Designing your productive home office space

Working from home, then anyone knows an imperfect space, whether that means chattering family members, frigid temps or an uncomfortable chair, can ruin your mood and make your productivity nosedive. Luckily, there’s plenty of small things you can do to improve your workspace-to encourage a productive and happy day working from home.

Choose Furniture Wisely. 

If you have the option, choose furniture with rounded rather than sharp edges—this is linked with positive emotions, and can help boost creativity.

Lighten Up. 

When deciding a location for your home office desk, most of us all too often overlook lighting, which can actually have a huge impact on productivity and wellness. Bad lighting, for example, can contribute to eyestrain, headaches and fatigue. Natural lighting is best.

If that’s not a possibility, consider installing full-spectrum or compact fluorescent light bulbs that simulate daylight. Also, if possible, choose a workspace that allows you to alter the lighting to best suit the task at hand. This can be accomplished simply, with a mixture of overhead and desk lighting options. A small desk lamp, for example, can create a cozy glow on dreary or rainy days

Colour Matters.

The link between colour and mood has been well studied, so choose your work area colours wisely. For example, green is linked to creative thinking and is associated with growth, while blue is one of the most productive colours and has been shown to have a calming effect. Pink also can have a calming effect, while red can produce a (short-lived) burst of energy. 

It’s only Natural.

Just because you are stuck at home doing work doesn’t mean you have to be entirely cut off from the natural world. Invest in a green plant; ferns and spider plants do well with little light. As a side bonus, having natural elements in your workspace has been shown to decrease stress.

Smart Scents.

Much like colour, scent also can impact your mood and productivity.  Working from your home office, consider using aromatherapy to fuel a productive day. Some recommended scents include pine (increases alertness), cinnamon (increases focus), citrus (invigorates) and lavender (relaxes).

Noise Control.

If you’re surrounded with talkative family members or boisterous kids, make sure to have a pair of headphones on hand, and use white-noise sites, such as simplynoise.com, to block out anything impeding your focus. If you’re working at home alone and desire a little background noise (complete silence can be just as distracting as too much chatter!), consider streaming recitation, classical music or checking out coffitivity.com, which mimics the ambient noises of a coffee shop ( it will bring back the memories).

Warm vs. Cold.

Temperature is another factor that can have a huge impact on productivity. Although conventional thinking says that colder is better, newer research recommends the opposite. 

When workers are comfortable (which usually means a temperature a few degrees warmer than what most offices are set at), workers are more focused and make fewer typing errors.

Breathe Deep.

Poor air quality can make you prone to illness and bring about headaches. Make sure air filters are regularly changed, and, if possible, open windows and doors on pleasant days to get fresh air flowing. A plant also can help purify the air and remove mould and bacteria.