The global Covid-19 pandemic forced a lot of companies to reconsider their word-from-home policies. Even more importantly, the vast majority of employees say that they want to maintain some level of remote work even after the pandemic ends.
One survey shows that 65 percent of people want to work remotely full-time while 31 percent want a hybrid arrangement that lets them work from home on some days while working on-site at other times. Overall, that means about 96 percent of workers want to keep some type of work-from-home agreement.
If you’re going to keep working from your home office, you need to create a space that helps you stay productive. After all, employers will change their minds and call everyone back to their on-site workstations if they notice losses in productivity.
Use the following five design trends to boost your productivity and keep working in a way that matches your preference.
1. Create Unique Spaces for Your Daily Tasks
Your brain can learn to associate certain tasks with specific environments. That’s one reason sleep experts encourage people not to spend time in their bedrooms unless they plan to sleep. With the right training, slipping into bed tells your brain that it’s time to slow down and prepare for sleep.
Creating unique spaces in your home office might also help you focus on certain types of tasks. For example, you can use modular furniture to create separate sofa spaces in your office. Designate one area for filling out paperwork; one seat for videoconferences; and one spot for reading dense documents.
After enough practice, your brain will associate each area with the right task. Sitting down in your “paperwork spot” will make it easier for you to slip into that mode and complete tasks quickly.
2. Take a Minimalist Approach
Minimalism works well in home offices because it helps you keep everything organized. When you declutter your space, you can assign spots for the items you need to do your job well. Perhaps you reserve one shelf for ongoing projects; designate a drawer for finished projects and label a cubby for document templates.
Get rid of anything that will prevent you from working as efficiently as possible. You should see your productivity skyrocket within a week or two.
Minimalism also makes it easier to keep your home office as clean as possible. A clean office will:
- Improve your productivity.
- Reduce the stress you experience.
- Make a positive impression on anyone who visits.
Declutter and organize your office to see how it affects your work.
3. Embrace the Scandinavian Aesthetic
The Scandinavian aesthetic gives you a warmer, more attractive version of minimalism. Suppose you like the efficiency of minimalism but you crave the beauty of wood, perfectly carved shapes and handcrafted cushioning. In that case, it makes sense for you to explore Scandinavian office furniture and décor.
4. Enjoy the Power of Plants
Most people work best in clean, minimalist offices. That doesn’t mean you need to separate yourself from nature, though. Many productivity experts believe potted plants can boost productivity and improve job satisfaction. (There’s some disagreement about whether indoor plants clean the air enough to make a noticeable difference. Regardless, you still get benefits from adding them to your home office.)
You don’t want to spend too much time thinking about and caring for your plants, so choose options that can mostly care for themselves. Popular office plants include:
- Zamioculcas zamiifolio, which does exceptionally well in dark corners.
- Pachycereus, a cactus that you can practically forget about.
- Aspidistra elatior, another low-maintenance plant that will add some greenery to your indoor space.
If you want to explore more species, check out this list of terrific office plants.
5. Choose Vibrant, Energizing Colors
Some psychologists believe that color can influence the ways people feel. It makes sense to add energizing colors that help you focus.
Blue is an excellent option because it has associations with calm concentration. Let it absorb some of your anxiety so you can focus on the task at hand.
Yellow has an excellent reputation as a color that promotes positive emotions. If you feel stuck in a rut, add some yellow to your home office.
Red might energize you, but it is associated with elevated heart rates. If you have a strong fight-or-flight response, you should probably avoid red. If you’re a calm person who could use a little physical energy, red could work for you.
It doesn’t seem like working from home will go away anytime soon. Given that reality, you might as well invest in transforming your home workspace so you can become more productive.