk lamp or general lighting. You may find yourself straining your eyes from a light source that is too bright or too dim. Experiment with the different brightness levels and light tones to find the best combination that works for you. If your workspace is relatively large, you might also have to consider having multiple light fixtures.
“According to the American Optometric Association, the average worker spends seven hours a day staring at a computer screen.”
If you work on a computer, experiment with the brightness and contrast settings to find the most productive setting that is healthy for your eyes. Perfect light exposure while you work can increase your mood and promote better sleep. For those days with bad weather or working late into the night, artificial lighting is essential for your workspace.
4. Standing Desk Option
It is most likely that your desk will be your primary work area. This is where your computer and desk lamp will sit, which means that your focus will most be concentrated here. A new commodity that more and more offices are leaning more towards is the standing desk option.
Our bodies were biologically not designed to sit, and consequences of long term sitting include bad posture which can lead to back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain. Standing desks keep you on your feet all day which can burn your calories and keep you focused on your work. While there are automatic standing desks that are activated by the touch of a button, there are also lesser costing, manually operated standing desks.
5. Seating Support
If you are spending most of your day sitting in a chair, consider investing in the best chair that fits your physical needs and helps you focus. While most people neglect their seating support, it is one of the most essential steps for a more productive home office.
“The American Academy of Family Physicians have found that 90% of adults experience back pain in their life and 50% of employed Americans have back pain every year.”
Check out this helpful guide to find which chair would best fit your needs. If you are on a budget, consider a seat supporter that works just as well.
These tips are just the top of an iceberg. For more tips on How to Boost Productivity in Your Home Office, check out DecArte Interiors' Free Guide.
For discussions, thoughts, sharing, questions and connections with professionals working from home, join our LinkedIn Group - Working from Home Productivity Network.
When one thinks of interior design, it is hard to think of anything besides how it looks. This is one of the major issues in the sense that someone can’t simply tell you what to buy or how to decorate. You must first understand this yourself in order to truly enjoy the results. Interior design should be about feeling, comfort and necessities. Yes, some things we love may be visually unattractive but if we need them and it makes us happy does it matter? After all, the home is about what makes you and your loved ones happy.
You may be wondering, how do you learn how to design a space that is right for you? You will first need to understand the problem and how to uncover a solution. The solution can be found in many ways but some involve too much time, too much money and stress. Some of the options include:
Sure, it is easy to consume knowledge and learn things on our own, but with our busy lives we often become overwhelmed or allow most of it to slip away if it is not practiced or consumed frequently. What is the affordable and best solution for you? It will depend on the situation, but understanding the benefits and options an online course can provide may help make your answer clearer as to what you need.
Online courses are becoming more and more popular as people utilize the internet to gain knowledge and skills. What makes an online course attractive? You are not alone! Others with similar thoughts and interests on the topic will be alongside you throughout the course. You have the option to cater the course to your specific needs and learn valuable information about your space, what needs to be fixed and how it relates to you and your life. Not only do you learn at a structured pace, but you also have interactive lessons and media from an instructor. The online course provides a flexible schedule as it will always be pre-recorded to watch at the time of your choice or join in at the start time to learn and converse with a group.
As an individual working from home, one will most likely spend many hours there. Being busy and balancing the home and work life can consume a person. So much to the point that it is hard to recognize the negative habits and distractions surrounding you. For example, the beauty of an online course about productivity will be discovering how to succeed and obtaining long term knowledge about eliminating distractions in your home. It could be anything and will be different for every person. Changing simple things could positively affect your productivity and work ethic.
The changes need to all relate to a system you create for yourself throughout the course. Learning to recognize and plan your daily routines, understanding why you like and don’t like things will help you to understand how you need to design a space. Working and accomplishing things in your home can be directly affected by learning and implementing the necessary things you learn throughout the course.
By Meg Harris
Today, the personal brand is one of the most important aspects in the business world. Especially for those working as individuals from home. It not only reflects you as a person, but as a professional. It is important to keep in mind that this brand will be how you are discovered, known and recognized. Your brand should be incorporated in all that you do; including online, on paper, the way you dress, social media platforms and the space around you. A put together space is equally as important as an outfit. Just as one would say you dress to impress, the room and space you work and create in must also motivate and inspire you to succeed.
Your desk is your space. It is where ideas are executed and come to action. Everyone's space is different and will require different decor and items. However, regardless of your needs or profession, it is easy to forget that the little things surrounding us actually have an effect on our work and work ethic. According to Forbes.com, The research involved more than 2,000 office workers in a series of studies looking at attitudes to and productivity within working space.
Research by Exeter University’s School of Psychology found that employees who have control over the design and layout of their workspace are not only happier and healthier -- they’re also up to 32% more productive.
The research involved more than 2,000 office workers in a series of studies looking at attitudes to and productivity within working space. This study found that people working in enriched spaces (decorated with art or plants) were 17% more productive than those in lean or (undecorated) spaces. So if you are able to design your workspace (especially if you are working from home) take advantage of it! Your future self will thank you!
With that in mind, not only should you be focused on the room you are working in, but also the desk or table space. Just the way you may accessorize your outfit, the workspace benefits from accessories as well. Below are a few things to consider when designing your workspace!
