When the pandemic hit, companies rushed to get their employees set up to work from home, many thinking it would be a temporary situation. Those who already had home offices were the lucky ones. Others quickly staked out their working territory in nooks and crannies in their home. Or they simply spread out their laptops, papers, and tools at the dining table to work during the day and stash it all away after the workday. For many, the idea was that it would all be over soon, and then things would get back to normal.
But then, a funny thing happened. Surprisingly, it turned out that employees often got even more done in their home environment than they did at their traditional workplace. In fact, a Stanford study found that at-home employees not only produced more, but companies saw a decrease in sick days and worker attrition.
While no one suggests that everyone will work at home exclusively from now on, it may become more common. If your employer is talking about continuing some remote work permanently, this is an excellent time to use a few interior design tricks to improve your at-home work environment.
1. Use Color to Set the Right Tone
Well-chosen paint colors can go a long way toward creating an environment that is conducive to work. Cool colors like blues and greens promote calmness. Variations of white can increase your sense of energy and creativity. Darker colors can make you feel cozy and secure. Consider using one of the colors suggested in this Elle Décor article for your workspace.
2. Set Up Physical Boundaries at Home
Physical boundaries are essential when you work and relax in the same house or apartment. Ideally, you have a separate room for your home office. If not, you can still set up physical barriers. Try using a beautiful folding screen behind your desk area. You can also place bookshelves or houseplants on each side of your workspace to create a visual division.
3. Create Quality Off-Work Spaces
Just as you might have done when going into the office every day, you will still want to look forward to getting back “home” at the end of your day. As you plan for long-term remote work, pay extra attention to the spaces you will be in when you finish your job. Get some quality home furniture for the bedroom. Redecorate your living room and dining room. In short, make all the off-work spaces in your home as inviting as you can with high-quality furniture and accessories.
4. Use Natural Light
Home offices are notoriously dark and gloomy. That is especially true if you carved out a workspace in an attic, basement, or small spare bedroom. Although there may be less natural light in your room, you can take advantage of whatever light you do have. Consider leaving off the drapes or curtains and hanging only a simple valance instead. Use mirrors to magnify the light and bounce it to every corner of the room. If there are too many distractions outside, face your desk away from the window. The light coming in will still improve your mood and energy.
5. Make Room to Move
You’ve probably heard it again and again: getting exercise every day is essential to your health. It also boosts your work performance. But going to the gym every workday can be disruptive, and exercising outside isn’t always an option in bad weather. So, find spaces in your home that can double as workout areas. Get an exercise mat that complements that room’s décor. Make sure you have enough room to stretch and move as you like without bumping into the furniture.
6. Make the Right Home Delivery Connections
Where will you get any furniture and home décor items you need to outfit your home for permanent remote work? Even when all the businesses are open, there are still plenty of reasons to shop for home décor items online. It’s more convenient, and you don’t have to spend your leisure time going out to shop at a store. But too many online retailers offer low-quality items and inadequate customer service. You can find some of the most consumer-friendly options by checking out Newsweek’s list of top online shops.
The interior design choices you make will have a significant impact on both your productivity and your pleasure. That’s true whether you’re working from home full-time, a few days a week, or just occasionally. While no one knows precisely how the future will unfold, having a well-designed home working environment is always a plus.