When you are self-employed or even just working from home your home office environment is essential to your working motivation and therefore productivity, so we have put together a complete guide for your home office.
So let’s start with the colour of your office, which is the best colour? Not a simple answer, different colours can inspire different emotions and reactions, and not just the colour but the tonal value of it too.
Bold = Stimulating and Low Saturated = Soothing
Blue; is the most used colour for offices. People are more productive in blue rooms than any other colour.
Orange; According to Feng Shui the colour orange is able to stimulate focus, concentration and promote organisation.
Green; This colour is very good at promoting relaxation, painting your room this colour means you are more likely to stay in the room and therefore do more work
Red; This colour stimulates you physically, it can also make you stressed out, so less is more with this one, maybe use it as an accent colour.
Yellow; associated with optimism and concentration, too much of this colour however can make you irritated as the human eye cannot process it as easily as other colours.
After you have decided on the colour you want, the next thing is to work out your lighting; there are many different factors to take into account with this one.
· Is there any natural light?
· Where is it coming from?
· Do you have multiple ‘work/task’ spots?
· Accent/Decorative lighting
Indirect light is what you are looking for, you do not want a harsh light in your working environment this can cause glare, giving you eyestrain and headaches. A great way of reducing the risks of this is ambient lighting behind work stations. You can even get light bulbs you can control with your phone, with a whole spectrum of colours and settings to choose from you can also use it as decorative lighting.
Desk lighting is also very important; you need to be able to see any tasks you are doing. However be careful of the angle you place the lighting, if you are right handed for example and you have the desk lamp to the right then it may create shadows when you are writing. Also bear in mind if you have multiple work stations they all need to be lit appropriately too.
Any extra lighting you add in needs to work in tandem with the natural light that is available in the room, so do bare this in mind.
Much like an actual office, you need to make sure that you have office furniture that is ergonomic and comfortable; this can reduce the risk of backache, RSI and other strains.
If you need a compact, quiet space in your office for phone calls or thinking space, then an acoustic chair might be just what you are after. Designed to reduce external noises so you won’t have to strain to hear people as well as your peripheral vision too, meaning you won’t get distracted, it also looks pretty nice.
Another important factor to your ergonomic home office is your desk accessories; the most used being the mouse. These new ergonomically designed mice come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, from ball mice, to upright mice and even a mouse that sits flat in front of your keyboard which means your arms rest in a natural position, all of them are aimed at eliminating neck, shoulder, and elbow pain.
Now, probably the most important thing; the desk. Because it is a home office, usually there won’t be a whole lot of room to play with, so go for something stylish and practical. While I was researching this article I stumbled across some beautiful desks where a drawer can be pulled out and pushed back in when not in use meaning you’ve got your hands on a bit of a space saver.
If you are really short on space then these innovative bits and pieces will suit you down to the ground.
Wall mounted desks that ‘float’ on the wall are great; they have a surface space that opens out and shuts away when not in use for your laptop. Some of them even feature an integrated cord management system so you don’t have to worry about where all your wires go either.
If you have an alcove, space under the stairs or even a spare cupboard then these are great places to set up a small home office. If you do not the space, adding shelves, desks and lighting is a simple way to set up a home study area.
The best way to get inspiration in your home office is to personalise it, there are some truly wonderful ways to personalise your office.
· Mood boards (things that inspire you, what you want to work towards)
· Photo displays
· Memory boards (gig tickets, event programmes, snaps etc)
· Be crafty
You can get some wonderful wall decals and stickers, which are great if you want to add interest to a wall but don’t want to commit to paint, they can be peeled off the wall and repositioned if need be.
Book shelving doesn’t have to be boring either, pick out your favourite, most inspiring, or just beautiful looking books/magazines to display on your shelves.
Unique calendar/to-do boards - think outside the box when it comes to reminding yourself of things to do i.e a lovely dry-marker weekly calendar made out of CD cases.
If you do get short on ideas head over to Pinterest; they have thousands of pictures of beautifully presented home offices. And we also wrote an article about some of the trendiest offices around which should provide inspiration.
Laura Holland is a blogger at ESE Direct – Dedicated to minimising environmental impact. For more eco advice, follow ESE on Google +.