Greenery or flowers brighten up the area and provide your eyes with a nice break. The options are endless when it comes to a plant. Opt for a low maintenance and longer life with a succulent, orchid or cactus. Another idea is putting fresh flowers in a vase.
2.) Desk Organizer:
A desk organizer will not only help you stay organized with its compartments and storage, but if chosen correctly help make your space look more professional and put together. Pick an organizer that goes with the rest of your workspace. Collaboration is key! Here is one of our favorites from Poppin NYC! As poppin.com says, “this desk organizer has a place for everything from your calculator to your cactus.” $55 www.poppin.com Pick from one of the 11 fun colors! (pictured: lime, aqua, white and blush)
3.) Art: (on the wall or desk)
Everyone's taste in art will vary so finding a piece or photograph that fits your brand is important. Artwork should evoke a feeling so when searching for the perfect pieces to include in you workspace here are some things options keep in mind.
Art: One Kings Lane and @mjh_abstractart (Instagram)
Staying organized on paper and jotting down thoughts and to do's can influence your success and task completions. To make sure you are getting the most out of your planner try finding a customizable one that caters to your specific needs and looks. When your planner coordinates with your surroundings and reflects you, the chances of you using it (and enjoying using it) are much greater! One of our favorites is from Erin Condren (The Life Planner).
5.) List of 5 goals
On your desk or in your space keep a list of 5 goals. Whether it is scribbled on a piece of paper or typed and framed, keep these goals in front of you. By reminding yourself each day of what you want to achieve, you will be motivated to work hard to get yourself there. Even if it is a small goal, it will feel great to accomplish and cross off. The goals will remind you of who you are and what your brand means to you influencing your success in the long run.
By Meg Harris
Today, many people are self-employed or working from home therefore allowing the option to customize the workspace. When designing the workspace, aesthetics are important, but to maximize your full potential, the perfect chair is key. The places we spend this vast amount of time contribute largely to shaping who we are and how we behave. This effect on our behavior in turn has a massive impact on our mental well-being and performance in terms of creativity and productivity.
we tend to spend around eight hours a day in the workspace. - BUSINESSFIRST.COM
According to Doctor Virve Peteri’s article, A Case Study of an Office Chair, based on data it seems that the new organizational culture or the brand of the company indicates a new mode of thinking about work environments. They are no longer seen as offices, public spaces, lounges, entrance halls or board rooms. Now, more emphasis of furniture design is made with the user in mind rather than the chair's aesthetics. Peteri’s study goes on to define the perfect chair as, “one to encourage workers to be on the move. A chair needs to be good enough to sit on, but not so good that people would enjoy remaining seated for long periods of time.”
The chairs with too much comfort are tempting for the workspace, however this is what Peteri refers to as the “passive chair.” One would feel comfortable but unable to move adequately. The study further warns, that the consumer is tempted to give into purchasing and using these “passive” chairs, because of their safe and comfortable feeling. What they don’t know is the work that will be produced in this chair will not be as efficient and productive.
“In other words, the consumer needs to be directed, so that they do not choose products that feel good, but from a designer’s point of view Will function properly.”
Ergonomic furniture is the answer to success in the workspace. The desk and chair are the two most important factors of the workspace. There are short and long term benefits of using the right furniture. Studies have proven that the appropriate furniture will allow one to work more diligently, stay healthier in the long run, and maintain good posture. Below are some modern chair and desk options to consider for your corporate or home office from The Human Solution. Many of the chairs come in an array of colors to suit your workspace.
Now to the real question, what chair is best for you? The chair needs to be designed to suit your daily as well as long term needs creating a healthy balance in your home and work life. Chair pricing can range considerably, so finding one in your price range that provides ultimate productivity is key.
Need any further assistance? Don't hesitate to contact us at DecArte Interiors to begin building your ideal office space.
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By Maggie Glynn
Meshing traditional styles with new, innovative trends in interior design may seem counterintuitive, but in 2017, it’s a must.
Incorporating reinvented vintage furniture into your space can offer a softer element to the bold modern colors. They can also provide a more homey feel to your home if you have a number of modern eco-friendly decor throughout the room.
Finding the right retro patterns or antiques into your space gives the contemporary style of your space a more unique, personalized vibe.
In contrast, if your home is already classically designed, try to add a couple green elements (no, not the color green - eco-friendly or nature-inspired decor). This simple change will keep your environment feeling fresh and updated.
Incorporating these green items is easier than you think - it could simply be repurposing an older piece of furniture at an antique store. It does not mean you have to create a chair out of used plastic bottles (but if you have the spare time and like the idea, why not?!).
According to Lushome, "Sustainability and natural design ideas are the latest trends that can be 2017 most popular. Unbleached fibers, rustic textures, and plants can be mixed with beautiful decor and contemporary eco-friendly materials to make modern interiors look Green, stylish and comfortable."
Another way to balance a traditionally-styled home with some contemporary pieces would be to take advantage of new technologies in the world of interior design. Find a print that you like and blow it up to the size of one of your walls, as pictured below. Do you need help choosing which styles to update your space with? Let us know!